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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Mitch McConnell and other Republican Senators vote to fund Obamacare

If you want a prime example of political betrayal by your own party, this is it.  While any Republican voting to fund Obamacare stings, what McConnell's done is far worse.  If  you didn't catch it, McConnell actually gave a pretty nice speech at CPAC this year.  He came in with a prop:  20,000 pages of regulations written in direct response to Obamacare, thus making the unpopular health care bill the centerpiece of his speech.   It's important to point out how he said he'd "fight Obamacare tooth and nail" etc. against the government healthcare takeover.  On top of that, he also supported Ted Cruz's amendment to defund Obamacare.

But when it came time to vote on the principles touted just a few days earlier, he decided to go with funding the very same thing he was supposedly heroically fighting against at CPAC.  So now, what seemed like a very nice speech at CPAC championing conservative causes, now knowing his vote to fund Obamacare, turns out to be more like re-election lip service.

This is why we can't have nice things.  Because we have Congressmen who say one thing, then do the exact opposite on Capitol Hill.   Republican leadership is particularly weak in both the House and Senate.  In the House, Boehner is quite easily the Democrat's best weapon.   And in the Senate, where Republicans are in the minority, we have Senators with no will power to stand up  (As an aside, I'm relieved  Iowa's Grassley is not on the list of Republican Senators who voted for funding).   And speaking of, here's the list of Senators who supported Cruz's defund amendment, but then flipped and voted to fund Obamacare (taken from this Red State post):

  • Alexander (R-TN)
  • Barrasso (R-WY)
  • Blunt (R-MO)
  • Boozman (R-AR)
  • Chambliss (R-GA)
  • Coats (R-IN)
  • Cochran (R-MS)
  • Collins (R-ME)
  • Corker (R-TN)
  • Cornyn (R-TX)
  • Hatch (R-UT)
  • Hoeven (R-ND)
  • Isakson (R-GA)
  • Johanns (R-NE)
  • McConnell (R-KY)
  • Murkowski (R-AK)
  • Sessions (R-AL)
  • Shelby (R-AL)
  • Thune (R-SD)
  • Wicker (R-MS)
So, the million dollar question is why would McConnell, after whole heartedly going all in against Obamacare at CPAC, do the exact opposite and risk pissing off his constituents?  Simply put, this vote is actually less politically risky in his eyes.  As I've mentioned previously about RINOs, they like the power structure as it is in Washington.  From their perspective, Obama and his ilk are nothing more than a passing storm, one that they need to hunker down and weather through until their party is back in power.   Once they're back in power, that's when they can really do something! Until then, they won't  do anything that will seriously risk them getting voted out before their party's back in power.   

Essentially they're more afraid that the Democrats will demagogue their no vote as being "obstructionist" and therefore to blame for the woes of the country ("They didn't want you to have health care!") than they are about their own constituents remembering that they voted for the very same thing they said they'd fight against.  And since their vote is "meaningless" right now, might as well just duck and cover until they have a majority again.   

In other words, they're cowards.  Just like the servant who hid his talent, so afraid that he'd lose it, instead of using it to be productive for his master as instructed, these cowards are wasting the power their masters (we, the people) have given them (via election) because they're afraid to lose it.  

While I'd never want to cede a Republican seat to a Democrat (especially if it's Ashley Judd, though I hear even her own base is shying away from her bid already), I hope the people of Kentucky will remember this and hold McConnell accountable by voting for a true conservative in the primary.  Naturally, the conservative candidate would still need to be a good, thoroughly vetted candidate and not go off spouting crazy, idiotic stuff at the worst possible time (thank you, Todd Akin, for giving Claire McCaskil another 6 years in the Senate).   But if Kentucky finds such a person, I'd be for putting up the "unknown quantity" conservative candidate and have a riskier general election then just go with another 6 years of McConnell.   I'd say that for any Senator who's more afraid of  Democratic demagoguing than they are their own constituents.  

And let's face it, you pretty much should hand in your conservative card if you vote for a bill that McCain voted against - particularly one that deals with Obamacare.

If your state is on this above list, I'd heavily consider looking more into their voting record.  While McConnell's CPAC about face is enough for me to want to get him out of there (combined with overall weak Republican leadership), other Senators may require more digging.   And if they don't match up to principle, start looking for candidates that will go to Washington and raise hell.  

The RINOs need to go and it's up to each state's constituents to start looking for quality candidates now so by the time election time rolls around next year, they're primed and ready to get these clowns out of office.