McConnell agrees to earlier Christmas Eve vote on ObamaCare

posted at 5:20 pm on December 22, 2009 by Allahpundit

Not surprised to see Red State in high dudgeon about this, but Ace?

Alternate headline: “Mitch McConnell sells out freedom by conceding 11 hours to fait accompli.”

The Senate will hold a final vote on healthcare reform at 8 a.m. on Christmas Eve.

Under Senate rules, the GOP could have insisted that the vote not occur until 7 p.m. but Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) took to the Senate floor Tuesday afternoon to announce an agreement that allows senators to depart Washington sooner to begin the Christmas holiday…

Earlier Tuesday, Reid said he was trying to persuade McConnell to agree on the final healthcare vote on Wednesday.

“We hope to be able to complete it tomorrow,” Reid said. “Certainly with ice storms coming to the Midwest we hope that we can finish tomorrow and not have to be here Christmas Eve.”

So he held out for a Christmas Eve vote anyway, even though it’s not a vote on the final final bill and it’ll be a pure formality if they get 60 tomorrow for cloture. What’s the problem? They’ve all got kids and grandkids they want to see on Christmas, as do their staffers. Why work late if you don’t have to and doing so would accomplish nothing? Pure spite is a poor political strategy, especially when the basic symbolic point — forcing the Dems to wait until the last possible day to pass this travesty — is preserved.

Actually, the early vote will achieve something the late vote couldn’t: A full day of media devoted to a bill the public hates and which both left and right agree is garbage. Good luck getting people to watch the news after dark on Christmas Eve; now, thanks to the new arrangement, they’ll have almost 12 extra hours to stew about it before the holiday draws them away. McConnell knows what he’s doing here.

Update: Sounds like The One will get a head start on his vacation too.

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chicken thief on December 23, 2009 at 9:24 AM

The war can’t be won by the foot soldiers if the brass surrenders before the battle begins.

This guy’s phone and email should be jammed by his constituents telling him not to come home, just stay there with your new ‘best friends’.

This is why the republicans need to be flushed down the bowl with the rest of the sh*t. Maybe there could be a rebellion in the republicans and McConnell gets the boot as ‘der leader’.

belad on December 23, 2009 at 9:36 AM

Actions like the one McConnell is taking (giving in) is a prime reason why there are only 40 Republicans in the Senate. If they’re not gonna fight to the bitter end, why do they think they deserve my vote this coming November?

olesparkie on December 23, 2009 at 9:43 AM

That is one hec of a wattle that unprincipled, uninspired mope has going on there.

Rae on December 23, 2009 at 9:57 AM

McConnell is the epitome of why the republican party cannot represent the conservatives in this counntry. He is a clueless coward who has never won a single thing as a leader of the party. The dimocrats are running roughshod over the American people and the republicans are running interference for them. We need to flush everyone of these scumbags and start all over.

volsense on December 23, 2009 at 10:01 AM

This is the end bit of the Byron York column that’s tagged by HA:

But back to the problem at hand: Reid wanted to leave town earlier than 7 p.m. So McConnell offered him a deal. The Senate comes back into session on January 20, just a few days before the State of the Union address. McConnell offered to hold the health care vote a few hours earlier on Christmas Eve if Reid would agree to take up the debt limit issue on January 20, and would further agree to hold a specific roll-call vote that day on raising the debt ceiling, and would further agree to consider, and vote on, five Republican amendments related to out-of-control federal spending.

In the debt debate — the one Democrats didn’t want to have — GOP senators are expected to offer amendments to end the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, as well as amendments on a budget-cutting package, on a deficit-control commission and other spending-related items.

“So days before the president’s State of the Union, where he has said he is going to talk about getting the deficit under control, we are going to force a vote on raising the government’s credit card limit because we are maxed out,” says the Senate aide. “We’re going to force them to vote on ending TARP, deficit control — things they don’t want to do. And it’ll be on the first day back, when everybody’s paying attention.”

“They want to get the hell out of here,” the aide says of Democrats. “They traded away a vote on the debt limit to get out of town a few hours earlier. It’s a bad deal for them.”

There’s no doubt Republicans wanted to get out of Washington, too. But according to the source, leaving early was not a big concern at the Senate GOP policy lunch yesterday. Republicans were prepared to stay until Christmas Eve night; it was Democrats who wanted to leave.

So did McConnell surrender? It doesn’t seem so. It was Reid who wanted to leave more than McConnell, and it was Reid who gave up something in order to get an earlier vote. McConnell didn’t have much bargaining power — no leader with just 40 votes would — but he used it to get as much as he could.

This is the Republican spin: McConnell got Harry Reid to commit to public votes on issues such as ending TARP, schedule a vote on the debt ceiling hike at a time to embarrass Obama, in exchange for giving Reid a few hours on Christmas Eve — so it’s no surrender!!

I say: this confirms it was a surrender. The defeat on health care in 2009 has been accepted as a done deal, so its timing is, to Republicans, just a poker chip to be traded away. The ultimate fate of the bill, the attempt at filibuster after conference, hinges on Democrat attitudes in the House. So we now know– through Republican spin to Byron York– that McConnell has played his last card, and just hopes the House Democrats are mulish enough not to rubber stamp the Senate bill, forcing further Senate votes on the bill, allowing Republican hardball. If House Democrats accept the Senate bill, McConnell just fired his last shot. And he won’t know which is which until people outside the Senate tell him.

As to his “spoils”: Harry Reid is a known liar. If he chooses not to allow 2010 procedures that he promised in 2009, what could McConnell do? Taunt him on CSpan? Have McCain come out and do his Donald Duck impression? The hike on the debt ceiling IS a done deal, because of the war and the depression, and as to the State of the Union “embarrassment”, one of the perks of the Presidency is getting to blame 635 members of Congress to their faces and being believed. If the President wasn’t naturally more charismatic, credible and smooth than anybody in Congress, he wouldn’t have clawed his way into the White House–and it’s not as if McConnell is gonna jump up and boo him.

Epic fail, as the kids say.

Chris_Balsz on December 23, 2009 at 10:05 AM

535 members of Congress. I need coffee!

Chris_Balsz on December 23, 2009 at 10:09 AM

I’m so finished with McConnell.

itzWicks on December 23, 2009 at 10:46 AM

McConnell thinks he’s making a good deal, but sometimes you have to stand on principle to make a point. Yes, they’ll lose the vote, but at least they could look their constituents in the eye and say they hung on to the bitter end. That counts for something in this fight. McConnell should remember that when dealing with the Democrats, he who turns the other cheek gets hit with the other fist. The Democrats have pulled every sleazy, underhanded, sneaky trick in the book to get this abomination over the hump and McConnell is making deals with them? Yeah, that’s a good plan Mitch.

gordo on December 23, 2009 at 10:47 AM

Sadly, believable.

call Mitch McConnell

DC Office: Phone: (202) 224-2541
Kentucky Office: Phone: (502) 582-6304

R Square on December 23, 2009 at 10:53 AM

Just called Mitch McConnell’s Kentucky office. No one is answering the DC phones.

I told his staff that he should not enable the Democrats in any manner and that I was very disappointed. I went on to say that future elections will be national referendums on this president and this leftist agenda. In addition, I will be donating my time, money and resources to those candidates, regardless of state or district, who make it clear they will resist this lurch to the left.

I strongly encourage each of you to take 20 seconds and call the Republican leader and tell him you are disappointed in him and demand stiffer resistance against this onslaught.

If not now, when?

DC Office: Phone: (202) 224-2541
Kentucky Office: Phone: (502) 582-6304

R Square on December 23, 2009 at 10:53 AM

R Square on December 23, 2009 at 11:02 AM

Marxism, espoused by Obama’s father and implemented by Potus Obama and the Congressional Democrat Majority, would enslave American citizens to profit global Marxist governance. The carrot baiting the ignorant masses: universal health care, aka global health care dependency on a Eugenic Bureaucrat to dispense with antipathy.

Scott Johnson @ Powerline comments on Michael Barone’s brilliant comparison.

“When legerdemain is used to pass an unpopular bill” –Washington Examiner

…the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854. Its lead sponsor was Stephen A. Douglas, at 41 in his eighth year as senator from Illinois, the most dynamic leader of a Democratic Party that had won the previous presidential election by 254 electoral votes to 42. He got the Senate to pass a bill some of whose provisions were supported by half of the Senate plus Douglas and some of which were supported by the other half plus Douglas.

The issue that Douglas said the Kansas-Nebraska Act would settle forever was slavery in the territories. His bill repealed the 34-year-old Missouri Compromise prohibiting slavery in territories north of Arkansas and substituted popular sovereignty — territory residents could vote slavery up or down. Nor did the Kansas-Nebraska Act settle the issue it addressed. Pro-slavery and anti-slavery settlers fought it out in “bleeding Kansas,” and Douglas felt obliged to break with the Democratic administration and disown election stealing by the pro-slavery side [Democratic ACORN has long precedence].

We cannot say with assurance that the Kansas-Nebraska Act was unpopular; Dr. Gallup didn’t start polling until 81 years later. But the results of the next election were pretty convincing. The Republican Party was suddenly created to oppose the Kansas-Nebraska Act, and the 1854-55 elections transformed the Democrats’ 159-71 majority to a 108-83 Republican margin. Democrats didn’t win a majority of House seats for the next 20 years. The issue roused a former congressman named Abraham Lincoln to re-enter politics, and he beat Douglas in the popular vote (but not in the legislature) in 1858 and then was elected president in 1860.

On the health care bill, there can be little doubt about public opinion. Quinnipiac, polling just after the Senate voted cloture, found Americans opposed by a 53 percent to 36 percent margin. Polls suggest that Democrats may suffer as much carnage in the 2010 elections as they did in 1854. A health care bill like the Senate’s is unlikely to settle all health care issues either….

The Senate bill contains provisions that are likely to be revisited. Its language channeling federal and consumer dollars to abortion coverage is opposed, according to Quinnipiac, by a 72 percent to 23 percent margin. Its provision establishing an Independent Medicare Advisory Board and stating that it cannot be abolished except by a two-thirds vote of the Senate is of dubious constitutionality, and even if upheld in a court of law may not pass muster in the court of public opinion. Since when has Congress passed laws that cannot be repealed?

Kansas-Nebraska was an attempt to settle a fundamental issue by legislative legerdemain and political trickery. The Democrats’ health care bills are an attempt to settle a fundamental issue by partisan maneuver and cash-for-cloture. As Stephen Douglas learned, such tactics can work for a while, but the country — and the Democratic Party — can end up paying a heavy price.

“The Louisianna-Nebraska Act of 2009?” Powerline Blog

In October 1854 Lincoln gave his utterly brilliant Peoria speech in opposition to the repeal of the Missouri Compromise. Lincoln observed:

This declared indifference, but as I must think, covert real zeal for the spread of slavery, I can not but hate. …especially because it forces so many really good men amongst ourselves into an open war with the very fundamental principles of civil liberty–criticizing the Declaration of Independence, and insisting that there is no right principle of action but self-interest.

When [] man governs himself that is self-government; but when he governs himself, and also governs another man, that is more than self-government–that is despotism.

What I do say is, that no man is good enough to govern another man, without that other’s consent. I say this is the leading principle–the sheet anchor of American republicanism.

Today, the US Congress and Potus are enforcing despotism, readying America for the 100% taxation.

Obama’s father Barak H. Obama advanced 100% taxation in his July 1965 EAST AFRICA JOURNAL article, “Problems Facing Our Socialism: Another Critique of Sessional Paper No.10“. (Politico has the link.)

It is true that mismanagement can occur both in private as well as in public ownership, but we ought to look at the matter within the social context. Looked at this way, we can avoid economic power concentration and bring standardized use and control of resources through public ownership, let alone the equitable distribution of economic gains that would follow. One need only look at the problems of getting consolidated in some areas. Will this be easily done through individual action, through co-operatives or through government ownership? Realizing social stickiness and inflexibility and looking at the society’s distrust of change, one would see that, if left to the individual, consolidation will take a long time to come. We have to look at priorities in terms of what is good for society and on this basis we may find it necessary to force people to do things they would not do otherwise.

It is good to be optimistic, but so long as we maintain free enterprise one cannot deny that some will accumulate more than others, nor is it unlikely that … to subject the poor into submitting to political ideologies and to persuade them to vote for those who offer them money, would not be difficult and has, in fact, been occurring.

Certainly there is no limit to taxation if the benefits derived from public services by society measure up to the cost in taxation which they have to pay. It is a fallacy to say that there is this limit and it is a fallacy to rely mainly on individual free enterprise to get the savings. Yet one who has read Marx cannot fail to see that corporations are not only what Marx referred to as the advanced stage of capitalism but Marx even called it finance capitalism by which a few would control the finances of so many and through this have not only economic power but political power as well.

[On growth and development,] We can have a high rate of growth economically and yet not develop both economically, politically and socially. There is a small minority of people and worse still, on a racial basis, who have high incomes and who can afford to save, but no country can afford to rely on one group or a small segment of society to do all the saving. Nor is all of this saving being invested in this country. Some are sent abroad for many other reasons. What is more important is to find means by which we can redistribute our economic gains to the benefit of all and at the same time to be able to channel some of these gains to future production. THIS IS THE GOVERNMENT’S OBLIGATION. Is not this the reason the government should tax the rich more so as to generate high tax surpluses?

Theoretically, there is nothing that can stop the government from taxing 100 per cent of income so long as the people get benefits from the government commensurate with their income which is taxed. Assuming that development and the achievement of a high per capita income is a benefit to society as a whole I do not see why the government cannot tax those who have more and syphon some of these revenues…

If we are to nationalize, we are going to nationalize what exists and is worth nationalizing. A form of import licencing ought to be introduced which will only look at the goods imported in terms of their contribution to growth and development, unless they are things that we do not produce ourselves.

Further, we should not only look at the population as consumers of goods and services, but also as producers of these goods and services. If we realize this then we should not be worried about the rate of growth of population. All we need to think of is to plan properly and find projects, given priorities, which will absorb this populace. In this way we will not only be able to absorb the rising population growth, but also the overwhelming disguised unemployment (“rotting in poverty”).

On class problems…While we welcome the idea of prevention, we should also try to cure what has slipped in. The elimination of foreign economic and political domination is a good gesture towards this, so are plans to develop in order to prevent antagonistic classes. But we also need to eliminate power structures that have been built through excessive accumulation so that not only a few individuals shall control a vast magnitude of resources as is the case now. It is a case of cure and prevention and not prevention alone.

Interestingly, notice where Potus Obama differs from his father Barak the polygamist on population growth. Also notice that Progressive Marxists since Pres. Wilson and FDR, by wielding the National Democratic Party to the LEFT, have relied heavily upon corporatism to already nationalize American industry.

maverick muse on December 23, 2009 at 12:56 PM

You need to update this with the “What McConnell got” article information.

Greg Q on December 23, 2009 at 2:29 PM

11 hours or not, you don’t give AN INCH to your opposition on issues of such high importance.

Daemonocracy on December 23, 2009 at 4:02 PM

I agree with AP, shocker. If the media can’t whine about the republicans being the grinch that stole grandpa’s christmas maybe they will start fact checking the liars in chief.

mike_NC9 on December 23, 2009 at 4:53 PM

“What?! Listen here, We are going to attack tonight, we are going to attack tomorrow morning. (Voice rises to a shout) We are not giving an inch! If we are not Victorious, let no man come back alive.”

G.S. Patton

GunRunner on December 23, 2009 at 5:34 PM

George Patton also said “You don’t win wars by dying for your country. You make the other poor b*** die for his”.

No one will be watching Congress on Christmas Eve. In January, people will be getting their Christmas bills and their income tax goodies. They will be watching Congress a little closer then.

I almost think Reid does not want this bill to become law. I think he wants to show that he can get it through the Senate. It has a lot of problems in it that might cause it to end up in the courts.

jeannie on December 23, 2009 at 6:16 PM

McConnell exhibits and exemplifies the old saying, “useless as teats on a boar”.

ultracon on December 23, 2009 at 7:58 PM

And Beohner is in the same category………… God help us.

ultracon on December 23, 2009 at 7:59 PM