This morning, Charlie Pierce wrote, The Reign Of Morons: Absurdity In The Senate. It is about a remarkable bit of political posturing in the Senate. The 27 Republican senators who voted to reopen the government and lift the Debt Ceiling just voted to repudiate the vote. In other words, “We voted to raise the Debt Ceiling, but we now disagree with that vote.” Except: not really.
At the last minute of the Reid-McConnell negotiations, the latter put into the bill some language requiring this subsequent vote. So from the very beginning, the the Republicans in the Senate were planning to repudiate their votes. In other words, “We voted to raise the Debt Ceiling, but we always disagreed with the vote.” I’m not exactly sure who they think they are fooling. Do they imagine that moderates are only going to look at the first vote and extremists are only going to look at the second?
Pierce notes that John Kerry was widely criticized “from hell to breakfast” for his comment about the Iraq War funding bill, “I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it.” That, of course, was typical conservative molehill mountainizing. Congress generally votes on major bills any number of times and that’s all that Kerry was talking about. Forced ignorance is a common conservative tactic, “I just don’t know what you’re talking about!” The situation with yesterday’s vote is entirely different. It is the Republicans’ attempt to have things both ways.
I think that Pierce gets it wrong when he talks about the need of the non-crazy Republicans to show some backbone and stand up against the extremists. I just don’t buy this narrative. Sure, the John McCain wing of the Republican Party wants to placate the crazies. But this is very much like a mother placating her overeager child. The mother is also excited about going to Disneyland. But it is a thousand miles away. It doesn’t matter how much mother and child would like to be on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride but there are reasons why it just is not possible right now.
The current state of the Republican Party is that the extremist mothers are trying to calm their overeager extremist children so they can all get to the extremist promised land. There is no need for a mother and child reunion. They are in union right now. And as he matures, even Ted Cruz will understand that. He and John McCain are separated by 35 years, but absolutely no ideology.