Monday, August 02, 2010

GOP beats down Harry again

The Senate was supposed to vote on the state's aid bill today and the GOP had no ground to oppose the vote. The $26 billion price tag was completely offset "by spending reductions as well as new taxes on multinational corporations, which GOP senators are loath to support."

Last I saw on twitter, the Senate couldn't break the GOP block because they balked at the tax on the multinational corporations. Unsurprising but nonetheless I'm hearing Harry Reid is wandering around looking for new offsets to try to get those one or two GOPers that would allow the bill to move forward.

It's hard to believe with all the rules of the Senate and after almost two years of the same GOP tactics, that Harry can't come up with a better way to fight the perpetual filibuster. Jay Ackroyd keeps saying we have to accept at some point that the Democrats don't really want to win these fights. Hard to argue that isn't true in the face of Harry's relentless caving.

Update: Read Jay Ackroyd in comments. He leaves us an excellent, fuller explanation of how the Democratic complicity works -- for them, not for us.

[Thanks to Mike at Crooks & Liars for the kind link.]

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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Blogger Jay Ackroyd (@jayackroyd) said...

On Sunday, Marcy discussed one way to look at this. She said finreg turned out to be a better bill than the health care bill because Blanche Lincoln, head of the Agriculture committee that is in charge of legislation involving futures trading, was involved in a contested primary. This meant that she could not operate as freely in the interests of her "corporate clients," to use Marcy's phrase.

So one way of looking at this is to the Senate Democrats have a bloc who look first to the interests of their donors and future employers (see Tom Daschle) rather than the interests of their constituents.

This point of view explains a lot, especially the opacity of the process. It is difficult to understand what the Senate is doing at any given time.

Another way of looking at is the way Stuart Zechman does. In his view, the desire to use corporate entities as the agency for delivering public services, as with the Big Pharma and Big Insurance in the health care bill, is an ideological one. They really believe it is better to give the banksters 500 billion dollars on the expectation that they will lend into a free market more efficiently than would a government program to repair water mains or fix bridges.

Of course, it is convenient that the New Democrat ideology happens to coincide with having the best shot at the Tom Daschle retirement option.

But there is plenty to support Stuart's point of view, including the opacity of the process (the "little people" don't understand how things really work) and the Orwellian use of language ("Progressive Policy Institute") they specialize in.

In the end, though, we have a Republican party ready to use the nuclear option to end the filibuster in order to get five district judges through, while Harry Reid does not consider the public option worthy of an equivalent effort.

As I say, regardless of motive or justification, you really have to consider the possibility that they are doing what they want to. When they need it, the have the legislate legerdemain. See FISA.

6:23:00 AM  

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