Friday, February 28, 2014


Will this have any negative consequences for the GOP? Of course not:
Senate Republicans stopped Democrats from advancing a bill that would have expanded healthcare and education programs for veterans.

In a 56-41 vote Thursday, the motion to waive a budget point of order against the bill failed, as Democrats fell short of the 60 votes needed to overcome the Republican roadblock....
Even though the bill the GOP blocked was custom-tailored to win GOP votes?
... Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont brought forth a carefully crafted bill to provide $21 billion in new veterans benefits over the next decade. These included medical benefits, education benefits, and job-training. It contained 26 provisions that came from the Republican members of the Veterans Affairs Committee, which Sanders chairs. It was so wide-ranging that it contained a provision that would eliminate a rule prohibiting the Veterans Administration from covering in vitro fertilization on behalf of veterans whose wounds prevent them from conceiving a child in the usual manner. There was a time, and not so long ago, when both parties would fall all over themselves to help America's veterans. How many platitudes are we going to hear on the stump between now and November about America's Heroes and Our Wounded Warriors? This bill was a put up or shut up moment....

Only two Republicans were willing to vote with Sanders, and the bill died a procedural death.
Will there be consequences for the GOP? Nahhh. The GOP loves the troops. Everyone knows that because ... everyone knows that. It's a "fact" because we've been told for years that it's a fact. America believes that the GOP loves the troops because lots of Republicans appear on Fox News and Fox News has a lot more American-flag-and-eagle graphics than CNN or MSNBC. America believes that the GOP loves the troops because draft-dodgers Bush, Cheney, and Rove got misty-eyed about America as they sent lots of troops to die in two mismanaged wars. America believes that the GOP loves the troops because Ronald Reagan saluted a lot.

And so there was no possible risk to the Republican Party from this vote.

Yes, I know: the Republicans' excuse for the vote was that they wouldn't support the bill without being allowed to tack on additional Iran sanctions -- sanctions that would damage a fragile diplomatic process, and that even the American Legion thinks should have been kept out of the bill. Once upon a time, Washington politicians believed that politics stops at the water's edge. Politicizing diplomatic efforts in this way -- defying an opposition-party president and failing to present a united front to the world -- was deemed unpatriotic. But that's another thing Republicans can always get away with. They can do anything and never be charged with lack of patriotism. Patriotism is part of their brand too. We all know they're patriots because ... well, just because.


Unknown said...

OK if the Republicans can do no wrong why don't they compete on a national level? According to every article you write the Democrats are always screwed and the Republicans can lose. What party does the President belong to? What party controls the Senate? What party is set to see the most gains by the coming demographic shifts? According to you it can be the Democrats can it.

Anonymous said...

The reason is the 60's and vietnam. It's going to take several generations before that can be lived down and Democrats can get away from it.

Until everyone from that era is dead and gone, we need to just accept that this will remain the default situation.

Steve M. said...

OK if the Republicans can do no wrong why don't they compete on a national level?

They do compete on a national level. They just don't compete on a presidential level. Democrats vote in presidential elections. Republicans vote in all elections.

What party controls the Senate?

The Democrats -- but only until the next election, in all likelihood.

Grung_e_Gene said...

Vietnam taught Republicans to eschew military service and win political power here at home.

Iraq was pushed by chicken hawk conservatives and manned by liberals because young conservatives couldn't be bothered to fight in World War IV and what they called the biggest conflict of their lives.

Bush and Cheney used Veterans and Troops as props and shields to protect them from their rapacious theft of Americans Futures (thousands of lives and 10 Trillion dollars)

Victor said...

Add to what you wrote, Steve, the fact that most of the MSM won't blame the Republicans - they'll say either that it was a he said/she said issue, or both sides are responsible. said...

You could have added that they are still the "patriotic" and "stars and stripes" party even as they embrace the "Stars and Bars" and celebrate the cause that actually fired on the Stars and Stripes and tried to destroy the republic. No cost for that either from the Chuck Todds and Charlie Cooks of the world.