A Senate Full of Squishes
Aside from defeating Obama, the most important goal of the 2012 elections is to win back the Senate. Or is it?
On days like today we should begin to wonder if there really would be much of a difference when there are 51 senators with an R next to their name as opposed to just 47. In another terrible day on the Hill, Senate Republicans caved on two issues; judicial nominations and the stimulus highway bill.
When Obama announced his illegal appointments to executive positions last month, Republicans shook their fists heavenward and pledged to vigorously challenge those nominations. Well, instead of engaging in vapid rhetorical promises, Senator Mike Lee took action. He pledged to block all of Obama’s judicial nominations until he agrees to rescind his illegal appointees and resubmit them for confirmation before the full Senate.
Unfortunately, Senator Lee is like a general without an army. The Senate voted on a nomination for a federal district court, yet only 5 others joined him. They were Senators DeMint, Crapo, Paul, Risch, and Shelby. I’m sure that will send a powerful message to Obama and serve as a strong deterrent against future illegal appointments.
Regarding the highway bill, I know this sounds naive, but I’m stupefied by the number of Republicans who voted for it. As bad as the House version is, the Senate bill makes it look conservative. The Senate bill is a brainchild of Barbara Boxer supported by Obama. It will radically bust the budget, continue to place officious mandates on the states, and fund mass transit at prodigal levels.
Now we know that most Republicans are insincere about cutting spending, limiting government, and devolving power to the states, but one would expect them to at least hold the line against tax increases. This bill contains $7 billion in tax increases to partially fund a small portion of the deficit generated by the higher levels of transportation spending. Yet, just 9 Republicans (along with 2 Democrats) voted against cloture. Here are the Republicans who voted no DeMint, Hatch, Johanns, Johnson, Lee, Murkowski, Paul, Risch, Rubio.
It has become abundantly clear that we will get nowhere in terms of limiting government unless we elect Republicans like Jim DeMint and Mike Lee.
Cross-posted from The Madison Project