Can someone fly in some Honduran soldiers to load Lamar Alexander (R-TN) up on a plane and fly in to Costa Rica? Get him out of the country. Come on — if this is the future leadership of the Republican Party, we need a coup*.
Jim DeMint has scored some damn effective points against Barack Obama this week by calling healthcare Obama's "Waterloo." It got under his skin so bad, Obama flubbed his press conference and saw his poll numbers dip below 50% for the first time.
Independent types should read that as "Jim DeMint is on to something." Lamar Alexander reads it as "time to get on my knees and kiss the Democrats' backsides."
Behold this exchange on the floor of the Senate.
Jim DeMint takes on the President over healthcare. He attacks the government run option. He scores solid points — solid enough that Barbara Boxer (D-CA), a woman disliked by many in her own caucus, is forced to respond. In her floor speech, Boxer says
I want to take a minute to thank the Republicans who are working so constructively with our Democrats. You don't hear them speaking much on the floor as you did the senator from South Carolina, who, as I say, was quoted as saying he wants to make health care President Obama's Waterloo. He wants to break him on this. The ones -- the Republicans that you don't see here on the floor talking like that are the ones who are sitting with the Democrats, working day after day, night after night, working to solve this problem.
Enter Lamar Alexander, playing the role of feckless crapweasel and serial capitulator. Remember, in 2008, Lamar Alexander told his Republican colleagues that they must capitulate to the Democrat agenda in order to win back the Senate. Everything they did, Alexander instructed his conference colleagues, must be bipartisan.
True to form, Alexander raced to the floor of the Senate to kiss Boxer's rear end and kick DeMint in the gut. Alexander said
I was listening with respect to the senator from California. Let me state the position of the Republican senators on health care reform. Our leader, Mitch McConnell, the senator from Kentucky, stated yesterday. He said to the news media outside in the hall in answer to a question, "This isn't about winning or losing. this is about getting it right." . . . .
My own example: last year I joined with Senator Wyden, a Democrat; Senator Bennett, a Republican, endorsing their plan. It's not perfect, but it is a very good plan and it has a completely different approach than the bill that came out of the Senate health committee or that's coming through the House.
In other words, "Jim DeMint doesn't speak for the Senate GOP. We too want socialized medicine, just not like the present legislation intends."
And the troubling part? That legislation Alexander endorsed flat out mandated taxpayer funded abortion. And it was open and known at the time Alexander endorsed it.
As the Heritage Foundation noted, Lamar Alexander's legislation — legislation he co-sponsored — "mandat[ed] that health insurers must cover abortion services."
Ramesh Ponnuru wrote that Lamar Alexander's preferred bipartisan solution "is, in important respects, to the left of the ones being offered by Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, and has been celebrated as such in liberal magazines."
With Lamar near the top of Republican leadership in the Senate, don't expect us to ever steer a conservative course in this country again.
*Yeah, I know Honduras was not a coup, but we need one in the GOP. And I'm talking political grassroots, not guns and military.