While numerous hurdles remain to be cleared by House Democrats for the current healthcare bill to become law – the postgame analysis for the Senate has begun and is important.
Erick made a few simple but important points a little earlier, here, and below. In short, Senate Republicans thought they could win this on message – and they failed. Hard to argue, really.
But what the establishment folks would have you believe is that Senate Republicans did everything they could do – given that there are 60 Senate Democrats. One DC insider who fancies himself a real Hill expert has taken it upon himself to challenge Erick (here, and here).
His first comment is the most telling – indicating how entrenched the Republican establishment is both on and off the Hill. I respond line by line – with his comments in italics. I don’t do this to be petty. This is important… because those of us who recognize the ascendancy of conservatism and the waning hours of the establishment have to point it out, as painful as it may be, at every turn so that we can properly relegate those who persist in promoting the status quo – that is, the same old tired, failed strategies – to the corner and just blow past them.
To Erick, this self-declared Senate expert wrote (in part):
Erick, you simply have not the first foggy clue about Senate procedure, rules, or an effective strategy. You run this blog to generate hits, and spitting nails generates hits. I get that.
I do have a pretty serious clue about Senate procedure – having worked with the incompetent fools in the Senate for too many years of my life – and it’s slightly more than “foggy.” As for “strategy,” Capitol Hill Republicans wouldn’t know a coherent strategy if Patton himself plotted it out for them line by line. And this blog exists for a number of reasons, not the least of which is often to do the job Senate Republicans won’t do…
However, you should at least have your facts straight.
1) Whether the vote is held at 0800 Thursday or later in the evening DOES NOT MATTER except symbolically to simpletons that think that a meteor might hit Reid’s apartment in those seven hours. He has the votes. He bought them. After the filibuster is broken, that final passage vote amounts to a fart in a tornado. It’s simply delaying the inevitable.
Your belief that “IT DOES NOT MATTER” (your emphasis, not mine) is wrapped up in the failed Republican strategy to date. Of course it matters. A Christmas Eve vote late into the evening – or even, if really creative minds (sorry, forgot for a moment I was talking about Capitol Hill Republicans) were to engage every weapon in the arsenal, a vote pushed somehow into Christmas morning, would, by definition captivate a larger percentage of the American public than a fairly useless vote at 8AM so that Senators can “get home” for Christmas… oh, by the way, why don’t those same Senate Republicans ask the soldiers around the world how they feel about “getting home” for Christmas.
2) The minority can’t force a vote on JACK. They can offer a motion to table, which would promptly be defeated on a simple majority. They can do this into perpetuity, but it’s pointless.
The minority can, in fact, force a number of votes. I am not going to outline them here for various reasons. Furthermore, had the Senate Republican leadership employed anything even resembling a coherent strategy prior to this point, our ability to delay this vote would have been greater.
3) I’m convinced that even if the entire GOP Senate caucus showed up in the Senate chamber on Thursday morning with machine guns and held the Dems hostage, it wouldn’t be enough for you.
While this is may be an interesting approach, what actions taken by Capitol Hill Republicans thus far would give you any indication that they would have the nerve to do this sort of thing?
4) Your vitriol directed at McConnell is entirely misplaced in re the elections. He is not the chair of the NRSC. He also doesn’t make the decisions about who will be funded.
Yeah, as an “expert” on Capitol Hill operations, you really would try to pass off the notion that the Senate Republican Leader (and former NRSC Chair, himself) does not provide significant input to the NRSC? This is the kind of “nuts and bolts” argument that ignores the fact leadership matters. You don’t hide behind roles and responsibilities if you lead – you are the Republican leader. Lead.
5) Suffice it to say that your irresponsible fear-mongering about the “un-repealable” provision is just that. The parliamentarian ruled that it didn’t require a supermajority. Any serious observer would conclude that if that’s the case, it also won’t require a supermajority to dispense with the provisions you cited.
The parliamentarian ruled that it was a procedure change, not a rule change… but even if I accept your point to be true – who cares? For you to believe this to be “fear-mongering” shows the extent to which you and fellow establishment Republicans did not take this fight as seriously as is dictated by the damage this bill will inflict on America… because what difference does it make to you whether Erick made it up out of thin air (though he did not)? The fact is a rules change is buried in the bill that attempts to short-circuit the traditional Senate process…
I conclude, Erick, by telling you as someone with intimate knowledge of what’s going on, either you are completely bereft of a clue about how the Senate operates and what options were available to the GOP, or, you’re simply generating traffic.
I tell you, as someone with intimate knowledge of how the Senate operates, that you should be careful not to say things that are completely false. In your follow-up comment to Erick, you say that “Constitutional Points of Order are non-debatable.” That is not true. They may be able to be tabled, but they are debatable (see Riddick’s page 686).
In the end, you establishment folks (however conservative you claim to be) are old news, and have proven that to be the case yet again. It is no longer time for excuses – it is time for winning.
We will win our country back by cleaning DC out and taking over the Republican Party from the bottom up… Establishmentarians beware.