I admit to have been taken aback when hearing, from a top Senate Republican leadership aide, no firm response to the question of whether they were going to hold together in opposition on final passage of the abominable shtimulus bill (as the House did later that day). Instead, I was offered the thin gruel–and dodge–of talking up the important task of currying support for their own amendments. What about final passage? ImpTaskCurryAmend. Don’t want to look like we’re just disagreeable (here we go again). Sigh.
It is obvious even to those who haven’t looked that President Obama’s congressional majorities ensure he does not need Republican votes to pass this bill that will do very little good and quite possibly severe long-term harm; instead, as Bill Clinton (unsuccessfully) sought in 1993, President Obama seeks Republican cover for this mess which also quite clearly offers no hope of actually stimulating the economy at large with its rampant pork, wealth diversion, and of course transfer.
Well, I thought to myself, it’s possible the Senate GOP still doesn’t get why they have a very small and dwindling following with the public, and that they still believe, after everything that has happened, that it is more important to be nice to people steamrolling you than to stand athwart and yell stop!
It’s now confirmed. Today we see–gack–the Washington Post mocking Senate Republicans for fawning over an absurd Al Gore routine. The derision is two-fold: first, they refused to challenge claims made in Gore’s hysterical show yesterday–I understand, it must be difficult for aides to prepare their charges when the witness is permitted to continue his refusal to abide by Senate rules and submit his testimony in advance (more on that later)–but actually rolled over and smiled in hopes of a belly rub.
Consider this disturbing passage:
Though some lawmakers tangled with Gore on his last visit to Capitol Hill, none did on the Foreign Relations Committee yesterday. Dick Lugar (Ind.), the ranking Republican, agreed that there will be “an almost existential impact” from the climate changes Gore described. As such, the Goracle, even when questioned, was shown great deference. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), challenging Gore over spent nuclear fuel, began by saying: “I stand to be corrected, and I defer to your position, you’re probably right, and I’m probably wrong.” He ended his question by saying: “I’m not questioning you; I’m questioning myself.”
Take a number. As one aide headlined an email: with all due respect, we’re doomed. Maybe Jonathan Adler is on to something (I’m kidding . . . a swift kick in the phone lines, LTEs, mail room, and town hall meetings might crystallize some thinking).