Posted by: mutantpoodle | February 19, 2010

The Other Questions

Since yesterday I railed on the DC media for focusing on politics as opposed to issues, I figured I’d throw two more questions into the mix – one for Maine Senator Olympia Snowe, and one for Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell.

Although it seems like years, it was barely 4 months ago that Snowe voted for the Senate Finance Committee’s version of health care reform, calling it a vote in favor of the process.  While she said it wasn’t a guarantee that she’d vote for a final bill, her statement struck this high-minded tone:

Is this bill all that I would want? Far from it. Is it all that it can be? No. But when history calls, history calls, and I happen to think that the consequences of inaction dictate the urgency of Congress to take every opportunity to demonstrate its capacity to solve the monumental issues of our time.

So here are my questions for Snowe: Do you still believe that the consequences of inaction dictate that health care reform pass? Are you being pressured to filibuster by the Republican caucus, using committee assignments as a weapon?

Is history still calling, or has it hung up?

As for McConnell, the question to him is this: Are individual members of his caucus free to vote their conscience on either cloture or the final health care bill? Can you promise that members of your caucus who voted for cloture will not be punished by the caucus for such a vote?

I don’t usually use the words “conscience” and “Republican” in the same sentence, absent a negative modifier, but for all that Senator Snowe has been recently incoherent on health care reform, it was apparent during the summer that she understood that our current system is significantly flawed.  Her behavior since her committee vote, justifying her no vote by saying she needed more time, makes the most sense if you assume she’s been told that any power she has in the GOP caucus will evaporate if she votes with the Democrats on this issue in any way, shape, or form.

The GOP talks a lot about transparency.  Be nice if was in evidence on this matter.

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