Yesterday, Matt bemoaned Democrats’ total inability to enforce party discipline, not even on make-or-break votes on key legislation:
They can enforce party discipline by stripping recalcitrant Dems of chairmanships and withholding campaign funds.
It’s not just that we don’t enforce party discipline. Recalcitrant Democrats seem to believe they have something to gain from threatening to defect on key votes. What else explains Mary Landrieu‘s long shadowboxing rigmarole that she has just brought to an end?
And let’s not even talk about Blanche Lincoln. I’d ask if anyone in their right minds really believes that she will side with the Republicans and vote against even bringing up the healthcare reform bill for debate (let alone a vote). Except, that would assume Lincoln is in her right mind. And I must confess I have seen no evidence of that for a good long while now.
*** Update, 11:48 a.m. ***
I had totally missed this piece of news:
Take Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu. She’s now likely to vote with Mr. Reid on Saturday after an amendment was inserted to increase her state’s federal Medicaid subsidies by $100 million. The amendment devotes two pages to language making certain that only Louisiana would be entitled to the extra cash.
Why enforce party discipline using the stick when there are all these fat, juicy taxpayer-funded carrots you can dole out instead? Never mind that it gives anyone with the least bit of credibility the leverage to demand a bribe in exchange for their vote. The taxpayer-funded-carrot farm yields more than enough carrots to go around.
Am I the only one who keeps hearing Rod Blagojevich in the background, going: “I’ve got this thing and it’s fucking golden, and I’m just not giving it up for fuckin’ nothing.”
Blagojevich tried to sell his power to nominate Obama‘s Senate successor (for corporate cash, for himself), and that was venal and contemptible and reprehensible. Mary Landrieu sells her Senate vote (for tax-payer money, for her constituents), and that’s somehow not?
Like the man in the joke said: “We’ve already settled who you are, lady. We’re only haggling over the price now.”
*** Update #2, 12:07 p.m. ***
Blanche Lincoln has also finally stopped playing hard-to-get:
“Although I do not agree with everything in this bill, I have concluded that it is more important that we begin this debate,” she said. “I will vote in support of cloture to debate this bill.”
No word yet on whether she, too, prostituted herself.
When she goes “it is more important that we begin this debate,” in case you’re wondering “more important than what?”, I think she means “more important than giving up any hope of ever being re-elected, now or in the future” (at least as a Democrat).