One Man, One Vote

Today an important vote in the Senate can be chalked up in part to the tea party movement. On a vote to end debate where 60 votes were needed, the 2011 Defense Authorization Bill was defeated in a 56-43 vote. In a 100% political move Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid attached several leadership provisions to the bill pretty much assuring it’s demise. These add-ons were the DREAM Act on immigration and repealing the don’t ask, don’t tell policy in the military. Three Democrats voted no, including Reid in a procedural move to allow him to reintroduce the measures later. The other two were, about to be voted out Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln, and Mark Pryor, the other Senator from Arkansas.

How does the tea party movement figure into this ? Had Reid had one more vote this would have been a done deal. The two Senators from Arkansas would have been co-opted to vote with the Democrats and they would have had their 60 votes — but for the vote of Sen. Scott Brown. Teapartiers helped Brown, who when he entered the Massachusetts race was 25-30 points behind in the polls. That one vote, at least here, was monumental in keeping Reid from trivializing our democratic process by attaching provisions to the Defense Bill with the sole purpose of helping him and other Democrats get re-elected. In other words Reid was introducing issues, not passable legislation, that the Democrats felt would help their candidates this November. Thankfully the party of know prevailed but I suspect we will see these issues come up again in the lame-duck Congress.

And guess which Senator didn’t vote ? Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. She’s somewhere contemplating what it will mean to lose two statewide elections within two months.

Y buenas dias (noche) en Espania.


  1. Randy in Richmond says:

    Well, Harry was foiled again. The “Let’s Pay Off the Unions by Gagging Everybody Else” bill, known as The DISCLOSE Act, failed today as Democrats didn’t get the 60 votes they needed for clouture. The vote was 57-41 as the Maine girls and Scott Brown held firm. If we can just get to when Congress takes their election break…