Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Republican Shell Game

We had an election. We worked hard to make a difference in Washington and in our local elections. We thought we sent a clear message and that both the Democrats and Republicans would 'get it'. The Republicans keep saying they got it. It appears they didn't.

I'm watching what is going on in this lame duck session and I am more disgusted than ever. It seems to me that the Republicans are simply playing a tricky shell game. They are moving targets, hiding behind a "good" vote in order to shove through a "bad" vote.

I picture a group of the Republican top dogs sitting around discussing the START treaty. They want it to go through but know the public is against it, that there are extremely valid reasons to wait until next year. Maybe the START treaty was a benign, so they thought, vote they could "give" Obama and crew if they gave the Republicans a victory in another area.

Discussion ensues as to how they're going to appease the voters yet obtain their objective...  The current powers-that-be in the Republican hierarchy scrutinize the records of each of their co-horts, checking to see how strong they are in their home states and decide Georgia's Johnny Isakson is on point, is to be one of the designated sacrifices to get the thing through. They allowed him to vote the way they think the public would like on a requisite number of votes and now it's his turn to give one up for the team.

They know they have Scott Brown, Olympia Snow and the liberal end of the Republican Party, they just have to come up with a few more to get it through. Then they can beat their chests to the public and say they really didn't want the START treaty to pass. Lindsey Graham, who has been sliding in the estimation of conservative voters, is allowed to be the one to act like he's righteously indignant, is in tune with the tea party/9-12, etc. conservatives.

Isakson says he can't go it alone, his fellow Georgian Saxby Chambliss is going to have to vote, too. He also wants to make sure he's going to get some pet project included somewhere along the line if he's going to take one for the team. Negotiations start.

I have come to believe that on each of the votes that "we" have lost during the lame duck session, and prior, that type negotiation, or something very similar, has happened. These past few weeks Republicans have handed over victory after victory to the Democrats and Obama. It would be interesting to track the pattern of who votes on the Dem side on various controversial bills over time to see how the shell game works. They've always played it, but now it seems they've gotten a little sneakier.

As with any shell game the shill running the game is faster well able to fool most of us. Even knowing we're being duped it's virtually impossible to catch them at their game.

Yes, we busted the Omnibus bill, sent the Dems packing on that one. But we could have had it all. We could have held them off until the next session. If the Republicans stood strong we would have started fresh instead of ending the year with a whole lot of horrific baggage.

I guess we're going to need to work even harder to get rid of the rest of them and hope they haven't corrupted the new bunch we just sent to Washington by the time we send them some support in two years. I didn't expect things to change overnight, but I certainly wanted to believe that more would have gotten the message.

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