This week, the Senate replaced the House as the focal point in the fight to defund Obamacare. Many Tea Party activists hoped Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) would lead Senate Republicans in standing with Senators Lee, Cruz, and the other Tea Party-minded Senators in the defunding fight.
Yesterday, Senator McConnell officially took his place in this debate – against defunding. In the video at the link (also seen below), he stated that he wants an up-and-down vote on defunding, and that “filibustering a bill that defunds Obamacare is not the best route to defunding Obamacare. All it does is shut down the government and keep Obamacare…That would be the result of a filibuster.”
In his speech on the Senate floor, Senator McConnell says a simple up-and-down vote will put pressure on Senate Democrats. This is true. However, it also means Obamacare can be funded with 51 votes, not 60 – which will give several Senate Democrats political cover and fund Obamacare.
This is the classic Washington bait-and-switch. By opposing Obamacare on the up-and-down vote, Senator McConnell can claim he wants the law defunded. However, by supporting cloture, he will usher in Obamacare’s permanence by lowering the vote threshold from 60 to 51.
It gets worse. A senior aide told Breitbart’s Matthew Boyle that Senator McConnell is actively pushing Republicans to vote against a filibuster, which will lead to Obamacare’s funding.
McConnell’s office confirmed the Senator’s support for lowering the vote count needed to amend the House Continuing Resolution, directing attention to the speech made in the video above:
“Once we invoke cloture, the focus will then turn to the Senate Democrats the Majority Leader is counting on to amend it. He can only afford to lose four Democrats if he wants to restore funding for Obamacare. So, if five Senate Democrats vote against the Majority Leader, Obamacare will be defunded. That’s a vote we should want to have.”
This strategy is wishful thinking. No Democratic Senator has ever voted against passage, funding, or implementing Obamacare, which means the Minority Leader is either ignorant enough to not know this or is misleading his constituents and the American people.
Despite Senator McConnell’s abandonment of Senators Lee and Cruz, hope is not yet lost. He is up for re-election next year, which is part of why he is pulling the bait-and-switch show vote. If thousands of his constituents bury his phone lines, e-mail inboxes, and state offices between now and the end of the week, he could change his mind. If he finally decides to not fund Obamacare, the pressure will no longer be on Republicans – it will be on the President and Senator Reid, who will have to decide whether an unpopular, unconstitutional, illegally-modified law is more important than keeping the government running.
One thing the establishment has long misunderstood about the Tea Party is we don’t want show votes that may or may not matter in a year, two years, or the next election. That Beltway strategy was supposed to win Republicans the Presidency and the Senate in 2012; it is now on the ash heap of history. The American people want strong, decisive action that will actually make a difference. Show votes are great for politicians; actual defunding is great for the rest of us.