Sir, you did the best you could, but now it’s time to step aside and give someone else a shot. Your colleagues chose you as Senate minority leader because you know the arcane rules of the US Senate backwards and forwards. Your skill set would be helpful and possibly decisive if the republican caucus consisted of 43 or even 42 members. However, you only have forty votes, two of which, Sens. Snowe and Collins of Maine love to play footsie with the democrats. In short, you never had a shot. Look, any Pats’ fan can tell you having a coach who knows the x’s and o’s better than anyone(Belichick)doesn’t mean bupkiss if you don’t have players able to execute the game plan. Senate majority leader Harry Reid is as likely to be confused with LBJ as Chad Henne is with Peyton Manning, but against an undermanned squad they’ll get the job done just the same. Besides, Harry Reid hasn’t been shy about opening the peoples’ checkbook and buying votes when necessary.
Now that Harry Reid has sixty votes in his pocket it’s time for a new game plan and a new minority leader. To say the way Reid went about getting those votes was seedy would be too kind. But arguing that the process was corrupt is a losing hand. We need a leader that can communicate to the vast majority of Americans that don’t pay attention to the day to day machinations of the Senate. These folks will tune in to talk of “cloture” and “arbitrary timelines” for as long as it takes me to change the channel on a Australian rules football game(match). It’s not that they don’t know what’s happening in D.C. will impact their lives; it’s that they don’t know the rules and never will in a political world ruled by thirty second sound bites. For example, pointing out that the Senate Parliamentarian is a shill for Harry Reid and probably would have let him get anything he wanted out of the Senate via reconciliation if that proved necessary makes about as much sense to your average American as a Christmas card written in sanskrit.
It’s time to storm the barricades,(figurativley speaking Sec. Napolitano and Sen. “Big Sheldon” Whitehouse) and for that we need passion. Sen. McConnell, I say this as one charisma challenged guy to another, you could recite Henry V’s St. Crispins Day speech word for word and still find yourself storming the walls all alone. An obvious replacement for republican standard bearer doesn’t leap out, but we need to try. Maybe there is a diamond in the rough amongst your thirty nine cohorts. I do know, that a rhetorical bomb, “death panels” lobbed by Sarah Palin on her Facebook page caused the previous arbitrary deadlines of August and Thanksgiving to go by the wayside. This legislation provides plenty of opportunities for potential bunker-busters, but we need a leader willing to throw them:
1) The mandates, including provisions for imprisoning Americans that don’t comply.
2) Medicaid exploding state budgets’ except Nebraska of course and the massive property tax increases this will entail.
3) The potential bankrupting and closure of 20% of our nations’ hospitals.
The American people are the only thing standing in the way of this bill’s passage. We need leadership that will give them the information they need to fight it.