Rahmbo's little game: and the 24 Dems who stopped him
by skeptic06, Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 08:18:50 AM EDT
In response to Brer Cheney's radical Constitutional reinterpretations, Rahmbo (I clearly wasn't paying attention!) was noisily proclaiming an upcoming legislative stunt .
(No opprobrium attaches to the word stunt in context: if ever the Congress decides to stick to legislating and nothing but, the world will be a much duller place. Besides, fish gotta swim...)
This was by no means a solo effort of the Feingold censure variety: even Senate colleagues like Durbin (whose subcommittee will be marking up the Senate version of the FY08 financial services apps bill after the recess) and Chucky Boy were talking tough.
Unfortunately, on the night, Rahmbo failed to keep his guys in line: as mentioned in my earlier piece (with links), his amendment failed.
Moreover, no fewer than 24 Dem reps voted against:
Now, I don't know most of them from a hole in the ground; but the names of Murtha, Peterson, Obey and Skelton leap from the page as those of senior guys, one of whom might leave the reservation in a brainstorm or fit of personal animus. But all four?
I've no idea what sort of a count Rahmbo had before he launched his sally; but making such loud threats, and then failing to follow through because of defections from your own ranks, makes the Dem position rather worse than if he'd kept quiet and passed the Cheney goodie-bag without comment.
As for the merits of the stunt itself (as distinct from its execution), sophomoric strikes me as an appropriate tag. I can't imagine who the Dem leadership thought they would impress by bringing off such a coup: even most low info voters (if the registered it at all) would realize they were in I voted for it before I voted against it territory, and the approval rating of the 110th, already vying with that of Bush in the nadir championship, would slide a wee bit further into the mire.
A constitutional donnybrook over starving Dick would be all Bush's Christmases coming at once: everyone would know the Dems would have to retreat, even if they took their initial objective. Which they didn't.
(If the Dems won't go to the mat with Bush over Iraq...)
Of course, the Rahmbo damp squib could be a feint to lull the WH into a false sense of security, while the Dems prepare to make a deadly strike elsewhere. (Ever the optimist, me.)
Perhaps Nancy OK'd the stunt, but then got cold feet, and sent in Murtha and Co as the rescue squad. Perhaps Rahmbo was set up by person or persons unknown.
(Among the 24, there's a disproportionate band of Dogs (full list), but not so disproportionate as to do more than raise the question of an ideological or factional element to what happened.)
Plenty more chances this Congress for Dem MCs to Dick around with VP spending, if they've a yen...