Thursday, May 04, 2017

And Still I Smile.....

I guess I'm more cynical than Charlie Pierce:

I can't deal with the politics now, though. This was a bill constructed to be as cruel as possible to as many people as possible for the benefit of the wealthiest Americans and to give a "win" to an incompetent and vulgar talking yam that flukes and circumstance have placed at the head of a once-great republic. It is an altogether remarkable piece of American political history that should follow the people celebrating it to their graves, to which they will be proceeded by thousands of their fellow citizens, who might not have, had there not been so much to celebrate on Thursday, in Washington, among all the tomb-white monuments.

He's right about the bill.  Several GOP House members have made a point of making it clear that they, personally, don't give a wet snap for people who are not their immediate associates, close family members, friends, or otherwise just NOK.  I get that.  I think I've become inured to it because I've dealt with such people's attitudes toward me in my professional life (when my wife's sister died in a car wreck, I had to rearrange my affairs at the church, and cut short my vacation, to deal with it.  Later I was excoriated for taking that time to neglect my parish, according to my enemies.  Yes, I have to call them my enemies, for that alone, if nothing else.)  I don't disagree with a thing Mr. Pierce said, but still I smile (I don't rise, but I smile) because I know whatever the Senate does, the House won't like it (they passed this because, as Josh Marshall said, the center cannot hold).  I don't trust the Senate; I just know how crazy the House Freedom Caucus is, and even Ted Cruz isn't so crazy he wants to be held responsible for his craziness.

Besides, Cruz is only one Senator among 100.

I felt that way before I saw this:

Senate Republicans on Thursday said that they will come up with their own version of legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare rather than vote on the bill that House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and colleagues in the lower body of Congress have spent weeks hammering into passable shape.

Remember this all has to fit within reconciliation or it's a bust.  Remember, too, it has to allow for a big chunk of the major tax cut Paul Ryan dreams about at night; otherwise all is lost.  And it has to be palatable to the Freedom Caucus, who only liked this last bill because it was even more draconian than the one nobody could approve in March.  And this one got passed because the Senate wasn't going to pass it, anyway.

So is the Senate going to feel pressured to move this out in as haphazard a fashion as Ryan forced the House to do?

There is a tradition that Jefferson coming home from France, called Washington to account at the breakfast-table for having agreed to a second, and, as Jefferson thought, unnecessary legislative Chamber.

"Why," asked Washington, "did you just now pour that coffee into your saucer, before drinking?"

"To cool it," answered Jefferson, "my throat is not made of brass."

"Even so," rejoined Washington, "we pour our legislation into the senatorial saucer to cool it."

Not, in other words, very likely.  (My maternal grandfather always drank his coffee that way.  I like this apocryphal story because it reminds me of him, as kind and gentle a man as I've ever known.)

So, still I smile.

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