Sen Cornyn and the calculus of faux opposition

First, men –  a reminder: Get your woman something for Valentine’s Day. Flowers, chocolate, a diamond ring, whatever it takes. Show your love. Even if you are a dishonest scoundrel, do that. Especially if you are a dishonest scoundrel, do that, it might get your mistakes forgiven.

Maybe that is  why scoundrels sometimes learn to be good at the ‘do something bad, then make a big display of some small token of goodness to cover the tracks’.  Which kinds of reminds me of our scoundrels in DC, coming home and saying “See, I brought flowers” and we are wondering “What are they trying to hide?”

I got this message at 3:36PM from Senator Cornyn’s PR staffers – ‘Cornyn votes against raising the debt ceiling’:

“After five years of out-of-control White House spending, including a jobless, trillion-dollar stimulus, now is hardly the time to give the President carte blanche to continue his spending spree. I voted against raising the debt ceiling because we need sensible reforms to cut down on spending and restrain Washington going forward.”

Bully for him, right?What a brave Senator, voting ‘no’ on a vote that goes straight to the White House on an affirmative near-party-line vote, giving President Obama carte blanche for another year or more.  The rest of the story is this:

The Senate approved the measure by a near party-line 55-43 vote. All of the “aye” votes came from Obama’s Democratic allies.

But the vote to pass the measure was anticlimactic after a dramatic 67-31 tally — held open for more than an hour — in which the measure cleared a filibuster hurdle insisted on by tea party Republican Ted Cruz of Texas.

The Senate’s top two Republicans — both facing tea party challenges in their GOP primaries this year — provided crucial momentum after a group of Republicans were clearly reluctant to walk the plank. Several other Republicans then switched their votes in solidarity.


So basically Cornyn and McConnell ‘bravely’ defeated the Sen Cruz filibuster (like they did in late September to the CR) so they could bravely vote ‘no’ on a bill they claim to vigorously oppose. Why not support the filibuster if they opposed the bill?

Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, and Senator John Cornyn of Texas, the Republican whip, waited nearly a half-hour as their Republican colleagues refused to vote to end debate on the bill. When it was clear that the debt ceiling increase would fail, they stepped forward in tandem to deliver the deciding votes. Other Republicans followed by changing their votes.

[Among the switchers: Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake of Arizona and Orrin Hatch of Utah.]

Senate Republicans — unwilling to default on the nation’s debt but hoping to avoid voting for any debt ceiling increase — seethed at Mr. Cruz’s move, which many said was purely political and which forced them to scramble to produce at least five votes to end debate and move on to a final vote.


So the Senate leaders want to oppose the bill rhetorically but allow the continuation of the Obama Regime power in actuality. It’s just another day in the McConnell-Cornyn calculus of faux opposition.  And the kicker is – they get annoyed when the game is exposed by a more honest Senator like Sen Cruz. Of course they would be! Wouldn’t you get annoyed if some pipsqueak exposed your little games for all to see. But there was another way: Support the filibuster! Then get Reid, Boehner and McConnell to knock heads and add the trinkets and amendments needed to make this deserving of support.

As a Texas voter, I’ve seen Senator Cornyn make the wishy-washy statements on immigration, then do … not much to stop it … then vote against the final passage, playing it safe but never upsetting the balance of power or actually pushing back with real conservative policies and the tactics to be effective.