Let’s say I were a liberal Republican Senate Majority Leader. I have two major concerns before me: Nothing I really want can get done with conservatives on one side of me and Democrats to the other. There are three issues to take care of. The first has to do with highway funds and the special money that gets set aside in pet projects for all to enjoy. The second issue is the Export-Import Bank being reauthorized, which I really support and want to keep getting money from the businesses involved. The third issue is about the funding of Planned Parenthood, which has really rattled (and probably understandably so) my conservative colleagues.
I pride myself on being someone who will lead the Republican party in the Senate and I need a way to really solidify my majority and stick it to the Democrats. Maybe the conservatives won’t get all they want, but I can still throw them a bone, right? Right.
So, the first thing I do is the the highway stuff done, completely separate from everything else. Frankly, it’s something I want to get out of the way. The people who care too much about how much we spend will not like it, but whatever. It’s more procedural than anything else. Let’s just get it done because I know I have the numbers from both sides to pass it with little controversy.
Now, this Ex-Im thing. Woo, boy. I really want this to get passed, and there are a number of folks on my side who dislike it. However, the Democrats have been on my ass for years about being in bed with big business. But, I know they really support the Ex-Im bank because they get the same donations I do. Let’s make it a separate bill and get it passed, but with a bunch of Democrats on the record as supporting Wall Street. That’s a pretty big issue that we can draw up some great ads for and maybe split their votes during re-election time.
Now, Planned Parenthood. I know it won’t pass, but I don’t see any reason to block it from hitting the floor. Let’s whip all the Republicans to support it, see if we can’t get a Democrat or two, and get the bill to the floor. My base will be happy I put it on the floor even if I know it won’t get signed by the president. But, the polling will look good for me and bad for the Democrats, who are really making things awful for me (almost as awful as the conservatives I can appease with this bill). Hell, if we got Planned Parenthood defunding and a 20 week abortion ban to the floor, we can really nail the Democrats in the polls.
…So, we couldn’t do that?