Monday, May 19, 2008

Farm Bill epitomizes demoralized Repub Party

Robert Novak captures it pretty well: "Today's Republican Party -- divided, drifting, demoralized -- is epitomized by the farm bill." Thank you, Senators Alexander and Corker, for jumping on the bandwagon as it heads into the abyss.


On May 9, Flake sent Boehner a candid letter: "We need more than individual members of the Republican leadership to state their opposition to the bill. We need the leadership to use its good offices to explain the importance of sustaining the president's veto as opposed to advising members to 'vote their districts.' " Last Tuesday, waiting four days before responding, Boehner rejected the "vote their districts" escape for House Republicans: "I believe they should also vote their consciences, and cast their votes in a manner consistent with the small government principles upon which our party was founded." Boehner took the floor Wednesday to speak against the bill.

But nobody cracked the party whip. On the contrary, Minority Whip Roy Blunt voted for the bill. So did Republican Conference Chairman Adam Putnam, who was seen whipping for passage. House Republicans voted 100 to 91 to approve the bill (with only 15 Democrats opposed), assuring a veto override. Similarly, in the Senate, 35 Republicans voted for the bill. Only 13 Republicans voted no, and the only Democrats opposing it were Rhode Island's two senators.