Since Donald Trump squeaked out an electoral college victory, I’ve probably written more columns about Claire McCaskill than I have about the Great Orange Buffoon, otherwise known as the President-elect who lost the popular vote. But, appearances aside, I don’t really obsess about McCaskill qua McCaskill. Every single Democrat in the Congress is important if there’s to be any kind of resistance against Trump and the ugly GOP juggernaut. Since she’s my Democrat, so to speak, I guess I feel I’ve got a responsibility to keep an eye on her.
Which is why I’m feeling good today (or as good as I can as we descend into era of the Great Orange Conflagration). Claire stood up and showed some backbone.
Senate Republicans began the process of paving the way for ACA repeal yesterday – hiding, of course, behind the Trump presser and the cabinet confirmation hearings that were, in turn, also overshadowed by the spectacularly horrible and embarrassing Trump press conference. They hoped we wouldn’t notice given all the noise generated by Trump and the confirmation hearings.
Senate Democrats met the first test. They stood together against the repeal bulldozer and even though they went down before it, they scored some points. They offered amendments that forced Republicans to go on the record against important Obamacare features like the provisions for preexisting conditions. And during the final vote, Democrats also tried, as well as they as they could given the repressive process enforced by the Republican Senate leaders, to voice protest.
McCaskill stood up with the rest; as DailyKos’ Joan McCarter reported:
… One by one, senators from the whole spectrum of the Democratic party stood with their constituents to reject repeal. That includes the red and purple state senators up for re-election in 2018, the group that Republicans think they can peel away from Democrats. Jon Tester (D-MT), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Joe Manchin (D-WV)—all stood in defiance of Republicans and their rush to repeal, with no replacement bill in sight.
In the video included in McCarter’s DailyKos post you can see how the GOP tried to steamroll the process – a preview of something I suspect we’ll be seeing lots of over the next few years – as well as how our Democrats signaled defiance.
In the end every Republican in the Senate – including Missouri Republican Roy Blunt voted to kill every provision that can be killed via the budget reconciliation process. Every Democrat voted against it. There it is folks. The politicians who don’t care if Americans die versus those who believe that they’re in Washington to ensure our welfare. As Senator Schumer observed, Republicans’ blind rush to repeal Obamacare will create “chaos in place of affordable care,” and we’ve got to hold them responsible for it.
Roy Blunt better get some calls and emails calling him out for his shameful vote in favor of this procedural blueprint for taking healthcare away from so many of us.
And Claire McCaskill better get lots of phone calls and emails saying “thank you” for standing up when we need her. She needs to know that we’ll remember who fought for us during the coming dark days.
* 1st and 2nd sentences changed, sentence added at end of 3rd paragraph, and text edited slightly elsewhere for clarity 1/13, 12:11 am.