By now, everyone has heard that the Senate Republicans’ “repeal and replace” is dead, or at least in hospice care.
Let’s take a ride in the Daines-Zinke pimpmobile to see how they handled the situation.
Daines offered up an amendment to the health-care bill advancing single-payer. He hates single-payer but ahead of the 2018 elections, particularly Montana’s, he wanted to flush out “socialists” who might support the idea. Playing politics instead of representing Montanans seems to be Daines’ strong suit. Pogreba has the replay here. Also, here’s a great exchange between Daines and Sen. Bernie Sanders. Game, set, match: Bernie.
But unfortunately, Sen. Jon Tester wasn’t on the same page as most Democrats in the Senate and voted ‘no’ along with three other Democrats, an Independent and all the Republicans. The 43 other Dems voted ‘present’. Here’s the Flathead Memo’s take.
For the final “skinny repeal” vote held Thursday, trained SEAL and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke phoned Alaska’s senators and threatened to halt projects in the Last Frontier if they didn’t vote ‘yes’. What role the Department of the Interior has in the health care debate is a reasonable question. It was a bumbling move, as the Washington Post points out:
This demonstrated the degree to which Zinke’s ham-handed phone call was political malpractice. The secretary, or whoever at the White House ordered him to make the calls, clearly doesn’t understand the awesome power that comes with being the chairman of a Senate committee. Only an amateur would threaten the person who has oversight over his agency! If she wants, Murkowski can make Zinke’s life so unbelievably miserable. He has no idea. (The Interior Department did not respond to requests for comment.)
One might wonder where Daines and Zinke fall in the following quote:
“Some would say a whore don’t have no expectation of Heaven. I’d say, if she gives value for cash, she’s got a better shot at God’s blessing than your average banker. Jesus loved Mary Magdalene. He kicked over tables when He met a moneylender.” Elizabeth Bear in Karen Memory
Montanans should be embarrassed that we’ve allowed Daines and Zinke to advance this far in politics.
UPDATE: I was taken to task for my “whore” reference, and rightfully so, but let me explain. My apologies to female and male prostitutes everywhere. I meant no “slut shaming.” Those folks ended up in the trade because of abuse. addiction and other demeaning factors. There’s no excuse for the path Daines and Zinke have taken, and I thought the quote from a noted, award-winning female author summed it up. Replace “banker” with Daines or Zinke, and you get my gist, I hope.