A new political term arises: Vote No, Hope Yes
Republican lawmakers who don’t much like their Tea Party brethren but are afraid of them have unwittingly spawned a term for their craven charades.
Joan Walsh EXPLAINS:
[T]here’s more to be said about the debacle in the Senate this week, when GOP leaders were forced to vote to move forward with a bill to lift the debt ceiling after saboteur Ted Cruz filibustered it. Having made the world safe for Democrats to do the right thing and vote for the bill, all 43 Republicans then voted against it (two didn’t vote at all).
I dislike Cruz as much as the next sensible person, but I actually think we owe him some gratitude, for exposing the charade at the heart of modern Republican politics today: the desire by Republicans, reluctantly abetted by Democrats, to avoid the wrath of Tea Party crazies and pretend they don’t want to do things like lift the debt ceiling, when in fact they know it’s essential.
The cowardly strategy apparently even has a name: “Vote No, Hope Yes,” in which Republicans vote against a common sense solution to a stalemate – like the deals to avoid the fiscal cliff last January, or to reopen the government in October – while actually hoping the measures pass by the grace of Democrats.
This cynical and dangerous approach to politics actually went to new lows on Wednesday, when McConnell asked to waive the normal procedures of the Senate and let his colleagues vote silently, so no one would know how close Ted Cruz came to winning – and the rest of us came to losing. With financial markets on the verge of panic, Republicans “dropped the parliamentary equivalent of a curtain on the voting as it was in progress,” in the words of Associated Press writer Andrew Taylor.
Instead of the normal process of verbal “ayes” and “nays” recorded by the Senate clerk (and C-SPAN), senators could quietly indicate support with no roll-calling or record, just the informal vote-counting of leadership. When the only reliable members of the GOP sanity caucus, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, balked at giving McConnell and others cover for their “Vote No, Hope Yes” dishonesty, the GOP minority leader was forced to scramble to get to 60 votes. That’s when McConnell switched his vote from no to yes, as did top deputy John Cornyn [above], also facing a Tea Party primary battle. Then another 10 Republicans followed suit. And then they all voted against the actual bill.