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.



  1. Jim DeMint, over at the Heritage Foundation, is playing a big but obscure role in bankrolling these Tea Party types.

  2. CarolF964

    Republicans are always good for a morning chuckle.
    Their problem is the Tea Party.
    They don’t have a plan to divest themselves of that plague. Any plan they have is shot down by Tea Party members leaving the poor Republicans out in the cold with how so many Americans really feel on the major issues.
    The Tea Party has become like the unwanted, loud-mouthed, upsetting relative some families are stuck with at the holidays. Until the Republicans tell them they are unwelcome to continue their behaviors, and stick to it, than they will dread all events where those persons will be present.

    • What’s interesting about the TP politicians is they get their way. I’d like to know what hold they have on the establishment republicans that allows that? If the corporations really didn’t like the caustic nature of the TP pols, they’d fund opposition candidates to get rid of them, but they aren’t. In fact it seems the TP’s are getting the money they need and that is where the Heritage Foundation and Jim DeMint come into play.

      I read recently where the establishment repubs are not pleased with the Heritage Foundation and the role they are playing but I have to wonder if its all an act and the TPs are really the new face of the republican party. Somebody behind the scenes is funding them and with big money. It can’t just be the Koch’s.

  3. Here’s another slant on the hope change thing so many of us voted for and now realize we were decieved. These people only look out for their own kind and throw the people crumbs. My disgust with the way things are in DC doesn’t mean I’m voting for republicans or TP’s, just that I like so many are realizing both parties are corrupt to the core. We need campaign finance reform and its never going to happen.


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