33 1/3

As much as I would like to be talking about music, I am instead compelled to write about the 33rd house vote to repeal health care reform (that’s ACA to liberals and Obamacare to conservatives). I thought it was the 31st, but I stand corrected. This kind of political theater makes my head hurt.

We are asked to believe that the vote demonstrates Republican commitment to principles (e.g. opposing “government takeover”) rather than just reminding their constituents that they are against all things Obama. Empty symbolism, a try for the Guinness Book of World Records, how ever you look at it its a time waster. Which is a less elitist word for obstructionist.

I would love to see that hard line, unified style come back to bite when folks realize that standing in the way of something is not the same as doing something. Maybe Trent Lott is right and there should be events like Seersucker Thursday in the House for team building and civility. Oh wait, the Senate just discontinued that tradition because it’s “frivolous”. I guess rope courses and communication seminars won’t make it to Boehner’s “Ways to Get to Compromise” list.

I am now seeing and hearing stories about how much it costs to stage one of these symbolic votes, which used to be occasional before they became regular, and $2 mil is a pretty symbolic number. Thats what it costs to run Congress every day. And there are no refunds, just voting day.

Michele Bachman on Fox News said the repeal vote was a “foretaste of what’s going to come this fall” which I mistakenly read as “foreskin”.  Freudian slip as I contemplate a Romney presidency I guess. Bachman also noted that house republicans have “so many positive plans to bring down the price of health care. We can’t wait to do it! I think all of us have plans up on our Web site. We have so much that we can do. That’s what we can’t wait to do is just unleash it all after this fall’s election.”

Since neither Bachman nor Boehner has proposed a bill to replace ACA, we will be in for more “showcase” votes to quote Bachman again.

A musical interlude as they (and we) gird loins for vote number 34. How can they resist? They’re really good at it now.