March 19, 2004

Trolling for Links (a Pro Kerry Post)

VodkaPundit offers a bounty in the form of a link, to the first person who defends the 'first I voted for it before I voted against it' statement on supporting the 87B funding allocation to support operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I don't think I can manage to spin this as exactly helpful, but it is, in the narrowest sense accurate. The real problem is a general one, the problem of horrible civic education in the United States. The truth is that legislation is often loaded down with various special pleadings designed to garner extra votes, votes that would not have been forthcoming if the measure were simply an up or down vote on the issue addressed by the bill title. This phenomenon occurs more often in the Senate than in the House which has better rules on the subject and more central control regarding the amendment process.

All sorts of votes happen in the Senate in the struggle for the soul of a bill with various factions voting on both sides of adoption at various points. What Kerry was trying to say was that he supported the idea of supporting the troops but at a certain point of additional pork, irrelevant legislative language, and bad policy prescriptions, it makes sense to vote against final passage and immediately get to work on a better bill.

Sometimes this strategy even works, improving policy, which is why just about every Senator does it at one time or another and the inside baseball nature of the strategy is why every Senator running for President gets slammed for it. This also at least partially explains why so few sitting Senators get elected to President.

So is Kerry a courageous man of principle for his vote against final passage? 11 of his Senate colleagues think so.

Posted by TMLutas at March 19, 2004 01:48 PM