This debate in Helena tomorrow might decide the fate of the bill. We’ll be attacked on two fronts: the runaway, and the fear of potential cuts in state aid and social programs which might result from balancing the budget. It’s the latter that concerns me, because it’s the one that will cost us Democrat votes. The obvious rejoinder is that if this country goes belly up, which we are on course to do, there won’t be any money for anything, including Social Security. In Tennessee and Louisiana this worked like a charm, other states not so well, others not at all.
I hope that debate comes first, because the runaway argument will, I think, get us Democrat votes. It will be made by the most shrill hard right of the Republican Caucus, by people the Democrats despise. In my dreams Rep. Ellie Hill gets up and cuts these dopes into mincemeat. That would make an impression, and make clear to the rest of her caucus that voting with these whack jobs, against our bill, is doing them a favor they don’t deserve.
I really don’t know who will make the Bircher case. The three we lost in committee, Bennett, Doane and Manzella, didn’t seem the type to get up and make much of a speech. Maybe they won’t talk much at all, figuring they’ve got the votes. It will be Matthew’s job to provoke them. Since he’ll be laying in to the Birch Society, that should come natural.
If we get South Dakota tomorrow it’s a big deal. Especially if Hal Wick can get on the Mark Levin Show, and Kasich is able to trumpet the news. Not because we’ll get much coverage, which we won’t, but because we’ll be laying the groundwork for a repeat performance when we get 26, which should be in the next two weeks. And again with 27, a week later. And so on. Eventually this becomes a story, a horse race political story.
The way I look at it every time we get a chance to frame the story it’s us vs. the John Birch Society. Those are the two contestants, and amending the Constitution, or not, is the prize. It might work.
Because it’s true.