There’s not a whole lot of commentary required on this one. Just read the report from The Hill.
Senate Republicans broke in large numbers from President Bush and his would-be Republican successor on Thursday, handing Democrats critical victories on domestic programs.
Twenty-four Republicans defied the president and Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, by supporting a massive domestic-spending plan as part of the emergency war-spending bill. That included a $52 billion veterans’ education benefits package opposed by the White House that has become a flashpoint in the presidential campaign.
The 75-22 vote ensured the Senate could overcome a presidential veto on a $165 billion war-funding package tied with the domestic-spending initiatives, which also includes a 13-week extension of unemployment benefits and a delay of Medicaid rules.
Later in the day, 35 Republicans voted with 47 Democrats to override a presidential veto on a five-year farm bill, the second time a veto has been overturned in Bush’s presidency. McCain calls the farm subsidies in the bill wasteful.
The votes were an indication that maintaining GOP unity on hot-button issues might become more difficult with congressional Republicans sensing major losses in November.
Which came first, the chicken or the egg? The answer apparently is up for debate. Some like myself believe that this crap only alienates conservative voters and makes the path to reelection more difficult. Maybe I’m wrong.
“I think they get a little skittish,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) of his Republican colleagues.
“They’re scared, some of them, of ads, but they’ll have to answer for themselves,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), whose narrower GI bill with McCain did not get a vote Thursday.
When asked what the votes said about Bush’s influence on Capitol Hill, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) responded slyly: “What influence?”
Nearly every Republican facing a tough reelection voted for the domestic-spending package, and Democrats acknowledged that funding for veterans’ benefits helped them secure a veto-proof majority.
I wonder who is advising these GOP folks. If they are skittish about failing to support ridiculous pork-barrel spending, it really begs the question of whether such spending will endear them to voters. If this type of wasteful BS does earn them votes, then I feel sorry for our nation. I also am willing to admit that there is no room for conservative principles in this nation if that is the case.
This really makes me want to cry.