John McCain promised this week that Senate Republicans will now be showing up to work drunk and refusing to do any “work” while at work — except getting more drunk, by themselves, on behalf of the Constitution, which none of them have read. Everyone in the country is responding to the health care bill’s passage in different ways. This just happens to be how the GOP is dealing with it.
Well, now they don’t even want to be at work in the afternoon. It turns out they’d prefer to get drunk at the bar starting at 2:01, so no more legislatin’ after 2 PM. These sentences are not a joke. Well, technically the Republican Senators will still be at work, they just won’t go to any subcommittee meetings. Let’s read on, and see what the grown-ups are doing.
So, apparently there’s this arcane Senate rule that subcommittees can’t meet after 2 PM — seems arbitrary, but what do I know — without unanimous consent from both parties. (Also, I feel like over the past year we’ve learned that the Senate has a provision for everything — no sandwiches shall be eaten on the third Thursday after the Minority Leader’s Golden Birthday, etc.) Well, yesterday the Republicans just flat out went limp like a child in the super market, but with less dignity, and withheld their consent.
ThinkProgress reported yesterday Tom Carper (D-DE) had to stop proceedings of the Senate Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing because the GOP hadn’t agreed to work past 2, which, you know, sign me up for that rule. AM I RIGHT, FOLKS? Coburn responded:
I have just been advised by my staff that on the floor of the Senate there has been a move to stop all the proceedings in hearings that are going on in the Senate, and we are compelled to stop at this point in time. And I regret it, but there are rules here when we reach point in time and unless there’s unanimous consent to proceed for — as you may recall — unless there’s unanimous consent in the Senate to be able to proceed, we can only go on for so long and then we have to stop our hearings. And the whistle has blown. [emphasis added.]
So, the GOP was just like, “Fuck it, man, shut the place down.” This move is good policy (stop all policy!) and good politics (Americans hate working, and so do we). In short, refusing to work is the best thing the Republican party has done since Ike helped build the highway system.