Commentary Magazine


Contentions

Remember December 3

Remember December 3. It’s a date that will pop up in many campaign ads next year when they roll those votes (Sen. Bill # 9999) with the date (in this case December 3) to show voters that the candidate’s opponent really did cast a vote on a given day. The vote yesterday was to cut $500B from Medicare. To be more exact, as Politico reports:

The Senate voted to keep nearly $500 billion in Medicare spending cuts in the bill, rejecting an amendment from Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) to send the legislation back to the Finance Committee with orders to strip it out. The measure would have eliminated the major funding source for the bill. All 40 Republicans joined Ben Nelson and Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) to support the McCain amendment, which failed 42-58.

That’s right: 58 Democrats voted to slash half a trillion from Medicare. And those who are up for re-election next year will hear about it over and over again.

What’s more, two Democrats bolted. What’s that mean? A Senate source replied with his own question: “They couldn’t get Ben Nelson and Jim Webb on this, so will they be there at the end to vote for $500 billion in Medicare cuts?” Hmm. We don’t know. And before we get there, as Politico notes, ”the public option, abortion and financing the plan remained serious obstacles to negotiating a final bill.”

For now, the greatest deliberative body in the world continues to deliberate. And the ad makers will be making notes.