Eric Cantor
The Eric Cantor-backed bill to undermine the Affordable Care Act by shifting money around in unproductive ways won't even get a House vote, thanks to opposition from members of his own party who would prefer to hold vote number 40 to repeal Obamacare entirely. This is a delightful blow to Cantor, who has been working so very hard to rebrand his party's message to make it seem like Republicans give a damn about working people, only to run smack into the reality that many of his Republican colleagues don't even want to join him in pretending to care. In fact, many of the freshmen are feeling very wounded that they don't get to join in the repeal fun:
“We have not had a chance as freshmen to do that,” said first-term Rep. Trey Radel (R-FL). “Even if it’s just symbolic—and even if we understand that process-wise we are not going to be able to say, okay we want repeal, it’s done, and it’s over. But this is the issue that so many people around the country who love the Republican Party are frustrated with.”
Seriously, they're arguing over which symbolic attack on Obamacare the House should be voting on. Cantor's bill was a part of a broader rebranding agenda he's embarking on, from school vouchers to replacing overtime pay with flex or comp time. He'd staked this bill out as his ground and said there would be a vote. But:
In the end, the votes were not there—not even close, House vote counters conceded.

“We absolutely intend to bring this legislation back up,” said Doug Heye, a spokesman for Mr. Cantor.

Way to try to make it look like your boss didn't lose face when everyone knows he did, Doug! Very smooth.

(As a side note: Is there anything, even abstinence-only sex ed and pushing creationism into the schools, that shows the intellectual bankruptcy of the Republican Party more clearly than that Eric Cantor and Paul Ryan are considered among its intellectual leaders?)

The problem is as it so often is: If the damage Republicans could do was restricted to the Republican Party, we could all go make popcorn and settle in for some enjoyable viewing. But this is one of the chambers of our nation's legislative branch we're talking about—the less broken one, even—and this is the debate the members of the majority party are having. Do we hold the symbolic 40th vote to repeal a law that's gotten somewhat more popular since passage despite our sustained campaign against it, or do we hold a symbolic first vote to make it look like we have a health care policy beyond "not that"?

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 07:01 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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