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(cross posted at The Inverse Square Blog, and picked up by John Cole and Brad Delong)

...pigs would fly, I know, but if McConnell had any sense of decency he would do the following:

Vote for the stimulus package in the Senate.

Why?  So that his colleague, Sherrod Brown, would not have to leave his mother's wake (say that again, in all caps:  HIS MOTHER'S WAKE) in Ohio, fly to DC, cast his vote, and then fly back to Ohio in time for his mother's funeral (say that again, in all caps:  HIS MOTHER'S FUNERAL) tomorrow.

I mean, there is no doubt that the bill will pass.  There is no question that Brown's vote will be the needed 60th to ensure passage.  The only other option, the only other vote to provide the margin of those who voted at the last, procedural hurdle is Ted Kennedy, and he's dealing with brain cancer (caps again:  BRAIN CANCER), so it falls to Brown, trying to bury his mother, or some one Republican with a sense of decency sufficiently developed to switch his or her vote in Brown's stead.

And what gravels me is that there would be no political price to be paid for such a switch -- in fact, it would have only benefits for the brave senator to do so, and for his or her party.  It could be made clear that this is purely  a gesture, not of bipartisanship, but of sympathy and support for a co-worker dealing with a terribly rough time.

No one would accuse McConnell of betraying his principles (he has some-?-ed.) (shhh--tl) were he to so vote.  He could state very clearly what he was doing and why, (and send some sympathy Brown's way).  He could be seen, for just a moment, as human being rather than a partisan hack.  Nothing but good could acrue to him here.

And I can't believe there would be any electoral fall out that would follow what would be clearly understood by all as a classy gesture.  McConnell -- or Gregg, or any of a number of Republicans of impeccable (sic) right wing ideological pedigree  -- would be able to demonstrate a kind of reasonableness that the rest of their recent actions hide pretty well.

Even better:  they would be praised for the kind of gesture that the GOP has found it impossible to make in response to what polls show is a pretty effective campaign to suggest that they are refusing the proffered hand of a very popular president.

Plus, of course, its just the right thing to do, the sort of care you take for those with whom you work -- even the ones with whom you disagree, who you may in fact dislike -- just because it makes the world a slightly better place in a way that costs nothing.  Your mama told you to do such things; I and my wife work on my eight year old all the time to get him to internalize the notion that kindness is the default option in his dealings with the world.

Is this so hard to get?  To do?  If you are a Senate Republican, I guess so.

I can't even get angry about this one.  It's just sad.  These are damaged people.

Originally posted to Bostontom on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 07:57 PM PST.

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