Republican after Republican has stood on the Senate floor today, mouthing the same old saws we've heard over and over: the harm that will be done to small business, the "pitting Americans against each other" argument (that's rich, coming from Republicans), the "job creators" arguments. It's a gimmick, a waste of time, and it will raise just a "meager" sum of $47 billion. Of course, if it were $47 billion being cut from education, or from Medicaid, or from food stamps, Republicans would be crowing about their "signficant" deficit reduction. It's all a matter of which side of the ledger you're talking about.
For all Republicans' excuses for voting against tax fairness, which they will today, they're not saying that their vote is protecting their presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, and his 13.9 percent tax rate on hundreds of millions in income. They're also not talking about these two basic reasons: Grover Norquist and the Chamber of Commerce. The implied threats from Norquist and the Chamber must weigh very heavily with Republicans to counter this, from today's CNN/ORC poll [pdf].
No opinion 1%
3:10 PM PT: Did you all catch the clerk having to explain to some Senator what it was they're doing there? "This is cloture," she said. Greatest deliberative body in the world....
3:14 PM PT: What a shock. On the first round of voting, no GOP "ayes."
3:16 PM PT: And no Dem "naes," yet. Scott Brown, standing up for the millionaires. (Snowe, too.)
3:18 PM PT: Ok, Pryor (D-AK) is the first Dem "nae." Collins (R-ME) first GOP "aye."
3:24 PM PT: With us on everything but the war.
3:27 PM PT: For what it's worth, he also can't spell "Buffett."
3:30 PM PT: Hunter: Lieberman is "just being a jerk remotely. telewanking."
3:35 PM PT: Apparently they're holding the vote open for some reason. It's clearly not going to reach a 60 vote threshold for cloture. So now is just the hanging around waiting for somebody to show up to vote.
4:05 PM PT: And finally, they declare it over at 51-45. The motion is not agreed to.