Post # 171, Bob McKnight's Florida Commentary
"I may not understand the issues, but I can count."
Old Senate Expression
That old Senate expression applies to the current controversary over the Republicans blocking the creation of a Bi-Partisan Commission to look into the January 6 attack on our Capitol. With the split in the Congress so close among Democrats and Republicans, the legislation passed the House, but barely. In the Senate, a filibuster is permitted and that changes the votes required to pass legislation from 50 to 60. The votes cast last week were 35 against and 54 for, with 9 Senators not voting.
The arguments on the two sides are, For: this was an attack on all of government, which means all the government should review how and why it happened. Against: there are already two groups reviewing the same issues and the Democrats want to use the publicity to attack Republicans in the 2022 elections.
In a close vote analysis, it would appear to this writer that the Senate Democrats might be very close to getting the necessary votes to pass the Commission--they only need four Republicans from the 9 that didn't vote. The four from the didn't vote list that I think might be "Whipped" (political terminology for convinced) are as follows, and why:
Senator Pat Toomey, Pennsylvania. The closest to voting for it and not returning to the Senate. He cannot be hurt by Trump in a re-election bid.
Senator Richard Shelby, Alabama. Not returning to the Senate, cannot be hurt by Trump in a re-election bid.
Senator Roy Blount, Missouri. Not returning to the Senate, cannot be hurt by Trump in a re-election bid.
Senator Richard Burr, North Carolina. Not returning to the Senate, cannot be hurt by Trump in a re-election bid.
A last one might be the third ranking Senator, John Thune of South Dakota might reverse his vote because he was attacked by Trump, and might want to even the score if it is just one vote short.
All five Senators may discover their own "Profiles in Courage" if Trump is indicted and found guilty of crimes requiring imprisonment. But that probably won't happen so we will never know what really happened on January 6th because of 44 Republican Senators.
As is said in the well of the Senate Chamber, "I may not understand the issues, but I can count," [the votes].