February 7, 2017 1 Comment
Jim Newell explains why Democrats’ frantic efforts to get a 3rd Republican Senator to oppose DeVos are unlikely to succeed:
This does not mean that it would be in vain to continue calling or writing them urging them to change their minds. If the heat is turned up to an extreme following a senator’s announcement of support, one of those senators could rethink. The idea is for a senator to feel that the trouble he or she would get in with constituents for supporting DeVos would be greater than the trouble with Trump for voting against her.
That’s a high bar to clear, and it’s why Democrats are having such a hard time finding that third Republican defection. It’s not just any vote against DeVos—it’s the one that would seal DeVos’ fate, and embarrass the Trump administration. That vote will be expensive. Earning the lifetime enmity of the new president, as well as falling out of favor with the Republican Senate leadership, would make the would-be 51st senator’s life miserable, without a clear, immediate payoff beyond earning the undesirable title of Democrats’ Favorite Republican Senator. The would-be 51st senator would have to feel that the future of his or her career would be fatally threatened, by some combination of irate constituents and well-funded interest groups, by voting for Betsy DeVos.
Yep. At this point, that’s a very, very tough move for any Republican to take. Now, if 4-5 had come out in concert against her earlier you couldn’t really pin it on any one of them. But at this point, fairly or not, any Republican Senator who comes out against DeVos will experience serious rage. Alas, it is sad that virtually all Republicans will approve someone so transparently and patently unqualified. Yes, Presidents should have fairly wide latitude with their cabinet picks. But DeVos is beyond that latitude. Surely there would have been some actually competent people who were rabidly all about school choice. Then again, maybe liberals should be glad we get the incompetent version.