Lindsey Graham has been inspired by the Texas Democrats who are thwarting a move to dismantle democracy and advance voter suppression by removing themselves from Austin. But Graham's inspiration is an ugly and bizarro-world version of their strategy. Graham wants Republicans to stay away from the Capitol if the Democrats all agree to vote for reconciliation. If all 50 Republicans absent themselves, there would be no quorum (51 senators) and there would be no vote.
Matthew Brown, writing for USA Today, reported that "Graham said the move may be necessary to stop Senate Democrats from passing a $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package, which includes many long-standing Democratic priorities regarding social services, the environment and infrastructure." Graham wants to stop things like this-- that are overwhelmingly popular with the electorate:
And especially this:
Even in purple states like Georgia:
And even in blood red states like West Virginia, which is even further towards the political extreme right than South Carolina:
Graham was making his case to Maria Bartiromo on Fox News yesterday. But will all the Republicans leave Washington with Lindsey to thwart the will of the people. Obviously the knee-jerk hack obstructionists like McConnell, Ron Johnson, Marco Rubio and Rand Paul would, gladly, but what about the ones who are always trying to make a case for themselves as "independent-minded" and "moderates?" What would Susan Collins do? Lisa Murkowski? Mitt Romney? Rob Portman? Bill Cassidy?
Democrats should reward Graham for his obstructionism by adding lowering the Medicare eligibility-- a Biden campaign promise-- into the package, which was taken out as a bid to win conservative support. Pramila Jayapal, the author of the House Medicare-for-All bill is also leader of this proposal and wrote that "Lowering the eligibility age would provide immediate coverage for millions of older adults who are still uninsured or underinsured. Dropping the eligibility age to 60 could allow an additional 23 million people to access Medicare. Additionally, lowering the age to 55 would expand Medicare coverage to more than 40 million people. Expanding Medicare-- which has the largest network of providers in the country and is one of the most affordable health insurance programs-- is also critical to addressing inequities in health coverage with communities of color disproportionately more likely to be uninsured."