Tonight Harry Reid called for cloture on the auto bill, knowing he didn't have the votes.
Chris Dodd spoke for working people, and expressed his disbelief that the Senate could let this happen right now (YouTube). Talk about your War on Christmas.
Corker of Tennesee then went on to make an impassioned speech about how close they came to a deal, the only sticking point was that the UAW wouldn't commit to a date to accept salary parity with what workers in foreign auto companies make. Mind you, the Republicans didn't ask for commitments from dealers or creditors or bond holders or suppliers, just blue collar workers. So that was really where the only problem was going to arise.
Funny, none of these bastards demanded wage and benefit cuts for Wall Street workers in the $700 billion bank bailout.
Before the vote, Reid said "I dread looking at Wall Street tomorrow" — with a smile.
When I suggested that Reid call their bluff and make the Republicans filibuster and watch as the stock market tanked in their wake, I never thought he'd do it. Gotta hand it to him -- for the time being any way, he's not letting the red state culture warriors railroad the unions.
Final vote: 52-35, with Tester and Lincoln defecting from the Dems.
Reid says the Senate is now in pro-forma session and they don't anticipate reconvening before next year.
We're now in a giant game of chicken. Will Bush and Paulson blink?
And this, from Digby:
So, the Republicans are saying that if the Democrats don't agree to destroy the unions, they will block any loans to Detroit, and allow the auto companies to fail. And even that might not be enough to stop them because this wrecking crew seems have decided that the country needs to understand that if they vote for Democrats the Republicans will make them pay by ushering in another great depression.
Republicans spent the last eight years like drunken sailors on their first shore leave after years at sea. They wantonly drained the treasury of billions and billions of dollars on harebrained schemes to induce "birthpangs of democracy" around the world, chasing phantom enemies and enriching their defense contractor contributors. They created a lobbying culture so corrupt it finally collapsed of its own weight. They deregulated the financial industry so thoroughly that it created an elaborate ponzi scheme that has just about destroyed the world economy.
They have no standing to lecture anyone about responsibility, fiscal or otherwise, and no right to obstruct the cure for the problem they created.
It's true that Democrats have, over the years, enabled Republicans and helped their ideology to run amock. But right now they are all we've got and their intentions, quite clearly, are to keep the economy from tanking, if only out of self interest. The Republicans are blocking this bridge loan for both narrow parochial reasons and longterm partisan gain. There's no other way to interpret this otherwise inexplicable unwillingness of the Republicans to even grant a short term bridge loan. They want the economy to fail.