Democrats are having a talk-a-thon. Many are taking to Twitter, as well as, lighting up the Capitol switchboard leading up to the vote to confirm Betsy DeVos as our Secretary of Education. The Democrats’ attempt to derail DeVos appears more partisan than principled which is why it is unlikely to sway a GOP Senator.
All it takes is one, but they can’t just get one.
Jonah Goldberg of National Review tweeted this morning:
The drama on TV is crazy. If there was one more GOP vote against Devos, there'd be 5 or 10. No GOPer wants to be the deciding kill vote. https://t.co/XUBljSuZqH
— Jonah Goldberg (@JonahNRO) February 7, 2017
That’s right. I would submit that U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) would probably not vote no this afternoon if it were not for knowing that Vice President Mike Pence will cast the tie-breaking vote confirming DeVos. They haven’t exactly struck me as principled legislators. They get the benefit of saying they stood their ground, showed independence, what have you, but at the same time they were not the ones who canned President Trump’s nominee.
Nobody wants to be THAT person. Which is why you would have more than one.
Jim Newell at Slate made the following point:
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.
I don’t agree much with what is written at Slate, but this I think is spot-on. Frankly, Democrats blowing up the phones will probably do very little. Conservatives, unfortunately, are divided on this nomination. Some love it, others hate it. For her nomination to be derailed conservatives needed to be unified and they simply were not.