Republicans Launch Debt Ceiling Apology Tour

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


I didn’t realize this, but when the Senate voted a couple of weeks ago to raise the debt ceiling, the legislation included a provision that there would be a second vote expressing approval or disapproval of the first vote. That vote was held yesterday:

Twenty-seven Republican senators voted with Democrats on Oct. 16 to lift the debt ceiling and avert a catastrophic default. And each one of those 27 senators voted Tuesday to “disapprove” of their own votes. The vote Tuesday was a symbolic “resolution to disapprove” of the debt limit hike. It was mandated by the deal thanks to a last-minute provision inserted by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). The motion failed 45-54 because all Democrats opposed it.

WTF? Does this make sense even on craven political grounds? Do these guys really think the tea partiers are going to forgive them as long as they cast a vote saying they’re really, really sorry about caving in and saving the American economy from massive default and Armageddon?

I dunno. Maybe this will now be a standard feature of all legislation: a first vote on the legislation itself, followed by a second “apology tour” vote in which you make it clear that you’re sorry you did what you did. At a guess, I’d say that voting to apologize for your voting record would only make the zealots—not to mention every other non-comatose human being in the country—even more contemptuous of you, but what do I know? Everything’s worth a try.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest