Can Mitch McConnell Teach a Horse to Sing?

Chris Kleponis/CNP via ZUMA

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Which health care bill will the Senate vote on today? Apparently the answer is “all of them.” According to reporters on Capitol Hill, there might be three votes today:

  • A vote on the 2015 “repeal only” bill. It’s expected to fail, as well it should since it’s insane.
  • The full BCRA magilla, complete with Cruz Amendment. However, that can’t pass under reconciliation, so it will need 60 votes. Obviously it’s expected to fail.
  • A “skinny repeal” bill with just a few minor provisions. It’s not a serious piece of legislation, just a placeholder to allow negotiations with the House to begin.

In other words, give up and punt the whole thing to a House-Senate negotiating team. Maybe they can come up with something that the Senate couldn’t figure out on its own.

That’s not likely. But you know the story: I might die, the king might die, or the horse could learn to sing.¹ You never know what might happen when you buy yourself some time, even in a hopeless cause.

¹You’ve never heard this story? Seriously? Fine, here it is: A thief was on trial before the King and sentenced to death. The thief asked the King to spare his life. “You don’t know it, but I am the greatest teacher in your land. If you spare my life, I promise to teach your horse to sing.” The King smirked but accepted the offer. You have a year, and if the horse cannot sing, you will be killed.

Daily, after that, the thief spent his entire day singing hymns to the horse. His friends laughed as they saw him and asked what he hoped to accomplish. “Many things can happen in a year,” the thief told them. “The King may die, the horse may die, I may even die. Or … maybe the horse will learn to sing.”

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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