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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This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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