Why won’t unemployment benefits be extended? Because John Kerry wasn’t there to vote. Heh.
The one-vote defeat of an extension of unemployment benefits last week has sparked fear among Democrats that Republicans have developed a legislative model that will cast Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) repeatedly in a bad light before the election.
The extension needed 60 votes to pass in the Senate, and 12 Republicans made sure the final tally was 59-40, with only one absentee, presidential candidate Kerry.
At least one Republican senator, Elizabeth Dole (N.C.), was prepared to switch to a “no” vote to make sure the measure was defeated even if Kerry returned to cast his vote, a Democrat charged.
Even if Dole had stood firm, observers on both sides believe the GOP leadership would have been able to turn other Republicans to ensure defeat.
But by calculating the vote to a nicety, the GOP managed to make Kerry appear to be responsible for the defeat because he was a no-show.