True fact: The U.S. Senate has not held a Christmas Eve vote since 1895, when Senator Byrd was serving his first term. (That's also when the Democrats began trying to pass health care reform, I believe). To mark this moment, last night Sarah Palin offered some inspiring words and, uh, letters:
c tomrrw's Healthcare Takeover vote=the sleeping giant will awaken&action will b takn by"average"Americans as lite shines on big govt growth
Yeah, right. The sleeping giant would've had to get up at an ungodly hour, and I know for a fact the "average" American prefers to hit snooze. At any rate, I watched the whole thing so you didn't have to. Recap below.
6:49 a.m.: You know it's a special day when the vice president sits in to serve as president of the Senate. I wonder how Joe Biden will gaffe this up.
6:53 a.m.: Harry Reid is kicking things off by thanking the Senate's loyal cloakroom employees, which is a nice gesture. Then he tells Joe Biden how much he misses him. Oh, the times they shared… in the cloakroom, perhaps, where employees are loyal and keep their mouths shut.
6:54 a.m.: Mitch McConnell is very upset that he's had to vote on bills at night, early in the morning and in a blizzard. He never would've taken this job if he'd known about the unpaid overtime, right? The GOP will keep fighting to stop this bill, and everyone who votes for it will "get an earful" when they go home.
6:57 a.m.: Harry Reid again. Yes, Mitch, he will "get an earful of joy and happiness" from people in his district when he goes home (ew). Meanwhile, America is "the greatest and richest nation the world has ever known," which is just so typical of a Democrat who don't believe in American exceptionalism.
6:59 a.m.: Republicans are grumbling audibly! Harry Reid looks annoyed. His beloved man-friend Joe Biden calls everyone to order.
7:03 a.m. "Facts will always defeat fear," Harry Reid says. Harry Reid must not watch the news.
7:04 a.m. Joe Biden reads the title of the health care bill, calling it the "Patent Protection and Affordable Care Act." Whoops, somebody just spilled the beans — this thing is a government takeover of free enterprise. All your patents belong to Joe Biden now.
7:05 a.m.: Senate clerk. Callin' the roll. Roll callin'. Clerrrrrrk.
7:05 a.m.: "Mr. Bayh?" "Aye." "Bayh, aye."
7:06 a.m.: There is an excruciating wait after the clerk calls Senator Byrd's name. Uh-oh. "Mr. Byrd? Mr. Byrd?" Phew, the prayers haven't gotten to him (yet). Aye.
7:07 a.m.: Chuck Grassley just voted no, duh. I wonder if he's live-tweeting this? (Answer: no.)
7:09 a.m.: Lieberman, from the depths of his jowls: "Aye." It's 35-23.
7:10 a.m.: "No," says John McCain. "Fuck no," John McCain thinks to himself. "My friends," adds his subconscious.
7:11 a.m.: Hang on, Harry Reid just voted no?? No as in "no"? It also looked like he stood up when the clerk called "Mr. Reed," the Senator from Rhode Island. Harry Reid is either confused, sleepwalking, playing a practical joke, or possessed by the spirit of Glenn Beck, I can't tell. When the laughter dies down the clerk gives him the "let's try again" look and Harry Reid votes yes.
7:13 a.m.: Michael Bennet of Colorado up on the big board with an aye, putting the tally at 59 to 37. OMG history time.
7:13 a.m.: Except for one more no, from Jeff Sessions.
7:14 a.m.: People are shuffling papers, looking over their shoulders… is there going to be a balloon drop?
7:15 a.m.: Oh, no, they're just waiting for Bernie Sanders, who's late. His alarm clock must be on Socialist time. Anyway, there he is, aye. That's it! Game over!
7:15 am.: No one cares that Richard Shelby just voted no.
7:15 a.m.: Biden re-reads the title, just to rub it in. He pronounces "Patient" correctly this time.
7:40 a.m.: At the post-game press conference, Harry Reid attributes his voting blunder to "bipartisanship." Haw haw haw. I bet Franken gave him that line.
7:42 a.m.: Let's schedule this post for a "reasonable hour" and make more coffee, shall we? If you're stuck at work or simply trying to avoid your family, feel free to discuss these historic/horrible proceedings, in the comments.
Tags: Bernie Sanders, Democrats, Harry Reid, Health Care, Joe Biden, Mitch McConnell, Republicans, Robert Byrd, Senate