If they’ve already made up their minds…

IF THEY’VE ALREADY MADE UP THEIR MINDS…. On Fox News yesterday, Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) explained, in no uncertain terms, that “every single Republican” in the Senate “will oppose” health care reform. Kyl conceded that the reform bill may change before a final floor vote, but every Republican already realizes that the legislation “will only get worse.”

Since it’s his job to keep track of such things, Kyl’s declaration is probably accurate. Indeed, it’s not the least bit surprising — the far-right Minority Whip has made similar declarations before.

But Kyl’s affirmation led Sam Stein to raise a good point. If the entire Senate Republican caucus has already decided to oppose the bill, no matter what changes might be made, then why should anyone care that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) wants six weeks of debate?

…Kyl’s prophecy of across-the-board opposition does seem to undercut that other GOP tactic. Why do Senate Republicans need six weeks to debate and consider the legislation if they’re already determined to vote against it?

“We know it’s been in Harry Reid’s office for six weeks and the other 99 senators haven’t seen it,” McConnell told “Fox News Sunday” last week. “I think we ought to at least have as much time for the other 99 senators and all of the American people to take a look at this bill as Majority Leader Reid has had.”

And why, for that matter, are Senate Republicans complaining about a limited three-day window to read the legislation if they have already come to a final verdict on its contents?

I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that GOP demands for six weeks of debate has very little to do with genuine interest in good-faith deliberations, and everything to do with pointless delay tactics. Call it a hunch.

Here’s hoping Senate Democratic leaders ignore Republican pleas for more time to attack a bill the minority has already decided to oppose en masse.