Against it before they were for it

AGAINST IT BEFORE THEY WERE FOR IT…. Following up on the earlier item about the Senate approving a $15 billion jobs bill, it’s worth taking a closer look at the roll call before moving on.

On Monday, Senate Republicans tried to block an up-or-down vote on a jobs bill filled with tax cuts, which in and of itself is incomprehensible. When it came time to shut down the GOP filibuster, the vote was 62 to 30, with five Republicans breaking ranks to end debate and allow a floor vote on the bill.

Today, the vote on the same piece of legislation was 70 to 28. Doesn’t that mean that several Republicans who voted to block the legislation on Monday ended up voting in favor of the legislation on Wednesday? Actually, yes, it means exactly that.

These senators supported a filibuster, but approved of the bill they tried to block:

Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.)
Thad Cochran (R-Miss.)
James Inhofe (R-Okla.)
George LeMieux (R-Fla.)
Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska)
Roger Wicker (R-Miss.)

(Two more GOP senators — Orrin Hatch of Utah and Richard Burr of North Carolina — missed Monday’s vote, but joined with Dems today.)

So, we’re looking at six conservatives who voted against a jobs bill before they voted for it.

This, alas, isn’t especially new. For a year now, Republicans have repeatedly tried to block up-or-down votes on all kinds of bills and nominations, only to vote in support once their obstructionist tactics are defeated. For petty partisans like these GOP clowns to block votes on measures they end up voting for anyway is the height of cynical and pointless obstructionism.

What an embarrassment.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.