A shaft of sunlight

Good news this morning:

[Sen. Al] Franken told Maddow that Senate Democrats held a recent retreat to talk about strategy for dealing with Trump’s Cabinet nominees, though he declined to say what it was. He did say that [Betsy] DeVos was one of the nominations that would receive strong Democratic opposition. He did not specifically say whether he meant on the education committee or the Senate floor, but it seemed as if he was talking about a confirmation vote in the entire Senate.

“You talk about DeVos,” he said. “She is someone that there’s not going to be one Democratic vote for her and we’re trying to find Republicans who will vote against her because she’s an ideologue who knows next to nothing about education policy as we demonstrated, or she demonstrated really, in her confirmation hearing.”

He also said, “There’s going to be a lot of these nominees who we’re going to do everything we can to defeat. As you know these nominees need 51 votes and we have 48, so we need some Republicans… You will see a number of these nominees who virtually all of us [Democrats] will oppose… I’m sure that’s true of DeVos.”

Look – I’m one of them! 

Senators’ offices have been flooded with thousands of calls and letters opposing the nomination of Betsy DeVos — with some Democratic offices saying the opposition to DeVos is stronger than for any other Cabinet nominee.

The office of Sen. Bob Casey, a Democrat from the large battleground state of Pennsylvania, has received more than 50,000 letters and emails opposing DeVos’ confirmation as education secretary — a “very high” level compared to other Cabinet nominees, Casey’s office said. Casey has said he will vote “no” to confirming DeVos during Tuesday’s meeting of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

I’ve heard whispers that the feeble Democratic opposition to Mike Pompeo, Rex Tillerson, and the other members of the Legion of Doom – “feeble” is too kind; it was a hand raised in an auditorium classroom with a 400-student capacity – was part of a way to get “leverage” for stripping GOP votes from DeVos and perhaps Tom Price at HHS. If so, I don’t get it. A no is a no. Franken was waiting for his seat in 2009 when the Obama administration waited for Susan Collins and Max Baucus to come around on the Affordable Care Act, and what good did that do? It made the White House look feckless and weak.

Oppose DeVos. Oppose Price. Oppose Scott Pruitt. Keep the calls coming. Bill Nelson’s number: 305-536-5999. DC number: 202-224-5274.

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