Strong medicine.

While many senators were congratulating themselves for passing a deeply flawed Medicaire prescription drug bill for seniors, Minnesota's Mark Dayton--who reluctantly signed the lame legislation--inserted an amendment that would give senators "a taste of their own medicine." Doug Grow reports:
The amendment requires senators to receive prescription drug benefits no greater than those being proposed for senior citizens. It so happens the benefits proposed for seniors are drastically inferior to those currently enjoyed by our illustrious senators.

"I've never had so many dirty looks in my life," Dayton said of his colleagues' reaction to his amendment. "I didn't sense great enthusiasm for anything but to strangle me or have me removed from the building."

Short of strangling its creator, what was a pol to do with the "taste of our own medicine" amendment?

To vote for it meant the senators actually would be taking benefits from their own pockets. To vote against the amendment was a confession that the pols wouldn't want to live with the legislation they pass for others.

But our heroes didn't get to the Senate without learning how to wiggle out of tight spots. On June 24, the "taste of our own medicine amendment" passed in the Senate by a stunning 93-3 vote.

Don't, however, jump to the conclusion that Dayton has turned the U.S. Senate into a egalitarian culture. Despite their votes, many senators have no intention of being tied to the same pathetic prescription drug plan they devised for seniors.

Roll Call, a Capitol Hill newspaper that covers the ins and outs of Washington politics, has reported that Republicans supported the Dayton amendment only because they were promised by caucus leaders that it would be killed even before the conference committee of House and Senate members dealt with it.

"Most members saw this [the amendment] as demagoguery," Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., was quoted as saying in Roll Call. "We weren't going to condone it publicly by taking it seriously. So we all voted for it."

Neat twist. You're a demagogue if you want senators and citizens to receive like treatment...

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