Who on earth would have that it was still possible for Republicans to actually hold on to their Republican principles and vote that way — but it actually happened today.

WASHINGTON – An economic stimulus plan drafted by Senate Democrats that included relief for low-income seniors, disabled veterans and the unemployed was blocked by a Republican filibuster Wednesday when the Senate fell a vote short of the 60 needed to consider the bill.

The defeat by the narrowest of margins nearly ensures passage of a less expensive stimulus plan fashioned by President Bush and House leaders, though the Senate may make some changes. But it keeps the government on track to begin sending hundreds of dollars to most Americans this spring.

The liberal media and liberal politicians of both the Democratic and Republican kind are going to spin this by saying, “Republicans hate poor people.” The truth is that Republicans, at least when they stick to their guns and stand up for their values, hate big government and forcing government to have to bail out people who get into financial trouble because of their own irresponsibility.

The Senate plan, backed by Harry Reid and the other Democrats would have cost the Government (that means us taxpayers) $204 billion over the next 2 years. How exactly would we pay for that, without eventually having to raise taxes?

The vote went down 58 to 41 with 1 no vote in John McCain (more on that later). Eight RINO’s; Coleman, Collins, Dole, Domenici, Grassley, Smith, Snowe, Specter — sided with the Democrats and 1 Democrat, Harry Reid sided with the GOP. Don’t read too much into Crazy Harry’s vote though, because he was all for this stupid package, he only voted no because it makes it easier to try and reintroduce the bill at a later time, one of the weird quirks of our political system.

Four of the eight RINO’s that voted for the inflated package siding with the democrats are up for re-election this year. Here is the breakdown of the vote:

John McCain, didn’t bother to show up to vote, so much for fighting ridiculous spending.

Asked Wednesday morning to comment on the pending vote, McCain talked about the need to pass a stimulus measure quickly. Later, on his plane, he said he was not sure he would make the vote.

“I haven’t had a chance to talk about it at all, have not had the opportunity to, even,” McCain said. “We’ve just been too busy, focused on other stuff. I don’t know if I’m doing that. We’ve got a couple of meetings scheduled.”

Whichever way McCain may have voted, it would have been a difficult choice given his status as the Republican presidential front-runner.

Senate Democrats cleverly bundled the rebates for seniors and veterans, key voting blocs, with expanded unemployment benefits and home heating subsidies for the jobless and poor.

President Bush and Republican leaders, as well as conservatives McCain was scheduled to woo on Thursday, vehemently oppose the expanded benefits and subsidies.

That put McCain in a bad political spot.

Voting “no” with Republican leaders would have offended millions of Social Security recipients and the disabled veterans not scheduled to receive rebates. Voting “yes,” on the other hand, risked alienating Bush, GOP leaders and conservatives already suspicious of McCain’s political leanings. McCain was speaking Thursday before a meeting of the Conservative Political Action Conference, a group that booed him last year in absentia.

For McCain, not voting meant not going on the record either way. He has missed all eight Senate roll call votes this year.

I don’t really care, McCain’s vote would not have mattered, it was a shrewd political move, not voting that is, so he would not alienate the liberals that love him and the Conservatives that he is going to need to show up and vote for him come the general election if he is going to stand any chance of defeating the eventual Democratic nominee.

None-the-less, on Ronald Reagan’s birthday its nice that Republicans (except for eight of them) actually acted like Republicans today.

More on this at:
Michelle Malkin