The Senator Henceforth to Be Known as Jay Rock

I’ve been threatening to do this for a while: ditching the moniker "Jello Jay." And while I was going to hold out until we actually got a public option through the Senate, I gotta say that nothing seems to have gotten under MaxTax Baucus’ skin so much as Jay Rock picking apart, detail by detail, the many ways in which the MaxTax is a big giveaway to the health care industry. Here’s Jay Rock echoing Wendell Potter.  And here he is noting how impotent Congress has been at trying to reign in the helath care industry with measly little laws. 

Update, via Digby: Jonathan Cohn explains why Jay Rock showed up to champion health care.

Over the last few weeks Jay Rockefeller has emerged as the Senate’s most visible spokesman for a public insurance option. And, purely from a public relations standpoint, this is something of a mixed blessing. He comes from West Virginia and is pretty popular there, so that certainly helps bring non-coastal credibility to the cause. But Rockefeller speaks in a plodding, rambling style that doesn’t always make for great television. He’s also pretty stubborn, which makes him a loud advocate but not necessarily an effective one, at least given the way the U.S. Senate works.

But Rockefeller gets something better than almost anybody I’ve seen–something he’s expressed in interviews and, most recently, during this weeks hearings of the Senate Finance Committee. It’s how everyday people, particularly those without a lot of money, interact with the health care system. It’s easy to treat health care as an abstraction–to make it all about economic theories and Congressional Budget Office projections. (I’m surely guilty of this myself.) Rockefeller sees it through the eyes of West Virginians making $30,000 a year–people who just want to know they can pay their premiums and that, if they do, the insurance they get will protect them when they get sick. 

Rockefeller’s ability to channel these feelings may seem odd, given his privileged pedigree. But it makes sense given what he’s done with his career. Remember, West Virginia didn’t choose him. He chose West Virginia, starting with his service as a VISTA volunteer. He knows his constituents very well. And he acts that way.

It’s a great piece, but I’d add one thing. I actually think Jay Rock’s stubbornness may be effective, partly because others in the Senate can explain it in terms they understand. A bunch of them–MaxTax Baucus, perhaps–will just attribute it to pique over MaxTax’s bypassing Jay Rock’s Sub-Committee. It seems to me that boorishness is forgiveable in the Senate when motivated by defense of privilege and protocol. That may not be why Jay Rock is doing this–Cohn makes a good case it’s not. But I think Jay Rock will be excused for being stubborn here, which will give him license to be as stubborn as he needs to be to be effective. 

Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Reddit0Share on Facebook0Google+0Email to someone

110 Responses to The Senator Henceforth to Be Known as Jay Rock

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18
  • 19
  • 20
  • 21
  • 22
  • 23
  • 24
  • 25
  • 26
  • 27
  • 28
  • 29
  • 30
  • 31
  • 32
  • 33
  • 34
  • 35
  • 36
  • 37
  • 38
  • 39
  • 40
  • 41
  • 42
  • 43
  • 44
  • 45
  • 46
  • 47
  • 48
  • 49
  • 50
  • 51
  • 52
  • 53
  • 54
  • 55
  • 56
  • 57
  • 58
  • 59
  • 60
  • 61
  • 62
  • 63
  • 64
  • 65
  • 66
  • 67
  • 68
  • 69
  • 70
  • 71
  • 72
  • 73
  • 74
  • 75
  • 76
  • 77
  • 78
  • 79
  • 80
  • 81
  • 82
  • 83
  • 84
  • 85
  • 86
  • 87
  • 88
  • 89
  • 90
  • 91
  • 92
  • 93
  • 94
  • 95
  • 96
  • 97
  • 98
  • 99
  • 100
  • 101
  • 102
  • 103
  • 104
  • 105
  • 106
  • 107
  • 108
  • 109
  • 110

Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel @JasonLeopold A clever FOIA terrorist would use this moment to FOIA SSCI.
1mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @ChristopherAnn3 Were you in charge of keeping the weird priesthood alive so we can fight this monstrosity?
2mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @billmon1 Millions of orcs are constructing evil tweets in a white tower.
3mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @ggreenwald Man, couldn't @rdevro have at least done a Rick Perry like smiling glamour mugshot??
9mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @rickhasen @mgsledge @ryanjreilly @mzzmariah October 2013. World Series.
13mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Did you also notice that chill that swept through Twitter about an hour ago? https://t.co/PbiR0YI6gW
46mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @Travis_Waldron And while they're at it, I've been married 20 years and that's, you know, old and boring too.
47mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @Travis_Waldron My daughter's 19 so too old to attract as many rich people as I need to get richer.
49mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @Travis_Waldron Wait. Just did the math. He HAS a kid who's 19. Is he ready to bulldoze his daughter for a new one too?
52mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @Atrios I did have that thought when I read the story. Prolly why even I will never be a female senator.
56mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @Travis_Waldron Assuming his children are younger than his 20 yr marriage. But what will he do when they turn 17?
56mreplyretweetfavorite
September 2009
S M T W T F S
« Aug   Oct »
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930