Look, the Senate GOP wishes very much that it did not have to pass this bill providing for the entire middle class to assemble outdoors and be struck by an immense meteor, but it is important that they not close the year without any legislative accomplishments.
The bill has been the subject of heated debate. On the one hand, millions of people will be struck by a giant rock from space, which will probably make for some close midterms and heated town halls back home, in those towns that survive. On the other hand, are the tax cuts for corporations (also included in the bill) sufficiently large? On the one hand, people like the middle class and do not want them to suffer, and destroying their homes with a gigantic rock (which would also, curiously, trigger cuts to Medicare) does not seem like something that will help them. On the other hand, you have to show that you’re using your time in the Senate for something. Everyone can agree that a meteor is something.
Lisa Murkowski opposed the bill on the grounds that, while having a large rock from space smite her constituents sounds bad, the bill also did not include any provisions for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. If the middle class is being struck by a space rock, she argued, why leave the wildlife to languish for decades until natural deaths claim them?
Steven Mnuchin insisted that a Treasury Department analysis said the asteroid would produce unprecedented growth and would inspire America’s corporations to create jobs like never before. Literally, never. When asked to produce the analysis, he ate a slip of paper and jumped through a window.
John McCain courageously delivered an eight-hour speech in which he invoked the principles of the Founders in ringing terms to explain that once the meteor entered Earth’s atmosphere, it would be a meteorite, and he was ashamed that the language of the bill did not reflect that. (Otherwise, he had no concerns). This was startling to some people who remembered a time he had spoken fondly of the middle class and negatively about asteroids, but then again, maybe he did not mean it.
It is good for President Trump to have legislative accomplishments.