By John Fund
Prostitution. Bribery. Blackmail. Thuggery. Hypocrisy.
Those were just some of the incendiary words thrown around the U.S. Senate last week, and that doesn’t count what people said in private.
The Senate may still have a reputation as a genteel club, but lawmakers seemed to abandon rules of decorum completely last week in arguments about whether Congress should be treated like the rest of the country when it comes to Obamacare.
Senator David Vitter, a Louisiana Republican, has demanded a floor vote on his bill to end an exemption that members of Congress and their staffs are slated to get that will make them the only participants in the new Obamacare exchanges to receive generous subsidies from their employer to pay for their health insurance. Angry Senate Democrats have drafted legislation that dredges up a 2007 prostitution scandal involving Vitter. The confrontation is a perfect illustration of just how wide the gulf in attitudes is between the Beltway and the rest of the country — and how viciously Capitol Hill denizens will fight for their privileges.