The stimulus package passed the Senate last night with exactly sixty votes. The sixtieth vote was Sherrod Brown (D-OH), who had to leave memorial services for his own mother to cast the vote for cloture (source). It's one thing for Republicans to grandstand against the stimulus package, whine about tax cuts, spending for social programs, etc. But to stand in the way of cloture while one Senator is in the hospital, and another is attending a family funeral, is just plain shameful. It'd certainly be possible (and it's happened before) for a Senator to vote for cloture, while still voting against the bill itself. Doing so would have been both humane and decent. It's also possible to work out a reciprocity deal ("I'll vote for your bill, if you'll agree to vote for this other bill...") that would have allowed him to stay at home. With open appreciation to Senators Snowe, Collins, and Specter for their part in the passage of this bill, I hope voters will be aware that the other 38 Republican senators forced a guy to leave his own mother's wake. Family values, indeed.