I didn't realize this, but when the Senate voted a couple of weeks ago to raise the debt ceiling, the legislation included a provision that there would be a second vote expressing approval or disapproval of the first vote. That vote was held yesterday:
Twenty-seven Republican senators voted with Democrats on Oct. 16 to lift the debt ceiling and avert a catastrophic default. And each one of those 27 senators voted Tuesday to "disapprove" of their own votes. The vote Tuesday was a symbolic "resolution to disapprove" of the debt limit hike. It was mandated by the deal thanks to a last-minute provision inserted by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). The motion failed 45-54 because all Democrats opposed it.
WTF? Does this make sense even on craven political grounds? Do these guys really think the tea partiers are going to forgive them as long as they cast a vote saying they're really, really sorry about caving in and saving the American economy from massive default and Armageddon?
I dunno. Maybe this will now be a standard feature of all legislation: a first vote on the legislation itself, followed by a second "apology tour" vote in which you make it clear that you're sorry you did what you did. At a guess, I'd say that voting to apologize for your voting record would only make the zealots—not to mention every other non-comatose human being in the country—even more contemptuous of you, but what do I know? Everything's worth a try.