Friday, November 22, 2013

It's no longer Republican obstructionism: it's sabotage

It was interesting to see US Senate Democrats virtually eliminate the filibuster for presidential nominations. This was after Republicans elevated the filibuster from a last resort to a weekly tactic. Fully half of all filibusters of presidential nominees IN THE HISTORY OF THE REPUBLIC have occurred during the Obama administration.

I’d prefer they go back to the filibuster as it was before, in all cases: where you had to physically keep talking to slow a bill down. This whole nonsense of saying, “No we don’t want to vote on it” and making the threshold a 60% supermajority is nonsense. The purpose of the filibuster was to slow down the most extreme things, not everything the temper tantrum throwing minority doesn’t like. I’m sure the Democrats thought long and hard about doing this because they will no doubt be the minority in the chamber at some point in the future. That they resorted to this shows Senate Republicans have no interest in governing. 
What’s being blocked here is not new “big government” programs or whatever. It’s nominees for judgeships and agencies that acts of Congress have ALREADY SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED. 
Bear in mind, Senate Republicans aren’t voting down these nominees, which would be a legitimate response to a nominee they may not like. They are refusing to allow these nominees to even get voted on one way or the other.

They’re not even refusing votes on these appointees based on any individual qualities the specific appointees have. It’s a mindless, blanket rejection of any appointee Pres. Obama wants for the sole reason that Pres. Obama wants him/her. No other reason.

I know some might say we shouldn’t care because Democrats are just as corporatist are Republicans and that’s certainly true. But this is another part of the right-wing’s 30+ year campaign. It's no longer mere opposition or obstructionism. It's outright sabotage. The right's objective is to sabotage nearly all government functions, even the judiciary, and then claim it as proof that the government undermined by their sabotage “can’t” work. They don't have the guts or the popular support to outright repeal what they don't like. So they engage in a series of behind-the-scenes death by 1000 cuts attacks that ordinary voters don't pay attention to. It's clever. It's working. And we can't let it.
If you don’t like a program, repeal it. If you don’t like a nominee, vote him/her down. That’s how adults act in a republican democracy.

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