Friday, September 21, 2007

Sympathy for the devil

I want to pause a moment to express some degree of sympathy for the Democratic leadership in the Senate. The GOPpers there have made filibusters so routine that pretty much anything of consequence that has any chance of passing needs not just a majority, but the so-called "supermajority" of 60 votes, the number needed to force cloture and move to a vote on the bill itself.

That sympathy is tempered by the fact that Majority Leader Harry Reid has repeatedly capitulated to this bullying and withdrawn bills immediately after a first failed cloture attempt instead of, as he could have, keeping the bill on the floor and testing the GOPpers stomach for a real filibuster with cloture votes day after day after, if necessary, day, going out every single day and declaring "Once again, a handful of Republicans have prevented the Senate from doing what the American public wants it to do. Once again, this handful of obstructionists have declared their fealty to George Bush is more important than their fealty to the good of the nation." That's what he should have done and still should do. But be that as it may, here's my basis for my degree of sympathy:

Consider two recent bills that got some fair amount of attention. One was the one introduced by Senator Jim Webb which would have required soldiers returning from Iraq to have as much time home as they did in-country before being sent back. The other was the Leahy-Dodd bill to amend the heinous Military Commissions Act to restore habeas corpus protection. The former lost a cloture vote with 44 nays, the latter lost with 43 nays.

A total of 41 Senators voted "nay" both times. (It might have been 42 but one who voted against cloture on the Webb bill didn't vote on the habeas restoration bill). Those 41 include 40 GOPpers and "Independent" Joe Lieberman, who, it appears, has decided against running for re-election since it's unlikely voters in decidedly blue Connecticut will find his ass-kissing to their liking.

That is, there appears to be a solid bloc of 41 (and maybe 42) Senators who are prepared to use parliamentary maneuvers to block passage of any bill disfavored by the White House. They are reactionary, sycophantic, lapdogs who have given up even the pretense of representing their consciences or their constituents in favor of embracing as El Leader this smirking, incompetent frat boy who cheated his way into office, and who have made satisfying his every whim their solemn duty and upholding his every claim to greater and greater power their utmost obligation.

They are a disgrace to their offices, a disgrace to Congress, a disgrace to our republic system of representative government. And unless and until they start being both addressed and treated that way - plus as hypocrites, since you can be assured that as soon as Bush leaves office their devotion to unlimited presidential power will vanish along with him - it is only going to get worse.

No comments:

// I Support The Occupy Movement : banner and script by @jeffcouturer / (v1.2) document.write('
I support the OCCUPY movement
');function occupySwap(whichState){if(whichState==1){document.getElementById('occupyimg').src=""}else{document.getElementById('occupyimg').src=""}} document.write('');