Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Reid Goes After Poor Pathetic Tom Coburn-- What About McConnell, Harry?


Courtesy of PhotoTune

Most serious members of the Senate, regardless of political party, consider Tom Coburn (R-OK) a clown and a gadfly. He has been annoying in holding up routine and non-controversial bills with overwhelming bipartisan support with silly, wasteful delaying tactics that accomplish nothing except keeping the Senate from moving forward. The last time he pulled this stunt, he was defeated 91-4. Even the most partisan members of his own party wish he would just pipe down and stop the bullshit. Right now he's holding up a batch of bills meant to assist paralysis research, victims of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's Disease), children's eye screening and treatment, work on unsolved civil rights crimes (a bill that passed in the House today 422-2, with only two KKK members, Lynn Westmoreland and Paul Broun, both of Georgia, voting no) and children exposed to drug abuse.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is on the verge of exploding over Coburn's pointless game-playing and posturing.
"For those of you who may not know this, you cannot negotiate with Coburn. It's something that you learn over the years, that it's a waste of time... [I]nstead of allowing the will of the Congress and the American people to be heard, Republicans have obstructed one bill after another. Senate Democrats are not willing to allow this obstruction... any longer. Republicans will have a choice: Will they join the side of the American people, or continue to stand beside one or two colleagues intent on blocking progress?"

Good question, but Reid should have been asking it all year-- and not about a twerp who even Republicans hate-- but about the premeditated obstructionism that Mitch McConnell has led since Reid became Majority Leader.

A few days ago Sam Stein met with Blue America's most recently endorsed candidate-- and our first ever in Oregon-- Jeff Merkley. Jeff will be a guest at FDL this Saturday at 11am, PT. Sam's write-up is at Huffington Post today. He points out that Jeff has a tough race against faux moderate Gordon Smith but that Jeff "isn't venturing toward the political center in an effort to pick up votes or protect himself against potential criticism. Rather, he's sticking to definitively progressive positions, whether on FISA, Iraq, trade, or environmental policy. And on occasion he's digging his party's presumptive presidential nominee for venturing away from those battles."

In fact, Jeff is already showing why Blue America endorsed him: he's an independent-minded progressive who isn't going to stop doing what he's been doing for his entire career-- fighting for the interests of American working families. That's probably why he's pulled ahead of Bush's Oregonian rubber stamp in recent polling. And if it ruffles some Democratic feathers, that's not a problem for Jeff. He's sticking to his guns about warrantless wiretaps, retroactive immunity and NAFTA and he even called "to task the Democratic-controlled Senate for not showing the requisite backbone."
"A major mistake has been not to force the Republicans to filibuster day and night on these issues," he said. "The public does not see that obstruction because they don't see on their televisions a senator on the floor of the senate going through the night reading out of a thick tomb of law, if you will, in order to block bills from being considered. We have to put that on show to the American public and show that it's unacceptable... And I am [prepared to start standing up]. FISA is a good example right there. I was proud of Senator Dodd and others for what they did. They lost the vote, but I'm proud of them."

Jeff is Oregon's House Speaker. I bet he could do a great job as Senate Majority leader-- and take on McConnell, not just a pathetic pip-squeak like Coburn. But first we need to elect him. He's up on our Blue America ActBlue page now.

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At 9:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I work on the Hill and I know plenty of Republican senators and everyone has the utmost respect and admiration for Senator Tom Coburn. He's considered a hero in Republican circles. Where do you get these crazy notions? When he stops a bill its for good reason and the whole caucus rallies around him.


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