Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Republican Obstructionism On Display Over President Obama's Nominees


Crackpot misogynist Jim Inhofe places 2 secret holds on Obama nominees

Yesterday the Senate confirmed-- by acclaimation-- the first seven Obama nominees they had been considering-- Janet Napolitano, of Arizona, to be Secretary of Homeland Security; Ken Salazar, of Colorado, to be Secretary of the Interior; Eric Shinseki, of Hawaii, to be Secretary of Veterans Affairs; Tom Vilsack, of Iowa, to be Secretary of Agriculture; Steven Chu, of California, to be Secretary of Energy; Arne Duncan, of Illinois, to be Secretary of Education; and Peter Orszag, of Massachusetts, to be Director of the Office of Management and Budget. Today they'll get to work on some of the more contentious nominations-- the ones the GOP has decided to make contentious-- starting with Hillary Clinton.

The Republicans can't stop the confirmations but their obstructionist wing, led by Jim DeMint (R-SC), David Diapers Vitter (R-LA) and John Cornyn (R-TX) from inside the Senate and by Newt Gingrich and Grover Norquist from the peanut gallery, are demanding at least a good show. Today there will be a three hour "debate" in which Cornyn and Diapers can attack Bill Clinton and then a roll call in which Mrs. Clinton is expected to be confirmed by an overwhelming bipartisan margin. Cornyn is threatening to fillibuster, which the Democrats should certainly allow him to do and make sure is on television. It would be especially interesting to see if two cowardly obstructionist Clinton-haters up for re-election in 2004, Jim Bunning (R-KY) and Diapers of Louisiana, already severely damaged by the revelations that he's spent more time in whore houses than on the Senate floor, have the guts to take part in Cornyn's fillibuster.

Other Obama nominees facing onstructionism are Tim Geithner as Treasury Secretary (Gingrich's special target), Tom Daschle as Secretary of Health and Human Services, Eric Holder as Attorney General, and Hilda Solis, who Republicans hate because she strongly backs the Employee Free Choice Act, as labor Secretary. The confirmation of Obama’s choices for EPA administrator, former New Jersey environmental chief Lisa Jackson, and White House Council on Environmental Quality chairwoman, Nancy Sutley, are being held up because a mystery senator has put a hold on their nominations. It is widely believed that the hold was placed by Global Warming denier and hysterical homophobe Jim Inhofe (R-OK) or Wyoming sociopath John Barrasso. Neither will confirm or deny he's the hold placer, although sources close to the Oklahoma reactionary claim he loathes the idea of confirming a lesbian (Ms Sutley) in any government jobs. Later today, we'll post the results of the confirmation roll calls as updates here.

As Thomas Frank reminds us in his newest book, The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule, a basic tenet of Republican rule is that Personnel is Policy and they consistently seek to undermine good government by placing incompetent hacks in important jobs and preventing first rate people from getting into those jobs.
[O]ne of the consequences of this idea, "personnel is policy," is this war that they've been waging ever since Reagan got in, this war with what they call the "permanent government," the bureaucracy. The final consequence of all that is: Outsource the work. Send it out so the bureaucrats don't have any control over it anymore, and it's all in the hands of private contractors, who then, of course, tithe back to the movement and hire the right lobbyists, and all that sort of thing. And then, of course, when your work is done as a congressman or the chieftain at the Department of Homeland Security or whatever, then you go off and take a job with that lobbying firm. Reap your rich reward.

And that is change we really need if this country is going to move forward.


Although two Republicans supporting him (Orrin Hatch and Mel Martinez) already guarantees Eric Holder will be confirmed, Republicans seem to be taking delight in dragging out his confirmation process and doing all they can to cast aspersions on him. Today they demanded a postponement so they could pray-- or at least be seen praying on TV. Asshats! I hope he uses the time to rethink his position on immunity for telecom criminals.

Tail between his legs like a whipped dog, John Cornyn backed off his threats to fillibuster Hillary Clinton. Not just that, he said he plans to vote for her confirmation. McCain has been urging his fellow Republicans to stop playing games with these crucial nominations and to not sabotage President Obama's plans to work for a better America. "We shouldn’t delay. We need to immediately move forward ... I would remind all my colleagues we had an election and we also had a remarkable and historic time and this nation has come together as it has not for some time.” Lindsey Graham, usually considered McCain's Mini-Me chirped out, "Me too," or something like that.


It wasn't unanimous though. David Diapers Vitter (R-LA) and Jim DeMint (R-SC), both die-hard obstructionists who will oppose everything and anything that Obama proposes, voted no, as expected, demanding to examine Bill Clinton's dick for at least 90 days before allowing his wife to become Secretary of State. The rest of the Republicans joined all the Democrats in voting for Clinton's confirmation. She's the Secretary of State now and Gov. Paterson will probably nominate New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo for the open Senate seat.

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At 7:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great website...if you have a moment I'm working a similar angle at

Republican Obstructionism is all they know. Now that it's clear that Reaganomices does not work, somehow Ronnie never factored in greed and how the markets would not regulate themselves and hence this huge mess brought on by the Republican party.

Problem is, they don't know what else to do but cling onto the past as if that's going to help?

Sean and Rush have become they had been contributing factors/mouthpiesces/cheerleaders that lead us into the economic melt down.

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