Friday, February 05, 2010

Is There Something That Can Be Done About Ritual Obstructionism In The Senate?


Yesterday there was a lot of talk about Obama being forced by systematic GOP obstructionism to start filling open slots in his Administration with recess appointments. Even when Republicans have no objections to candidates, they filibuster them anyway-- yes, all the Republicans, even ones the media tries to paint as relatively "sane," like Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins. Look for example at the two votes yesterday on Obama's nomination of Martha Johnson to be Administrator of the General Services Administration.

Johnson's isn't a controversial nomination. In fact, she was unanimously approved last year by the Senate Homeland Security Committee-- just before the GOP decided to obstruct her confirmation for nine months for no reason at all except to be assholes.

Even without recalling that all those Republicans who filibustered Johnson were supporters of the infamous Bush Regime GSA Administrator, Lurita Doan, consider that when the final vote came last night, she was confirmed 96-0, with Johnny Isakson and Tom Coburn playing hide the salami or whatever Republicans do in the cloakroom to avoid voting and taking a stand.

Just half an hour before she was confirmed without a single dissenting vote, 16 Republican clowns filibustered her for no discernible reason other than "filibuster" being their middle name and wanting Obama to fail so badly that they don't give a second thought to destroying anything that stands in the way, including even wrecking America itself. The supporters of the de rigueur ritualized Republican filibuster were Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Kit Bond (R-MO), Jim Bunning (R-KY), Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Thad Cochran (R-MS), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Judd Gregg (R-NH), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Miss McConnell (R-KY), Jim Risch (R-ID), Jeff Sessions (KKK-AL), Dick Shelby (R-AL), and Roger Wicker (R-MS).

That link on Dick Shelby's name leads to a TPM post about the pork-mad Alabama obstructionist's "blanket hold" on 70 Obama appointees. Shelby, once famously quoted as saying, "As a U.S. Senator, I believe that the review of judicial nominations is one of the most important responsibilities of the Senate, and I firmly believe that each of the President's nominees should be afforded a straight up-or-down vote," has earmarked over $114,484,000 in federal funds. Time for the Parliament Act of 1911 solution to the Senate problem (or do we want to end up like 17th century Poland?)

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At 1:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Is There Something That Can Be Done About Ritual Obstructionism In The Senate?"
short answer: "NO!" Until Democratic voters wake up to the realization that the Rahm Emanuel, Lawrence Summers, Timmy Geithner, Robert Rubin (on line 3) Goldman-Sachsers who dominate the Obama White House are all RADICAL RIGHT-WING economy DEREGULATING hit-men, POSING as "Democrats."
The Obama white house is ENABLING the OBSTRUCTION of real FINANCIAL REFORM
the SAME WAY they (the Obama/Emanuel/GS White House) ENABLED Max Baucus, Ben Nelson, JOE LIEBERMAN, and the other "Blue Dogs" to KILL genuine health care reform (a public option) -
- first by playing out a protracted song-and-dance, WITHOUT REALLY SPEAKING UP for anything (real reform), and then, when the OPPOSITION to real reform succeeds, the Emanuel/Obamabots say,
"LOOK AT THIS SHINY reform t_r_ we crafted for you"!
For the past 13 months, it has been THE OBAMA WHITE HOUSE which has been "secretly" (but actually openly & repeatedly) OBSTRUCTING REAL REFORM (at the behest of their GoldmanSachs & Wall Street donors) serially & repeatedly.


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