Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Suddenly it turns out that the Senate CAN confirm administration nominations after all


So Young Johnny McCranky is the "hero" of today's compromise in which Senate Republicans averted the threatened Democratic filibuster nuclear option. Whattaguy! Why, he's contributed so much to Senate "bipartisanship" all through these first four and a half years of the Obama presidency.

by Ken

So it turns out that sometimes, at least, if you push back against sociopathic, America-hating Republican obstructionists, they give way.

Today by a 71-29 vote the Senate voted to proceed with the nomination of former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Cordray is already serving as the bureau's first director, on a recess appointment that would have expired next January.

The Cordray nomination, you'll recall, had been pending for two years, with a sizable cadre of Republicans committed to never confirming a director for the CFPB while they continue their efforts to destroy it. To those Republicans, the very idea of protecting consumers is anathema. The role of consumers to the corporatist stooges, is to be bent, mutilated, and where possible raped. In the corporatist system those slimeballs are paid well to set consumers up as patsies.

And now after those two years, the implacable opposition to allowing a vote on the Cordray nomination dissolves in a 71-29 vote, in which 17 Republicans joined the 54 Democrats and independents. I suppose there is some sentiment that those 17 GOP-ers are to be congratulated. I would suggest that rather they should be forced to return every penny in salary and perks, not to mention fund-raising, collected over every day that they prevented the Cordray nomination from moving forward, now that they have acknowledged that instead of doing their job they were suing some toxic, rapacious agenda.

The Cordray unblockage was made possible by a deal arrived at early today between the warring Senate parties. The Washington Post's Aaron Blake reported:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) credited Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) with crafting the deal. "John McCain is the reason we're at the point that we are," Reid said. "Nobody was able to break through but for him. And he does it at his own peril."
Yeah, Harry, a real hero is Young Johnny McCranky. Never mind that he's one of those doody-sucking stiffs who's been sitting on his fat ass all this time. If he had any sense of decency or history, he would have accompanied his heroic peacemaking today by putting a bullet in his brain, to more fairly sum up his time in public life.

It's not entirely a return to sanity, because the same worthless-garbage affronts to sanity remain on the job, ready to resume their role as America-hating obstructionists at any second. Still, it does seem finally to have occurred to them that they have something to lose after all these years of behaving like tin-pot Latin American oligarchs.

Here's how ThinkProgress's Progress Report reported the deal:

GOP Blockade of Nominees Collapses

Today was supposed to be D-Day when it came to the so-called nuclear option in the Senate -- a relatively minor change in the Senate rules to stop a minority of senators from using the filibuster as a means of nullifying democratically created government agencies and functions that they object to purely for ideological reasons.

After a three and a half hour meeting last night and ongoing negotiations through this morning, senators announced a deal to avert changing the Senate rules. Nevertheless, the deal represents a huge victory for Democrats and an almost unconditional surrender on the part of Senate Republicans.

Here’s the main elements of the deal:

• The president’s nominees to head the Department of Labor, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Export-Import Bank, and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) will be confirmed without delay.
• Two of the president’s current nominees to the National Labor Relations Board will be withdrawn; however, Republicans agree in advance to confirm any two nominees of the president’s choosing before the Senate recesses in August.
• Democrats retain the right to revisit changing the filibuster rules on executive branch nominees at any time should Republicans once again begin a blockade.

Interestingly, Senate Minority Leader McConnell (R-KY) had offered a deal last night that would have also confirmed the current group of seven nominees, but would’ve required Democrats to promise to never again threaten to change the rules. Senate Majority Leader Reid (D-NV) wisely rejected this offer in favor of the offer outlined above made by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and a group of breakaway Republicans.

Real progress has already been made as a result of this deal. CFPB nominee Richard Cordray had been prevented from receiving an up-or-down vote by Senate Republicans for 730 days. Following today’s deal, a cloture motion on his nomination passed 71-29 and a final confirmation vote is expected later today.

Hopefully this new spirit of cooperation from Senate Republicans will also extend to other areas. The president deserves up-or-down votes on his judicial nominations, which have also faced unprecedented levels of obstruction and delay from some Senate Republicans. In particular, we look forward to timely votes on the president’s three nominations to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

BOTTOM LINE: Today’s deal does not fix all of the problems with the Senate, but it represents a huge victory for consumers, workers, and anyone who cares about clean air and water. In addition, the deal underscores that a unified Democrat caucus can stand up to unprecedented Republican obstructionism and get results.
I'll go along that it's a better day than the Senate has had in a while, and certainly one of the better days during the Obama presidency. But that's saying so little that I'm inclined to go easy on the hosannas. Let's wait and see what happens if the weeks and months to come.


For a "Sunday Classics" fix anytime, visit the stand-alone "Sunday Classics with Ken."

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At 9:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's your prescription for the 17 who voted with the majority: "I would suggest that rather they should be forced to return every penny in salary and perks, not to mention fund-raising, collected over every day that they prevented the Cordray nomination from moving forward, now that they have acknowledged that instead of doing their job they were (pur)suing some toxic, rapacious agenda."

And what is to be done about the 29 who voted against?

John Puma
Although I generally consider all GOP members of congress to be tied for last place in any ranking system, for the record, below, are today's 29 marginally more oinky of the radical reich foul pigs: http://tinyurl.com/nrgnxcb

Alexander (R-TN)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Boozman (R-AR)
Burr (R-NC)
Chiesa (R-NJ)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Crapo (R-ID)
Cruz (R-TX)
Enzi (R-WY)
Fischer (R-NE)
Grassley (R-IA)
Heller (R-NV)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Johnson (R-WI)
Lee (R-UT)
McConnell (R-KY)
Moran (R-KS)
Paul (R-KY)
Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Rubio (R-FL)
Scott (R-SC)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Thune (R-SD)
Toomey (R-PA)
Vitter (R-LA)


At 2:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reid is thanking his god that McCranky saved the Majority Leader from having to actually do something besides convening meetings and meditating mournfully on how he might have to do...something.

It's pathetic, really. When the Republicans get a majority in 2014, they won't hesitate to detonate the nuclear option at the first hint of a filibuster from the worthless Democrats.

With a handful of exceptions, every Senator and Representative on both sides of the aisle are greedy sociopaths, intent on keeping their fat asses in their safe seats or making sure the revolving door is well-oiled for when the voters finally get rid of them.

They should be booed, hissed and shunned wherever they show their faces. It's too bad that such a large percentage of the American electorate are complete assholes and boobs.

At 2:49 PM, Blogger KenInNY said...

Fair point, John. I'm just saying that those 29 are simply behaving the way they always behave. I'm open to suggestion about how they should be dealt with.

I just wanted to head off any thought that the 17 GOP turncoats deserve some kind of praise for having finally broken through their own self-imposed brainlock.



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