Saturday, January 30, 2010

JMO - Democracy Held Hostage

The Republicans in the Senate are holding our democracy hostage. When the rules require a simply majority to pass legislation in the Senate, just 51 votes, or 50 in a tie with the Senate Chairman (the Vice President or their designate) casting the last vote, the Republicans have always used the filibuster rule where it takes a supermajority of 60 to overturn the filibuster to block Democratic-backed legislation.

The Democrats have used the filibuster rule in the past but in the long past. None of President Bush's backed bills in the then Republican controlled Senate were blocked with a filibuster. And the Republicans didn't use this rule to block bills when the Democrats took over in 2006, because they knew President Bush would veto the bill.

But now with a Democratic majority in both houses and the White House, they used this rule to threaten any legislation they don't like, even despite the clear majority of the people, yes the American citizens, want the legislation passed, signed and enacted. The Republicans are being both whiner and obstructionist, the very thing they called the Democrats under Bush.

As Chris Matthews said last night on the two-hour MSNBC with Rachal Maddow and Keith Oberman, the Republicans are hypocrits, plain, pure and simple. They questioned and criticized the President during his meeting with the Republicans in Baltimore demanding to know why their bills weren't considered.

Except as Chris said, while proposing "new" healthcare reform they want, they never even suggested this legislation during the entire Bush administration, most of which they controlled Congress and could have easily passed. And now they're charging the President and Democrats with failure?

And when that fact of history and other facts of work they never did which they said they wanted, they argue the Bush mentality, "The past is past and not worth talking about." Well, your memory of the truth of history is poor at best and blind at worst. And it's obvious to everyone, but apparently not you.

And all during the new Obama administration the Republicans have threaten the filibuster to kill bills, and sadly the Democrats, not having the balls to challenge them, won't just go ahead and let them filibuster. The public needs to see the Republicans in a filibuster of the Healthcare Reform Act or other legislation. Let them whine forever if they want. The public will see them in the nakedness of principles and character.

This is what Jon Stewart noted on his show when he asked, "Why is that it only take 51 Republicans to pass a bill in the Senate but it takes 60 Democrats?"

And the Republicans don't need 51 Republicans. They have independents, such as the honorable asshole Joe Lieberman, and the Blue Dog (conservative) Democrats. They used these folks in the past to overwhelm any Democratic opposition. But now with the Democrats getting, albeit with a lot of bad earmarks and provisions to buy their votes, a clear majority, the Republicans made good on their promise.

And now with 41 Republicans, they can rest assured they'll continue to hold the Senate, and our Democracy, hostage. It's time the President, who is doing a good job at this, along with those in Congess, especially the Senate, need to threaten back. Let the Republicans whine, and put it in the news.

Call it what it is, obstructionism. Let the public see the filibuster for what it is, whining. And then let the voters decide in 2010.

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