Tag Archives: Republican obstructionism

Senate Republicans Continue to Block Obama’s Nominations.

Republicans in the US Senate continue to block the nominations of Barack Obama. This tactic of obstructionism needs to be ended. If Congress wonders why Americans have such a low rating of Congress, this is a prime reason. Tactics like the filibuster and secret holds on nominations contribute to a dysfunctional government.

Of course this fits the Republican Agenda of trying to stop Obama’s Agenda for Change. Repubicans hope Americans will blame the Democrats rather than them for the consequences of not getting things done because government posts and judicial seats are still unfilled almost a year and a half after Obama took office.

The New York Times in an editorial today notes that “there are 52 nominees on secret holds – all noncontroversial in committee debates.”  As the New York Times explains:

The United States Senate was supposed to have dropped its insidious tradition that let members put endless secret holds on nominations and other important matters. The abuse continues, more murky than ever.

The reform, adopted three years ago, required senators to identify themselves within six days of blocking a nominee, and to state their objection. That stricture has been routinely violated with cheesy gamesmanship. Members — mostly in the Republican minority — pass secret holds among themselves to foil the time limit.

At the end of March, Obama made his first Recess appointments to end the Republican Senatorial roadblock 15 of his appointments. But the roadblock still continues for many other nominees. The New York Times editorial noted that the Senate has confirmed only 45% of Obama’s judicial nominees to date.

Americans need to contact their Senators and urge an end to this juvenile practice. Elections have consequences and the losers needs to acknowledge this and let the winner put their choices in place to do the people’s business.

Could Senator Murray be in Trouble in Washington State?

In more bad news for Democratic incumbents, a new Field poll in California shows that Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer is now in a dead heat in her re-election race. Senator Barbara Boxer’s race is now a tossup Since January her polling numbers have dropped.  Matching her up with any one of her 3 potential Republican opponents shows the race dead even. Her Republican opponent will be picked in California’s June Primary.

The matchups show Campbell leading Boxer 44 percent to 43 percent, Boxer edging Fiorina 45 percent to 44 percent and leading DeVore 45 percent to 41 percent. In January, Boxer led all three by double-digit margins.

“These are yes and no votes on Boxer,” DiCamillo said. “They’re not distinguishing among the Republicans because they don’t know much about the Republicans.”

Washington State supporters of Senator Patty Murray should be worried.  The public is in a foul mood, poisoned by the negative governing strategies of the Republicans in Congress, who have adopted a strategy of obstructing Congress from getting anything done and then blaming it on the Democrats.

A New York Times article yesterday discussed in depth the strategy that Senator Mitch McConnell proposed after Obama was elected and that he has implemented and carried out over the last year. The strategy was fairly simple. It was to:

“…use his extensive knowledge of Senate procedure to slow things down, take advantage of the difficulties Democrats would have in governing and deny Democrats any Republican support on big legislation.

Republicans embraced it. Democrats denounced it as rank obstructionism. Either way, it has led the two parties, as much as any other factor, to where they are right now. Republicans are now monolithically against the health care legislation, leaving the president and his party executing parliamentary back flips to get it passed, conservatives revived, liberals wondering what happened. ”

The New York Times argues that in the short term this strategy has worked for the Republicans. Democrats like Senator Patty Murray, need to reach out to the public and explain why they are not able to get much of anything done.  She needs to point to the obstructionist policies of the Republicans and ask why anyone would think that putting the Republicans back in charge was going to solve any of our nation’s problems.

McConnell has used his skills to frustrate the will of the voters and put the Obama vision that voters supported at risk. Voters need to wake up and kick the Republicans out, not vote out the Democrats. Obama naively assumed the Republicans would work with him; he needs to play hardball now and act like a leader.

The Republicans know how to stop things.  They have no vision to solve health care or create jobs or deal with climate change.  They have shown they can stop government from working. That’s hardly a reason to vote for them.

Voters need to elect those that are going to deal with America’s hopes and future.  Electing more Republicans will only return us to more of the same concentration of special interest power supporting a failed free enterprise system we saw under Bush and Reagan – more corporate power, more tax breaks for the wealthy, less environmental protection, more right wing conservatives on the US Supreme Court, less help for the unfortunate and more concentration of wealth in the hands of a few.

Wake up America.  It’s time to get to work and solve our problems, not revert to the failed policies of the free enterprise Republicans that got us in our present financial mess. Only fools would reward Republican obstructionism by voting for more Republicans.