Normally, we stick close to our finance and markets knitting, but we thought this item was important enough to warrant making an exception.
Wonder why the Democrats have gotten nothing done in Congress despite their convincing victory last fall? PGL at Angry Bear pointed to this revealing and disheartening post at The Carpetbagger:
Does it seem as if every time the Senate is poised to consider an important measure, Republicans launch a filibuster? That the party that whined incessantly about Democratic “obstructionism” for the last several years is blocking everything that moves, hypocrisy be damned?
I knew it was bad; I didn’t know it was this bad.
* Senate Republicans have obstructed almost every bill in the Senate — even ones with wide bipartisan support.
* So far, in the first half of the first session of the 110th Congress, there have been THIRTEEN cloture votes on motions to proceed — each one wasting days of Senate time. (110th Congress, Roll Call Votes #44, 51, 53, 74, 129, 132, 133, 162, 173, 207, 208, 227, and 228)
* In comparison, in the first sessions of the 108th and 109th Congresses combined, there were a total of FOUR cloture votes on motions to proceed.
When are the Democrats going to wake up and start playing hardball?
For literally years, Republicans, with a 55-seat majority, cried like young children if Dems even considered a procedural hurdle. They said voters would punish obstructionists. They said it was borderline unconstitutional. They said to stand in the way of majority rule was to undermine a basic principle of our democratic system.
And wouldn’t you know it; the shameless hypocrites didn’t mean a word of it.
Why hasn’t the Democratic Congress had greater success passing legislation in its first six months? Because 239 separate pieces of legislation have passed the House, only to find Senate Republicans “objecting to just about every major piece of legislation” that Harry Reid has tried to bring to the floor.
It’s not only shameless, it’s cynical. Republicans expect to get away with this nonsense because they assume most Americans don’t even know what a filibuster is. They figure, the more they obstruct, the worse Congress looks — and with a Democratic majority, that means the GOP will blame Dems for the Republicans’ delay tactics.
Indeed, it’s quite a vicious cycle. Dems bring up a bill … Republicans block the bill … Dems tell voters to be patient … Republicans blame Dems for failing to deliver on their policy agenda. And if Americans aren’t paying attention, they fall for the con.
Actually, what is taking place here is precisely what the framers of the Constitution intended. Since neither party has a majority large enough to over-ride objections by the other; no bills are passed by the Congress. Real action by the US Congress requires that one party or another has enough representatives to override minority party objections; this is only possible when a majority of the voters through out the country agree on a party’s platform.
The Constitution was designed to ensure that the USA is governed by majority rule. Given election returns from recent years, it is fair to say that US voters as an aggregate are split fairly close to 50-50. No majority = no change…