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Allow-Nothing Republicans

July 1st, 2007

I have posted before on how Republicans, who before this year went apeshit whenever Democrats even hinted at a filibuster, have started using the filibuster far more in a few months than Democrats did in several years. It appears that this trend is not only continuing, but that Republicans are now cashing in on their obstructionism by blocking everything Democrats do and then turn around and call them the “do-nothing Congress.” Talking Points Memo comments on this:

For the last several 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. As Roll Call reported this week, 239 separate bills 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, whether it enjoys bi-partisan support or not.

The fact is, the Democratic majority in Congress has been passing truckloads of popular legislation in the House, only to find Republicans filibustering like there’s no tomorrow, not allowing up-or-down votes that they so recently claimed were the only fair thing to do.

And before you think that this is simply a case of turnabout being fair play, keep in mind these facts: (1) Republicans are being far more obstructionist and are using the filibuster far, far more often than Democrats ever did; (2) Republicans reacted vehemently whenever the Democrats did this, crying foul like there was no tomorrow and threatening the “nuclear option” of doing away with the filibuster at the drop of a hat; and (3) Democrats, despite being obstructed far worse than they ever gave, are not objecting to the filibuster itself and have not even hinted at the nuclear option. They resent the obstructionism, but are not complaining about the method.

In short: the Democrats are being consistent, trying to play by the rules, while the Republicans are so shamelessly hypocritical and opportunistic as to boggle the imagination. This is not simply turning the tables, this is about as lopsided as it gets. and Republicans are not ashamed at all:

Indeed, Senate Republicans — the ones accusing Dems of being a “do-nothing Congress” — are proud of their efforts. Senate Minority Whip Trent Lott boasted, “The strategy of being obstructionist can work or fail. So far it’s working for us.”

And in the end, that’s all that matters to the GOP: if it works for them. Forget consistency, forget fairness, forget fair play, forget honesty, forget just about anything right or wrong; these are “null sets” to congressional Republicans. It either works for them, and therefore is good and right, or it doesn’t, and so it is evil and immoral.

In the first half of the first session of this Congress, Republicans have used the filibuster 13 times; compare that to the whole first sessions of the previous two Congresses,when Democrats used it a total of four times. If I’m reading that right, Republicans are filibustering at a rate 12 times more than Democrats did. Republicans have filibustered and killed the Employee Free Choice Act, a minimum wage increase, renewable energy and clean-energy bills, cheap Canadian pharmaceutical imports, a bill to allow Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices, and a large number of immigration bill amendments. Republicans are blocking bills from going to committee, blocking them from being debated, blocking them from getting the up-or-down vote they once said was a sacrament. Just go to this page and see how many times the word “Cloture” appears; it’s staggering.

And of course, the “liberal” media is completely ignoring the hypocrisy and instead are playing along with Republican spin. Surprise!

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  1. Troy
    July 1st, 2012 at 14:32 | #1

    heh, you were waaay ahead of the curve on this.

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