What Were You Saying About Confirming Judges?

August 3rd, 2010

This chart shows what is perhaps one of the most under-reported stories in D.C. today:


Remember when Democrats refused to confirm Bush’s most extreme judges, and right-wingers screamed about how the filibuster was unconstitutional, and all that crap? Yeah, I know, this is old news–the GOP is being hypocritical as hell, yet again. The filibuster was toxic and traitorous and so on, but now Republicans use it virtually all the time, breaking records year after year, so that now a 60-vote majority is virtually required for everything.

Republicans acted like confirming judicial nominees was even a more important matter, the courts were tied up and it’s the president’s right to get anyone he wants approved by the Senate, no matter what their politics, and (again) so on and so on… and now Republicans are blocking nominees like never seen before.

Right now, the Party of No is blocking pretty much anything coming down the pike–even a tax cut for small businesses, which Republicans claim is their forte, they voted against as a bloc. Health care for the heroes who worked at Ground Zero and now suffer? Screw them!

What excuses are given? The goddamned DemocRATs didn’t allow us to attach huge tax cuts to the rich and every other thing we ever wanted tacked on to these bills as amendments, they wanted to force us to vote on these issues up-or-down! After all those years WE were in power and let Democrats add as many amendm… uh, OK, well, we shut them down and treated them like they didn’t exist, but now they’re fascist bastards anyway!!!!

Stuff like this, in addition to the we-love-fat-cat-bankers, the we-love-BP, we want to give Paris Hilton billions but the jobless are lazy and don’t deserve relief, and the fact that the GOP is going even more extreme as time goes on… even with people hating incumbents this year, it is still astonishing that people cannot see who is causing the damage.

You want Congress to do something about jobs? If Republicans get more than 40 in the Senate (they won’t retake the majority, that’s for sure), then you can bet that the near-total filibuster marathon will become an all-out standstill, or worse, Democrats will start to cave and things will start to roll back to the Bush years.

They have made it clear: as long as the Democrats hold the White House and a majority, they are determined to grind D.C. to a halt and make the country fail.

What really astonishes me: the Democrats and left-leaning independents don’t see this as a clarion call to march to the polls in droves. The Stimulus, Health Care, the auto industry revived and profitable, Wall Street reform, credit card reform… all despite near-monolithic opposition from the GOP, the Democrats have managed to get through as much big-ticket legislation in two years and others get through in four or eight. If you’re a liberal, it would be hard to claim that they haven’t accomplished anything, or as much as they could have. But if you fail to get out the vote, you’ll see either nothing or a hard, sharp turn to the right.

The alternative, should the Left fail to do the right thing: Democrats scrap the filibuster. In hindsight, they clearly should have taken the GOP up on this when the “Nuclear Option” was being threatened a few years back–it would have made no difference then, but a huge difference over the past two years. And if the Democrats do toss out the filibuster, and hang on to a majority in the House and a 4- or 5-vote margin in the Senate, with the filibuster gone they could accomplish even more.

And the Republicans could not even criticize the Democrats, because they themselves vilified the procedure and came up with the whole idea of killing it off, so they would have to be silent.

Ha! Gotcha! Of course they’d be hypocritical and blast the Dems. But the Dems should have the guts to ignore them and push ahead.

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