Saturday, November 18, 2006


Throughout the Democrats time in the minority, they were constantly threatened by the ominous "nuclear option", which would have entailed eliminating the filibuster from use by the minority. A filibuster allows the minority to exercise some amount of power over such things as judicial nominees. A filibuster can be halted by 60 senators voting to stop it. The GOP, wishing to jam through some of George W. Bush's more offensive judicial nominees threatened to to get a parliamentary ruling forbidding filibusters on judicial nominations.

I thought during the entire debate that it was amazingly stupid and shortsighted of the Republicans to even consider such move as there was no guarantee they would always be the majority party, despite bloated claims the contrary. If the GOP leadership had decided to detonate this option, and then subsequently lost power in a future election (which is what happened), they would have been the first to stand up and scream about what an unfair move it was and that the Democrats should immediately revert to its original formulation.

Alas, the option was not chosen, and the filibuster remains in place. And so much the better for the Republicans as I've noted two separate instances where they intend to use their filibuster power during the coming session. The first instance I noted was Senator James Inhofe (R-KS), a man who has a sort of "earth is flat" mentality when it comes to global warming. Despite mountains of evidence of it's existence and it's man-made causes, Inhofe continues to zealously insert his fingers in his ears and scream LALALALALALALALA! No surprise of course that Inhofe's biggest contributors are in the energy/natural resources sector. And anyone who dared bring any climate change legislation to a vote, he would most certainly filibuster it (C&L has the video). Though to be fair, Inhofe claims that he won't have to use a filibuster because "the votes aren't there because the science is not there." I can almost see this neanthertal riding home in his little foot-powered Flintstone mobile, the man is so damn out-of-step with the present and reality.

The next contestant in the biggest hypocrite race is new Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, who issued a threat to obstruct Senate business if Bush doesn't get a vote on his far-right nominees.

The Senate's next Republican leader issued a veiled threat to block action on legislation if Democrats refuse to allow confirmation votes on President Bush's troubled judicial nominations.

Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who will become minority leader Jan. 4, told the conservative Federalist Society Friday not to feel bad about the Senate election results because Republicans will hold 49 seats in a body that requires 60 votes to end a filibuster and bring legislation or presidential nominees to a final vote.

If the "Democrats want our cooperation, they'll give the president's judicial nominees an up-or-down vote," McConnell said.

So, do what we say, or we stop all Senate work. Wait, aren't the Dems the party of obstruction? After all, no less a personage than Bush himself recently called Democrats the party of obstruction, which, based on the context of his remarks would seem to indicate that this is something of a bad thing. Yet now it is the Republicans who wish to champion the mantle of obstuctionism now. Just so we're clear, when Dems do it, that's bad. When Repubs do it, that's good. Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you hypocrisy in action.

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