So, Harry Reid wants to amend the filibuster rules and Mitch McConnell is shocked, shocked I tell you because Harry dares to propose that the majority should rule on this matter.
In his Wonkblog at The Washington Post today, Ezra Klein takes a look (great read) and notes that while McConnell weeps upon the sacred steps of the Senate decrying any changes to the rules (as did the Dems before him) and claims the filibuster to be a historical sacrament . . . well, here’s some real history:
The American system of government was built to protect minority voices, but the Founding Fathers explicitly rejected designing the Congress around a supermajority requirement. In Federalist 22, Alexander Hamilton savaged the idea of a supermajority Congress, writing that “its real operation is to embarrass the administration, to destroy the energy of government and to substitute the pleasure, caprice or artifices of an insignificant, turbulent or corrupt junta, to the regular deliberations and decisions of a respectable majority.”
Posted in broken government, Civics, Congress critters, Government, History, Politics
Tagged broken government, Filibuster, Harry Reid, majority rule, Mitch McConnell, Politics, US Senate
Mitch McConnell: worst. speaker. ever.
Dear Senate Democrats:
The Republicans in the Senate in the voice of leader and turtle out of his shell Mitch McConnell have announced they will stop any vote on raising the debt ceiling unless they get their way with Medicare.
A very astute observer Josh Marshall listens to McConnell’s words and hears as self-serving a Senatorial statement as has been heard this session.
Republicans have boxed themselves into a political corner with their plan to end Medicare. It’s a big problem for them politically, and there’s no easy way out . . . [so] McConnell just announced he will not support raising the debt ceiling unless big Medicare cuts are part of the deal. Translation: Unless Democrats get us off the hook by agreeing to deep Medicare cuts (meaning Democrats can no longer attack Republicans for wanting to eliminate Medicare), then we’re going to force the federal government into default on its debt. . . . It’s as stark as that. And the decision for Democrats is equally stark: Do you negotiate with hostage-takers?
No you don’t Mr. Reid. No you don’t and don’t you dare. If Republicans actually would allow us to go into default and suffer all the world wide consequences of such an action, let them pay the price and forfeit all pretense of being part of this ‘governing’ thing.
Let them slink away with their Tea Party buddies to a State with a population smaller than Hartford and let them sit together late at night and plot how to take down those damn Americans. And all their damn American ideas. And all their damn beliefs that people matter.
The debt ceiling is important. More important though, is standing up to threats, threats as cavalier as McConnell’s.
So don’t you dare Mr. Reid.
Posted in Congress critters, economy, Government, Politics, Tea Party
Tagged debt ceiling, Harry Reid, Josh Marshall, Medicare, Mitch McConnell, Politics, Talking Points Memo
My god, he really does look like a turtle!
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell was just on The News Hour where Jim Lehrer always asks informed and serious questions which McConnell answered like he was on Morning Joe. He was as squirrely as can be and wouldn’t even “reveal” whether he was one of those Congressional leaders who were shown the bin Laden death photos. Only elvis knows why.
What caught my attention though was this phrasing: “President Obama’s request to raise the debt ceiling.” He said it half a dozen times.
Sounds like Frank Lutz is back on the job.
The new Speaker of the House of Representatives in the 112th Congress of the United States of America declines invitations to official State Dinners of the United States of America – unless George Bush invites him. Apparently. And he thinks it’s okay – or even clever. It is not.
He is the third in line to the Presidency of the United States of America and when this nation formally and most diplomatically entertains the leader of our greatest competitor, a country likely to challenge us for ‘great power’ leadership, he is supposed to be there, supporting his government. It’s his frackin’ job.
FAIL, Mr. Boehner, big time FAIL.
A few words on that from Jena McGregor’s “On Leadership” column in today’s Washington Post.
” [This] marks the third time the Republican leader has skipped a state dinner during Obama’s administration. But [the] rationale that Boehner doesn’t believe in Washington’s pomp apparently didn’t stop him from attending a 2007 state dinner for Queen Elizabeth II during George W. Bush’s presidency. The white tie dinner for more than 100 guests included caviar, champagne and dover sole.
Some etiquette experts have looked aghast at Boehner’s decline. Politics Daily quotes Anita McBride, chief of staff to former First Lady Laura Bush, as saying that “you really have to be sick, dead or dying to regret a state dinner invitation.” Meanwhile, Letitia Baldridge, who was social secretary to President Kennedy, had even sharper words . . . Boehner’s decision was “short-sighted and a failing of his duty.”
[the columnist adds] “he should deal with it for an evening. Leadership requires that people do things they don’t like all the time, whether it’s attending a fancy dinner or negotiating on thorny issues with opponents.
A leader at Boehner’s level should actually want to take every opportunity to present a unified front to other countries.”
Suppose he’s declining these invitations to sit down with foreign heads of State for an altogether and far more troubling reason – suppose he wants allies and adversaries to perceive the leader of our country as weak? If that’s the case, his rudeness does damage to the country he claims to love. China conceivably could see Boehner’s snub as evidence that the United States is a disjointed, politically unstable country.
I heard that tired old talking point, a charge leveled against Rep. Mike Castle (who lost the Delaware primary) – heard it on one of the talking head shows – to make the case that Christine O’Donnell was the better candidate. Did the Dem challenge it? Of course not. But it would have been so easy – a cursory google or wikipedia check reveals that while O’Donnell listed herself as a self-employed marketing consultant there’s no evidence of that. All of her jobs, whether paid or unpaid (could have involved marketing activity as nebulous as that phrase is) have been with political organizations or conservative advocacy groups. Can’t find a single private sector (or for profit) job in her resume.
Here are some other Republicans who have never had to meet a payroll:
GOP presidential candidate 2008: John McCain – never had to buy health insurance either. Grew up in military, served in military, went to Congress. Public tit all the way. Never had a private sector job or met a payroll.
Former Speaker of the House: Newt Gingrich – grew up military, taught at state college, went to Congress. After Congress, it’s all non-profit advocacy organizations along with ‘fellow’ status at conservative think tanks to pay the bill. He is lately peddling Newt Inc, so that’s private I guess. But government tit till he was bounced by his party from the leadership for being a bad, bad boy.
Senator from Kentucky and Senate Minority Leader: Mitch McConnell – military and Congress all the way. No private sector. No payrolls. Solid government tit.
There are no doubt plenty of Dems with the same resume. But they’re not accusing their opponents of ‘never having met a payroll.”
Posted in campaign finance, Civics, Congress critters, elections, Media, Politics
Tagged Christine O'Donnell, Civics, congress, elections, GOP, government, John McCain, Media, Mitch McConnell, Newt Gingrich, Politics
In his Vanity Fair blog, Fallows has a word today about Sen. Mitch McConnell who is once again holding up 80+ federal nominees because he is pissed about one of them.
Fallows says: In the short run, the power of public embarrassment needs to be used against individual politicians who recognize so little check on their personal power.