Or you wouldn’t be able to be obstructionists:
This year Senate Republicans are threatening filibusters to block more legislation than ever before, a pattern that’s rooted in — and could increase — the pettiness and dysfunction in Congress.
The trend has been evolving for 30 years. The reasons behind it are too complex to pin on one party. But it has been especially pronounced since the Democrats’ razor-thin win in last year’s election, giving them effectively a 51-49 Senate majority, and the Republicans’ exile to the minority.
Seven months into the current two-year term, the Senate has held 42 “cloture” votes aimed at shutting off extended debate — filibusters, or sometimes only the threat of one — and moving to up-or-down votes on contested legislation. Under Senate rules that protect a minority’s right to debate, these votes require a 60-vote supermajority in the 100-member Senate.
Democrats have trouble mustering 60 votes; they’ve fallen short 22 times so far this year. That’s largely why they haven’t been able to deliver on their campaign promises.
By sinking a cloture vote this week, Republicans successfully blocked a Democratic bid to withdraw combat troops from Iraq by April, even though a 52-49 Senate majority voted to end debate.
This year Republicans also have blocked votes on immigration legislation, a no-confidence resolution for Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and major legislation dealing with energy, labor rights and prescription drugs.
When you read this story, remember all the hysterical foot-stomping and wailing and gnashing and beating of breasts that took place in late 2004 and early 2005. It is merely more evidence of what I think that the most breathtaking thing about the pigheadedness of the GOP the past few years- how exceptionally short-sighted they are on everything. And I mean everything. Former proponents of the nuclear option will lamely attempt to claim that it only would have applied to the filibustering of judges- you and I know better. Regardless, over and over and over again, the Republicans have acted in a manner that may provide some sort of marginal electoral or political gain in the short-term (Schiavo, anyone?), but damages them and the country in the long term.
If you don’t think the next Democratic President is going to love the Imperial Presidency Bush and Cheney are trying to construct, aided and abetted by a subservient and supine minority (formerly a majority- think that is a coincidence) in Congress, you need your head examined.