Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Rule Makers, Rule Breakers

This, from a former Republican Senate staffer, pretty much says it all (the whole article is worth a read. Below is an excerpt):

... Senate rules have been around for a long time. They work. They work, that is, if they are treated with respect, and if the Senate's role in the government is likewise treated with respect by its members. If they are, instead, treated with contempt -- as mere tools to enable timely response to organized constituencies -- work in the Senate will grind to a halt, encumbering the rest of the government.
I can understand, though I do not share, intense disagreement with every Obama administration initiative and disapproval of every Presidential nominee to every judgeship or executive branch office. Willful perversion of the Senate's rules in an effort to ensure that the Senate passes no legislation and approves no nominees (at least in a timely way) is so far beyond my experience with the body that I struggle to believe news accounts from the place.
And willful perversion of the Senate's rules is what the Senate Republicans committed themselves to. It is idle to complain about Sen. McConnell as if he were holding up nominees and legislation by himself. Nearly every Republican Senator -- including people like Cochran, Grassley, Hatch, McCain and Alexander who have been Senators for many years -- has supported McConnell without cavil throughout this entire sordid business. If McConnell acted in bad faith by going back on a promise made last year not to obstruct routine nominations, so did they...
I'd add, as I've already written, that the impact of reform is much greater on Republican obstructionism that it might be on Democrats; because they have never and would never use the filibuster as often as Rs have. Maybe it even figured into their thinking: hey, we're not as big of assholes as they are, so who cares, right?

[Image source]

Popular posts