U.S. Senate: When will Enough be enough?

Now I read this (excerpted from HuffingtonPost “GOP Senators refusing to work past 2 PM”):

Is this true?? :confused: :mad: :smack:

As a centrist (or liberal), I know most of us are outraged by this. (And outraged the Demos stand for it. And outraged the public seems not to care.) What do Doper right-wingers and libertarians think of it? Are you proud that “your boys” are doing this?

It is sad and pathetic, but we get the democracy we deserve. If we were in the midst of economic surplus, good job reports, affordable health care, international peace, etc. these things wouldn’t be so bothersome. But the US is just emerging from a precipice of a second great depression (some economists say what could have happened or could still happen would be worse than the first great depression because of how interconnected the global economy is). Our health care is bankrupting public and private sector and will need fundamental reforms soon to remain solvent, we have 20% underemployment/unemployment with 30 million people in the U6. We are fighting 2 wars and a global war on terrorism. Our national deficits are over a trillion while personal and public bankruptcies are everywhere.

Its pathetic that they pull this stuff and act like 5 year olds who hold their breath and throw a tantrum because mom won’t buy them a candy bar at the grocery story. The saddest part is the GOP is going to win big in 2010. The website 538 has then winning about 5 senate seats and probably 30 house seats.

After they do win big in 2010, they are going to assume (somewhat rightly) that dogmatic obstructionism, histrionics, incessant lying and ignoring the serious problems facing the nation are winning strategies.

Well, if these rules aren’t to be used, why were they instituted in the first place?

Would you damn Republicans stop oxing my gore?!?!? What did we ever do to you??


Well, I have mixed emotions here. For one thing, I think the Republicans have been idiots in the way they have played this all out (and continue to play it), and I think that, in the long run, this whole thing will blow up in their faces, regardless of how it turns out.

That said, I think the Dems could and should have done more to get bipartisan support on this thing. You can’t tell me that Republican centrists and more liberal/libertarian leaning Pubs couldn’t have been wooed over at some point, given some stake and input into this thing, which would have ensured at least some participation. Before you ask, I don’t know what more could have been done…I’m no political strategist, don’t know what carrots or sticks could have been used, or what other actions might have been tried that weren’t…but in the end a number of Democrats were opposed and had to be wooed back in and the Republicans were in completely lock step opposition to this thing. To me, that doesn’t bode well for the future.

Unfortunately, I lost my train of thought there, so no idea what my point was.

That they intend to be obstructionist assholes for the rest of this term? Yeah…from what Iv’e read, that seems to be the strategy they are going with. It’s dead stupid, and it’s going to bite them on the bottom, IMHO. Right now they are predicted to gain some seats back, but if they keep this up they may gain fewer than they thought…or, maybe very few indeed.

Instead of doing all this stupid shit, instead of actually looking at the plan from an unbiased perspective and reviewing what’s really in there, and then taking that and rationally and calmly pointing out the various flaws from a fiscal conservatives view point, as well as the flaws that might encourage or allow abuse, the Republicans spend all their time basically pumping up the base with a bunch of lies and exaggerations designed to play on the fears and expectations of their base. Instead of offering up solid, well thought out and fiscally sound alternatives, which, if dismissed by the Dems would have put the Pubs in the moral high seat atm, the Pubs instead pissed away a golden opportunity. The morons.


Would it be rude to call this response content-free?

Obama and the Demos couldn’t have “bent over backwards” more than they did without actually handing the GOP vaseline and making lewd invitations. That you think otherwise makes me wonder if America’s news polarization really does mean, as I’ve said before, that American political observers are living in parallel worlds.

It’s hard to say how this will play out. Right now it’s a war of propaganda. The Republicans are saying they’re acting on high principles to make a stand against an intolerable program. The Democrats are saying the Republicans are just being mindless obstructionists for partisan purposes. The Democrats say the Republicans are hurting the country. The Republicans say they are trying to stop the Democrats from hurting the country. Both sides are playing to the voters and we’ll see in November who was the most convincing.

That’s a ton more polite than I would have been.

I’ll be charitable and say yeah, presumably there was some rationale for the rule when it was instituted. For the life of me though I cannot figure out what that rationale is (and I’ve looked…it is baffling).

So, if the Reps had a rationale for invoking the rule they should state it. But they haven’t. Indeed Senator Burr who objected the first time said he did so on behalf of a nameless someone else. Whatever the rationale was the Reps hid behind the coattails of another Senator to do this. Burr even seemed chagrined over it (although maybe he was acting but why act that way if invoking the rule had good reason behind it).

Further, the Reps do not have any issue with the work these committees are doing. These committees have fuck-all to do with health care. In one case a committee flew a few US Commanders in to testify. One from almost literally around the world. Guy got to cool his heels instead. Surely he has nothing better he could be doing.

In short they are shutting down the government out of petulance. At least that is how it looks from where I sit unless you can provide the good rationale for why the Reps are doing this.

Not holding my breath waiting for you to produce this though.

:rolleyes: Well, with content like that, I can see why you’d be upset…

I just asked a question. I don’t know why you guys are getting all freaked out. What is the purpose of having these rules? If they’re bad rules, why don’t the Dems just change them-- can’t they do that with a simple majority?

No, it takes 2/3 to change senate rules. They’ll never get that many Republicans on board.

Are you suggesting that the Pubs are now questioning these rules they presumably had no issues with until health care reform passed? How long have these rules been in place and who voted for these rules? Have you heard anything of substance from any Republican leaders that you can share with us?

Oh, just asking a question. See, I took the “if these rules aren’t to be used” part of your “question” as an excuse ala “the rules are there, so you shouldn’t whine about them being used”. Had it been a just a question, I would have expected that phrase not to be there. Now I see that I must have misread your post, and that you innocently included that extra phrase. Any intimations or conclusions from the tone and phrasing of the “question” were surely my fault.

Yeah, whatever.

The Senate sets up its own rules. If they don’t want the rules to be used, they shouldn’t set them up in the first place. Of course, there’s always the option to act like a grown-up, too:

So, to answer the question posed by the OP: Meh. As a libertarian-ish poster here, the less these guys do the better. We are not a nation suffering from a lack of legislation. And since they seem to be able to ignore this rule if they want to, maybe they should just grow a pair and do what they think is right.

Is it possible, to you, for there to be a misuse of a rule, or is every time a rule or procedure is used, it is proper? Is there no place for judgment about the propriety of the use of a rule or procedure in your view?

I believe you can change the rules with a simple majority at the start of each session. Supposedly the dems are considering that after the 2010 midterms when they will have 54-55 seats.

What would be nice is if they changed the rules, but let the changes expire in 2 years.

It’s hard to imagine a “proper” use of this rule. ISTM that many of these Senate rules (or, sometimes, traditions) serve no other purpose than to give each Senator significant power to influence the Senate as a whole. Maybe it’s time to bring that body into the 21st century and forget about all the stuff that made it essentially an elite men’s club for so much of its history.

I am not fond of the Dems that are in office and would like to see them voted out. The problem is with the Reps we get a different set of bad problems, just as bad if not worse. In the past I always ended up voting against one, I was not happy with who I voted for but felt I had not choise.
I am not pleased with the “health care?” reform. But I am becoming discusted with the general Reps responce. It is there and we are stuck with it. Get over it and set about making what we have right.

Look at Calif. neither party is willing to compromise on the big things. With the budget last year each party took the attitude “its my way or the highway.” Yes they finally got a budget, by using smoke and mirrors.

With the last election I was afraid to vote for either major party canidate. I wish there was a none of the above box. Next election I will consider 3rd party.

They are not blocking legislation. They are blocking committee meetings such as the Armed Services Committee (among others). Big difference. And not only are they sticking it to their fellow legislators but to numerous other people such as US Commanders.

I have no idea what can happen if they just ignore the rules but then if ignoring the rules becomes the norm in an entity that crucially runs on dogmatic adherence to the rules what are we left with?

Legislation starts at the committee level, does it not?

There are self-correcting mechanism to prevent that from getting out of control. But if it makes them stop and rethink these “arcane rules”, then maybe so much the better.

And yet, the guy who objected to the continuation actually gave no salient reason for doing so. He simply said something to the effect of “my side of the aisle objects” despite the fact that he noted he, himself, had no objection whatsoever to continuing the meeting.

If that isn’t blatant obstructionism, I don’t know what is.