Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Working The Clock

I don’t know why it always surprises me, what the conservatives are doing.
There’s an
article online from The Nation that talks about the great lengths the conservatives in the Senate are going to in order to prevent Al Franken from claiming Minnesota’s Senate seat. Long story short, the senators are personally ponying up the cash needed to keep the appeals afloat. From any reading of the rulings so far, they have a negligible chance of succeeding. But the longer the appeal goes on, the longer they keep the Democrats 2 votes from the 60 needed to avoid a filibuster, instead of 1.

They have plenty of practice at this running-out-the-clock tactic… they’ve been using it for the last 2 years. Ever since the mini-revolt of 2006, which gave the Democrats a razor-thin margin in the Senate, the Republicans have been using every stalling and obstructing tactic available to keep the Democrats from getting anything of substance passed. Presumably this was done so they could point to the lack of results and say, “Hey, they didn’t do anything while they were in charge, vote for us.” Obviously, it didn’t work out very well. (See election: 11/4/08) Certainly looks like they’re going to try a do-over in 2010.

Cynthia Tucker also has a good column out this week, highlighting the "other" Republican strategy, which is to squeal about the deficit and overspending. I don't know how they even do this with a straight face. Obviously they were all on board when it was their guy doing the spending on such uselss programs as abstinence programs, faith-based initiatives, tax cuts for the richest 2% of the country and, oh yeah, one thoroughly unnecessary war, all of which gave us the highest deficit of all time. Now that the Democrats want to spend money on health, education, and alternative fuels, (you know, things that would make the country better for everybody), they want to be all frugal. In other words, the living embodiment of "I got mine, get yours."

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