Town Square

Nuclear Option Averted; Whirled Peas Reign

Original post made by Tom Cushing, Danville, on Jul 17, 2013

While America slept, our stalwart government has saved us from a fate worse than … gridlock? Perhaps? This week, our Senators worked tirelessly, ‘til way past quitting-time one evening, to forge an agreement for the Ages, if your age is denominated in weeks.

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Posted by spcwt
a resident of Danville
on Jul 17, 2013 at 3:56 pm

Republican senators are not “terrorists” merely for following Senate rules.

If the Democrats don’t like the filibuster rule, then they should change it. They could do it today. They have the votes.

Didn’t Democrats use the filibuster to block nearly all Pentagon appointments during George W. Bush's second term? Are Democrats terrorists too?

Democrats won’t drop the filibuster rule, of course, because they’re too afraid they might need it to block a GOP nominee for the Supreme Court who is against Roe v. Wade.

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Posted by Tom Cushing
a resident of Alamo
on Jul 18, 2013 at 7:41 am

S-P: any attempt to paint the current Congressional dysfunction as just-politics, or business-as-usual is ludicrous. GOP patterns of obstructing the Dems' agenda in both Houses have been unprecedented, conscious, consistent and very effective -- and damaging to the common good, as I see it. But that point has been amply made elsewhere, by lots of observers.

My thesis Here is that the Dems keep playing Charlie Brown to the GOP's Lucy -- expecting the Repubs to play-nice in the future, based on concessions the Dems make in the present. That is also ludicrous -- the teams are playing different games, and as with any hard-bargainer, you have to take your gains up-front, rather than trust in a different future based on illusory notions of reciprocal goodwill. Trust has been broken; there is no goodwill here to be had.

The Dems should have changed the filibuster rules on Executive Appointments and moved-on, fully understanding that the GOP -- if/when it achieves a majority, will certainly act to do so, immediately -- reGardless of what the Dems do now. GOP would probably go farther -- either all the way, because why-not, or at least as far as to include judicial noms, including abortion foes at all court levels.

Remember the old song about the snake who bit the woman who had cared for it? Web Link No, I am not calling all GOP senators snakes (or terrorists), but one should never rely on a species changing its nature.

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Posted by spcwt
a resident of Danville
on Jul 18, 2013 at 11:42 am

Harry Reid is no Charlie Brown.

Dems are sharp, shrewd politicians. They aren’t saints, of course. They will stretch the rules too when it suits them (e.g. See enactment of Obamacare).

It’s a pattern of abuse of public trust by Washington politicians of both parties.

For example, look how Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew abused the law so that Daniel Werfel could continue serving as Acting IRS Commissioner. Werfel’s appointment as Acting IRS Commissioner was set to expire. The law said he couldn’t continue in that role. So what did Lew do? He changed Werfel’s job title. That allowed Werfel, in substance, to continue serving as Acting IRS Commissioner.

When I first read that, I didn’t think much of it. It seemed like a smart way to avoid dealing with Congress and the law. But then I thought, why does the Treasury Secretary believe he can easily circumvent the law and the will of Congress by finessing the statute that way? Is that the right example for the Treasury Secretary to set for those who work at Treasury and the IRS?

What example does it set for taxpayers? Should we finesse the tax laws in a similar fashion?

I thought about all of the abuses by people in positions of power, whether it is spying on private conversations, willful failure to enforce immigration laws, illegal drone strikes, to name a few.

Politicians of both parties thwart the intent of our laws in equal measure and are increasingly unaccountable, particularly in the large federal government, which you want to expand.

You are generally less critical Democrat abuses, as you largely agree with their policy objectives.

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Posted by Tom Cushing
a resident of Alamo
on Jul 19, 2013 at 12:21 pm

I just do not see much evidence of 'sharp' or 'shrewd' from Sen. Reid, nor support for that kind of claim in your post. I think there Is evidence that the Dems routinely give away too much in their negotiations with the minority party, this being just one example. You seem to agree that they just should have changed the rule.

Furthermore, I have always believed that you and I were both thoroughly unbiased observers of the scene (along with everybody else).