Friday, July 13, 2007

Up Or Down Vote, Up Or Down Vote, Up Or Down Vote

Earlier this month I reported that Senate Republicans have embraced an obstructionist strategy. Republicans have converted the Senate rule requiring 60 votes to force a vote on a topic (cloture) into a rule requiring 60 votes to pass anything. The Democrats either surrender to the Republicans or nothing gets done.

Donny Shaw of Congress Gossip Blog reports that Wednesday's 56-41 vote on the Webb Amendment was the 47th time Senate Republicans have forced a cloture vote since the beginning of the 110th Congress. Shaw believes that if they maintain their current pace "by the end of the 110th Congress, Republicans will have forced cloture votes 144 times," shattering the old record of 82 set by the 104th Congress.

There is a way to break all this Republican obstructionism. Draw attention to it. Voters don't like "do nothing" Senators.

There is a way to draw attention to it. As Blue Girl suggested last night Harry Reid should force a real filibuster. It would be wonderful to see some Republican or Joe Lieberman "talk for as long as he can. Bring out the roll-away beds and make the bastard stand there until his ankles swell and his lips crack and he can’t go on another second."

Senate Minority Whip Trent Lott recently boasted, "The strategy of being obstructionist can work or fail. So far it's working for us." It would be wonderful if Harry forced Trent to spend the rest of this month standing in the well of the Senate reading the phone book. Every chance we get, we have to be demand an "up or down vote."