Friday, July 10, 2009

No More Excuses, Which Side Are You On?

More strong words from Harry Reid and Dick Durbin:

Majority Whip Dick Durbin (Ill.) said Tuesday that he and Senate Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) will be asking the 60-member Democratic caucus to “stick together” on procedural votes that would allow the chamber to begin or end debate on legislation. Sixty votes are needed to close debate, or invoke cloture, on a measure and avoid a filibuster.

The message to Democrats, Durbin said, is: “Don’t let the Republicans filibuster us into failure. We want to succeed, and to succeed we need to stick together.”

Both parties have always put a premium on unity when it comes to procedural votes. The difference in the 111th Congress is that a unified Democratic Conference doesn’t necessarily need Republican support to succeed.

With 60 caucus members, Senate Democratic leaders are now under increased pressure to deliver big legislative wins on health care and climate change, largely because Republicans theoretically can no longer use the filibuster rules to prevent Democrats from passing major pieces of the agenda.

This puts the focus directly on the Douche Caucus, who now face a very clear choice between allowing votes to take place or joining with the Republicans to actively obstruct the Democratic agenda. As you might expect, Douche Caucus Chair Evan Bayh seems to have picked his side:
“Most Senators vote their conscience and they do what they think is right. They didn’t come here to be told what to do by somebody else,” moderate Sen. Evan Bayh (Ind.) said.
Yep, Evan "the corporate whore" Bayh doesn't listen to anyone before he votes. It's just his conscience that tells him to sell out Indiana's middle class at every chance he gets. But he's not the only one. Several other Douches have expressed concerns about allowing their own party to govern:

For example, Sen. Mary Landrieu (La.) said she would “be supportive of many Democratic priorities” and is “absolutely committed to help the Democratic leadership and the president get health care reform that our people can depend on.” However, she flatly refused to rule out filibustering any bill, including health care and climate change legislation.

“I’m going to keep an open mind, but I am not committing to any procedural straitjackets one way or another,” she said.

Similarly, Sen. Ben Nelson (Neb.) said he has often been loath to block legislation or executive branch nominees, but reserves the right to filibuster if he determines it’s warranted.

“I’m not a closed mind on cloture, but if it’s an abuse of procedure, if it’s somebody trying to put a poison pill into a bill, or if it’s something that would be pre-emptive of Nebraska law, or something that rises to extraordinary circumstances, then I’ve always reserved the right to vote against cloture,” Nelson said.

I love the gulf between the dire legislation that they describe and the bills that are actually being considered. "A poison pill", "abuse of procedure", "extraordinary circumstances". Because these are words that come to mind when a Senator is forced to decide whether or not it's worth fucking over their constituents in order to appease whatever corporate lobby currently needs appeasing.

The good news about having 60 votes in the senate is that there are no more excuses, and no more places to hide. If the Douche Caucus decides to join the Republicans in filibustering the Democratic agenda, that's their call. They've just shown us that they don't need any Democratic party resources the next time they're up for re-election. And if Harry Reid isn't willing to stand up to the Democrats who are obstructing the agenda that they were elected pursue, then we know we'll need new leadership as well.

It's time for the Senate Democrats to answer the age old question: "Which side are you on?"

No comments:

Post a Comment