Immediately following the Democratic spanking of Republicans in the 2006 mid terms, two GOP alternative plans were launched.
The first was the political stunt wrapped in militarist clothing and given the ignorant and meaningless title, "the surge." The second GOP plan, after getting their Rove-inspired asses handed to them in 2006, was to obstruct all legislation by the newly majoritied Democratic congress.
As of June 9, 2008....
Republicans in the Senate have filibustered more than 70 pieces of legislation (73) in the current session of Congress....far surpassing the previous record of 62 cloture votes.
A blood-red conservative explains the dynamic...
"The use of a filibuster as a routine measure on virtually every bill and the use of the filibuster on bills where there is a consensus on a tactic to slow things down, to make the place look bad, that is new," said Norm Ornstein, a congressional expert with the American Enterprise Institute (no liberal outfit, they). "It is sending Congress' approval down into the sewer but it is also sending Republicans even further into the sewer." Link
Republicans, as we've found out once again during the period from 2000-2006, refuse to govern, even when elected as the majority. They're idea of governance is to turn ALL federal agencies and bodies over to Republican cronies who then work to enrich the interests and the bottom lines of America's wealthiest. The Republican Party's concept of governing is to allow the executive branch to make all decisions and to do so without any oversight by Congress. The 2000-2006 Republican congressional majority was difficult to distinguish from a large rubber stamp.
When Republicans are in the minority, as they have been since 2007, they play obstructionistic defense. When the nation is stricken with a Republican congressional majority, that GOP majority considers bipartisanship to be nothing more than "date rape." Like sixth graders on the schoolyard, if Republicans own the ball, the game must be played by their rules....if Republicans don't own the ball, no one gets to play at all.
Yes indeed, the current Congress has record low approval numbers. Those numbers reflect a successful campaign by obstructionistic Republicans to shut the place down, (insert Newt Gingrich joke), to prevent anything significant from being passed for the American people. Why? Because that would make Democrats look good and Rove-inspired Republicans simply can't bear any such outcome.
Republican obstructionism has led directly to orchestrated winger bashing of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Leader Harry Reid. At the same time that GOP'ers were blocking every effort by Pelosi and Reid to pass anything of significance for America, they were also pointing their crooked fingers at Reid and Pelosi as the villains, the do-nothingers.
There's absolutely nothing new about any of this.
My point is that the low congessional approval numbers are an aberration. 49 Senate Democrats simply cannot pass ANY legislation.....as seen in the congressional fight over ending our occupation of the previously sovereign and non-threatening nation of Iraq.
Sidenote: The only reason the "rescue" bill and a few funding bills have passed of late is because we're very close to an election.
A question has come up about Barack Obama's ability to work with congressional representatives to get stuff done. On what basis can I, The Reverend, state that Obama can and will lead our country in a positive direction? How can I be sure Obama can accomplish what he says he will?
Fair enough question.
What Obama has actually accomplished....
Obama voted in favor of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and cosponsored the Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act. In September 2006, Obama supported a related bill, the Secure Fence Act. Obama introduced two initiatives bearing his name: Lugar–Obama, which expanded the Nunn–Lugar cooperative threat reduction concept to conventional weapons, and the Coburn–Obama Transparency Act, which authorized the establishment of USAspending.gov, a web search engine on federal spending. On June 3, 2008, Senator Obama, along with Senators Thomas R. Carper, Tom Coburn, and John McCain, introduced follow-up legislation: Strengthening Transparency and Accountability in Federal Spending Act of 2008. Link
Very revealing and detailed explanation here of Obama working with ALL sides to accomplish something good in Chicago.
I know some out there hate Daily Kos.....but Kos has an exhaustive list with links of Obama's legislative sponsorship and accomplishments. See that here.
For those who won't click on Kos, perhaps this site will be more palatable.
To those who say that Barack Obama is a lefty's liberal ready to spring a new communist agenda on the American people, I would direct your attention to his FISA bill vote here.
Personally, I'm still pissed about Obama's FISA vote. Not many readers would confuse me with a conservative.
Obama's approach to Congressional spending.... "a government unified around the concept of fiscal discipline and centered around the pay-go rule. Insisting on paying for things will lead to better economic policy."
Working with Blue Dog Democrats.
"Runaway spending and record deficits are not how families run their budgets, and it can't be how Washington handles people's tax dollars," Obama said in his Oct. 1 speech, delivered shortly before the Senate bailout vote. "It's time to return to the fiscal responsibility we had in the 1990s. We need to go through the budget, get rid of programs that don't work, and make the ones we do need work better and cost less. With less money flowing into the Treasury, some useful programs or policies might need to be delayed in the years ahead."
Finally...on the "Obama doesn't have enough experience to become president" issue.
In 2000, a man totally inexperienced in, and uninformed about American foreign policy.....a Connecticut-to-Texas transplant who governed over the uninspiring state of Texas, where governship jurisdiction rules were extremely limiting ....was selected by five Supreme Court Justices to become president. Conservatives and moderates, apparently, had no problem then with a lack of experience.
To me, when it comes to politicians, judgment trumps experience every time. Obama has demonstrated repeatedly that his judgment is superior to his opponent....on Iraq, Afghanistan, diplomacy in foreign policy, the current financial problems, recognition of the critical issues, like health care, facing Americans, etc.
The most glaring distinction between Obama and McCain? Obama has ALREADY united the nation and will continue to do so.....McCain, with his despicable campaign, has demonstrated that he will continue the Rove-Bush policy of dividing the country for potential political game. We simply can't afford one more year of that hateful and destructive strategy.
For these and many other reasons....I encourage all voters to vote for Barack Obama.
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