Thursday, July 30, 2009

The further adventures of partisanship

By Cylinsier

In today's episode of "New ways the GOP can shoot themselves in the collective foot," I was startled to read (on NPR's site) that Obama is having trouble with his judicial nominees in the Senate. No, not Sotomayor. The other nominees for openings like district judges, attorneys and executive positions. In all, there are close to 100 vacancies now waiting to be filled. The picks have been made and sent to the floor, they're just not being voted on.

It shouldn't be this hard. We have a political consensus between the executive and legislative branches, so the Congressional Democrats have to share at least some of the blame for this. They have a majority and Obama's picks came in months ago. So what's the hold up? Apparently, Democrats aren't in a rush to push the noms through because they feel they have bigger fish to fry, like healthcare. Fair enough, but surely nobody wins when these important positions are left vacant? We've seen what Congress does when they try to debate healthcare, and that's a whole lot of back and forth and missed deadlines. If you're going to miss them anyway, at least get some other important work done.

The Republicans are still going to be hard pressed to escape the lion's share of the culpability. Its inexplicable because many of the nominees have overwhelming support from Republicans, but they just aren't finishing the job. The alleged reason is payback for Sotomayor, which is disappointing but probably not surprising. Republicans had requested the Sotomayor be voted on in September, but Democrats scheduled it for August. The GOP readily admits that it is blocking as many Obama nominations as possible to retaliate. It seems to fit perfectly into their recently adopted plan to be as petty and unproductive as possible because the voters gave them the smaller ice cream cone. When asked, they justify their actions by saying that the Democratic majority should be able to override them and it is weak if it can't. Draw your own conclusions.

The result of this stall is that serious damage has already been done. For example, some important legal cases have literally dried up and died because the new attorneys that were supposed to be handling them are still waiting for their day on the floor. Despite the increasingly confusing blame game politics on Capitol Hill, I think its pretty hard to see anyone but the GOP as the major culprit here. In referencing yesterday's post on a similar subject, the GOP needs to understand that they don't need to play to their conservative base. They could burn Sarah Palin in effigy and they are still going to get those votes because the neocon voting block would sooner gargle Osama bin Laden's nuts than vote for a Democrat. What the GOP needs to do is take a look at some numbers.

And what better numbers than these: as of 2004, there were 171 million registered voters in the country. Of those, 72 million are Democrats, 55 are Republican and the other 44 are independent or belong to a third party. So what do these numbers tell us? If voters vote straight party affiliation and the independents split evenly, the Democrats win EVERY TIME. So why aren't the Republicans trying to court those important independents? Either they're stubborn or stupid, or more likely both. The Republicans aren't going to win any elections any time soon by following their current course of action. The rest of the nation is not as dumb as they seem to think we are. The Democrats' numbers may be dropping, but they have a long way to go before they catch up to the GOP.

Its time for the Republicans to wake up and smell their own bullshit. I'm not saying surrender your beliefs, but there has to be compromise for the sake of their party. The Democrats don't need compromise, and that is surely frustrating for the GOP. The Democrats have the numbers to push just about anything through eventually. Doesn't mean they will but they can. The GOP is allowing their pride to be the final nail in their coffin. They have a very short window of opportunity to swallow it and start thinking about people and places other than themselves. Sphere: Related Content

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