Tag Archives: Joe Lieberman

Olympian Arrogance…

11 Feb

Olympia Snowe, (R-ME) has displayed such arrogance in the past four years that I have been in awe of her ego.  I can just picture Sisyphus pushing Olympia’s ego up the hill.  Democrats have courted her and kissed her nether regions in order to serve the public good, which she thinks she comes out smelling like a rose. Sorry Olympia, you smell pretty sour to me. Now Ginny’s Tea Party is going after her seat in the Senate. The writing is on the wall, Olympia.  You will lose to the Tea Party candidate locked in a straight jacket, who will lose the general election to the absolutely whacked out Republican candidate.  Congratulations, Olympia. Your ego has now allowed Maine to be an anti-woman, anti-gay, and right wing nut state.  You, Blanche Lincoln, and Uncle Joe Lieberman need to have your own private Tea Party and have a history lesson by Michele Bachmann. Cick here to see the full article.

The Snowe Job Is Melting

Historic Moment Upon Us: Repeal DADT

17 Dec

Thanks, Jen Lockett for sharing this  video with me.  While I’m not a fan of Uncle Joe Lieberman, at least he is on the right side of history regarding DADT.  Please let the Senate do the right thing.  Show homophobic bigots like John McCain that he cannot stop civil rights!  Please watch this video and hope we stop discrimination in our armed forces.

Dear America, thanks for letting us play with your Senate. Sorry we broke it. Best, Republicans.

9 Dec

The U.S. Congress has two houses for a reason. The House of Representatives is the very democratic, majority rules, free-for-all. The Senate is supposed to be the more deliberative, contemplative, august body that weighs the significant issues and gives every state an equal vote in major national issues. The minority party has a certain level of authority in the Senate, allowing, hypothetically, a broader spectrum of input. Bad news, folks, it just doesn’t work that way anymore.

If you’ve heard/watched/surfed any news over the past two years, you’ve been bombarded with they myth of the 60-vote majority. The Republicans in the Senate have hijacked the filibuster to derail any issue they dislike. Because they are much better at voting in lockstep than the Democrats, even a 60/40 split paralyzed action on major issues. Action in the Senate has come down to a minority vote of fewer than 40 rather than a majority vote of 51 or more. This is wrong. However much CNN wants you to believe it, a 60-vote majority is not a part of the Founding Fathers’ plan for the Senate.

The filibuster was intended as a measure to continue debate so that all aspects of a key issue could be considered. If a Senator found a particular issue particularly troublesome, he or she could hold the floor to wear down the opposition. Now all one has to do to derail an issue is imply that one might not vote to suspend debate, which takes 60 votes. Suddenly the hypothetical moderate Republicans like Susan Collins of Maine get huge amounts of control as Harry Reid and President Obama court them with all kinds of promises and negotiations, just to get them to agree to end debate. (Republican in Petulant Jackass Clothing Joe Lieberman plays this card a lot too.)

Back when the Republicans held the Senate, Democrats tried to use the filibuster to block noxious Bush appointees. The Republicans threatened the “nuclear option” which would have changed the rules (at least for appointments) to minimize the use of cloture votes and the 60-vote requirement. A gang of 14 Senators panicked and agreed to let most of the nominees get through so the rules wouldn’t change. Bad plan – the rules don’t work any more and need to change. Yes, some day the Republicans will control the Senate again and I’ll be a bit sad that the supermajority isn’t required for every little thing. But here’s the rub – those rules can change with a simple majority vote at the start of each new Congress. You think the Republicans won’t take advantage of that as soon as they can?

Let’s use our (shrinking) majority to accomplish something. At the start of the new Congress in January, the Senate needs to change the rules of debate and voting. Respect for the minority should be reasonably maintained, but the power of the minority to hobble legislative action should be eliminated. Harry Reid should remember that he’s the Majority Leader, not Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe, Scott Brown, or Joe Lieberman. We need legislative action, not more partisan paralysis. Bad deals and goofy negotiations to maybe get one Republican to consider voting to end the bloody debate must end. If it doesn’t, we wind up with more watered-down healtcare initiatives, no action on climate change, and billionaires holding the unemployed hostage.

P.S. – Cheers for my Senator Jeff Merkley for a strong proposal to improve the rules.

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