Tag Archives: Susan Collins

Republicans Snowed Out…

29 Feb

This Party is Crazy--I Have to Get Out!

Not that I have ever been a particular fan of Olympia Snowe  (of course she looks reasonable compared to the rest of her party), but I do admire her honesty and integrity for naming the problem within her party that is causing her not to seek re-election.  Senator Snowe cited “excessive partisanship in the Senate” as the primary driver of her decision.  I guess she has not been paying attention to the misogynistic foolishness in the House of Reps.  It is no small secret that the latest attacks on women’s health by Republicans  has incurred the wrath of both Snowe and Collins (both female Republicans from Maine).

How sad that the lunacy of the right wing Republicans can chase out moderate voices of reason like Snowe–what kind of Carnival has the GOP turned into?  This does not bode well for history.  At present, 21st century Republicans wear the banner of: “We Hate Women; We Hate Gays; We Hate People of Color; We Hate the Poor; We Love Being the 1%.”  One need go no further than to listen to Multi-Millionaire Mitt Romney and the homophobic, woman-hating clown Rick (the P is silent) Santorum to see just how out of touch these people are with Americans.

Snowe dropping out is a much bigger deal than people realize–this may very well be the harbinger of good fortune reasonable Republicans and Democrats have been waiting for.  While Maine did elect the Mad Hatter LePage as their governor, it is doubtful they will elect another toxic Tea Bag, which may create a far more attractive Senate with a new Maine Democrat and a new Massachusetts Democrat.  Perhaps there is some hope for the 99%.

Rational Republicans: Faint Praise Indeed

13 Jul

The New Republican Party?

Well, “Mussolini did keep the trains on time,” a very common defense of the fascist dictator of Italy during WWII.  How tragically sad it is when we as humans have to find some miniscule form of praise for “leaders” behaving rationally.  Today we will look at three Republicans who are often treated as heroes for demonstrating inconsistent rational behavior.

Mitt Romney has announced that he will not sign the Iowa Anti- Gay Pledge, which he called “undignified and inappropriate.”  The Iowa Anti-Gay Pledge says that, “the presidential candidates must back a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and have affirmed their belief that gay men are a public health risk, that gay parents are inferior to straight parents, and that homosexuality is a choice.”  Big surprise, Ms. Prick Santorum and Ms. Bat Shi_ Bachmann have both signed the pledge.  (Basically, Bachmann has declared her own husband a public health risk–Oh please, TSM audience! You know he is a big closet queen). Has the Tea Party taken over the Republican Party?

What makes me particularly angry here is that we have to praise Romney for being rational here.  “Gee, at least he did not burn any of those fags and send them to concentration camps–what a good guy.”  If not being a complete bigot, of the George Wallace camp is the new standard for hero worship, we are in HUGE trouble as a nation. Click here to see the full article on the “Pledge” and Romney.

Moving on to two others that we have to praise for being rational.  Shall we look at the Siamese Republican Twins of Maine? We have talked about Snowe before.  Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins have agreed NOT to beat up a bunch of senior citizens, steal their money, and leave them homeless:

There are solvency problems with both programs,” Sen. Olympia Snowe said in an interview on Friday, “They have to be addressed but not as part of the debt reduction talks.

Thank you, Senator Snowe for being a rational person.  Forgive me if I don’t throw a parade to celebrate your humanity. Collins agreed with Snow and proposed to end the tax subsidy for ethanol production and that would save close to $6 billion a year.

Let me clear, I really do appreciate all three of these Republicans doing the right thing.  However, have our standards for leadership from our elected officials plummeted so low that showing a glimpse of humanity for those they are charged with protecting makes them look like heros? While I am painfully aware of the puritanical strain that runs deep through our country’s history, am I completely  naive to think we will learn from our mistakes? My hope is that we will soon see more Republicans like the late Betty Ford. Click here to see the full article.

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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