Obstructionist Politics: Denying a Vote

-By Frank Salvato

Just minutes after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) tabled (read: killed) the second piece of legislation presented by the House to his chamber addressing solutions to the politically manufactured debt ceiling “crisis” – legislation crafted through not only bipartisan negotiations among members of the House, but bipartisan consultation with Senate members – Mr. Reid had the unmitigated gall to infer that Republicans were being “obstructionist.”

As reported in the Washington Times:

“Republicans offered to let the vote happen Friday night, just minutes after the chamber voted to halt a House Republican bill. All sides expect Democrats’ bill will fail too, and the GOP said senators might as well kill both at the same time so that negotiations could move on to a compromise.

“‘We would be happy to have that vote tonight,’ Sen. Mitch McConnell, Republicans’ leader, offered.

“But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid objected, even though the vote would occur on his own bill. He instead said the chamber would have to run out the full procedural clock, which means a vote in the early hours Sunday morning.

“He said he would be willing to move up the vote if Republicans didn’t insist on a 60-vote threshold, which has become traditional for big, controversial items to pass the Senate. But the GOP held firm on that demand, so Mr. Reid said he would insist on the full process, which he said would show the country that Republicans were being obstructionist.”

At a time when the American people are screaming – nay, demanding – that those elected to office in Washington stop with the political positioning and gamesmanship, Progressive Democrat Harry Reid, a man whose approval rating is just 27 percent, whose negatives stand at 53 percent, a man whose last election was handed to him not by the people of Nevada but by the union members of Las Vegas, represents the quintessential example of exactly the kind of behavior Americans detest.

For years, both when Mr. Reid was a minority leader and as majority leader, he would rail against Republican leadership for not allowing “up or down” votes on issues such as judicial nominees and presidential appointments, calling the legitimate blocking of ideologues to positions of incredible influence “obstructionist. Yet, Mr. Reid would go so far as to maintain sessions over holiday breaks, even on Christmas, so as to block any chance of President Bush utilizing his power of recess appointment, a power that President Obama has used several times to appoint people possessing Progressive, Socialist and even Communist ideological leanings to sensitive positions.

Now, as we face a possible downgrade to the nation’s credit rating, a downgrade directly related to not the debt ceiling but to grotesque overspending and mismanagement of national revenues, we witness Harry Reid, partisan operative and Progressive ideologue, accusing the entire opposing political party of doing exactly what he is doing, right in front of an entire nation: obstructing a path toward solution.

If partisanship in Washington, DC, is the thing that the American people most loathe about the political class in our country – and poll after poll after poll after poll reveals, without doubt and across all political declarations, that this is the case – then Mr. Reid has proven himself the best candidate for “poster boy” to that malady. That is saying quite a bit when you consider Nancy Pelosi must come in second place.

The obvious and transparent political maneuvering that is “tabling,” or killing, honestly constructed and legislated solutions in an effort to demonize, through the use of Goebbels-esque propaganda tactics, the opposing political party, especially at the expense of the nation, is beyond reprehensible. Senator Reid’s actions are inexcusable and the full weight of his party’s leadership should condemn his embrace of politically opportunistic partisanship at a time when our nation needs honest leaders.

Sadly, with what passes for leadership in the Progressive Movement and the Democrat Party today, the American people are more likely to see the 10 percent of the population that is Progressive celebrating Mr. Reid’s “fiddling,” even as the nation burns.
Frank Salvato is the managing editor for The New Media Journal . He serves at the Executive Director of the Basics Project, a non-profit, non-partisan, 501(C)(3) research and education initiative. His pieces are regularly featured in over 100 publications both nationally and internationally. He has appeared on The O’Reilly Factor, and is a regular guest on The Right Balance with Greg Allen on the Accent Radio Network, as well as an occasional guest on numerous radio shows coast to coast. He recently partnered in producing the first-ever symposium on the threat of radical Islamist terrorism in Washington, DC. His pieces have been recognized by the House International Relations Committee and the Japan Center for Conflict. He can be contacted at oped@newmediajournal.us

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