When the “War Room” Becomes a “Sissy Room”

by Paul Hogarth on September 8, 2010

A few weeks ago, MSNBC’s Ed Schultz wondered aloud if rather than a “war room,” does the Obama White House have a “sissy room.” I thought about that yesterday, when reading this Huffington Post article about how the President is “helpless” to stop Republicans from blocking court nominees – as the lack of judges on the bench reaches crisis proportions. This is not news – Republicans did the same thing when Bill Clinton was President, but back then they controlled both houses of Congress. To have the same dynamic after Democrats picked up 14 Senate seats in the past four years and enjoy some of the widest majorities is pathetic. “The obstruction we see from Republicans is unprecedented,” said Marge Baker, executive vice president at People For the American Way. “But the only way to potentially break the logjam is to call them on their tactics. That requires a focus and attention and persistence to work through the nominees on the calendar.”

In 2005, when Senate Democrats attempted to hold up a few right-wing court nominees, Republicans and their allies waged a full-scale media campaign accusing them of being “anti-Catholic.” Today, Democrats look “helpless” as Republicans hold things hostage.

According to the Huffington Post article, for the U.S. Senate to actually bring each court nominee to the floor would effectively delay everything else they are doing. Frankly, I don’t see what harm that would bring. Harry Reid has already said we won’t be passing comprehensive climate change or immigration reform before November, and I’m getting more and more pessimistic every day about repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.

If you really want to cry, take a look at what the House accomplished in a year. But none of these things went into law because they died in the Senate.

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