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Democrats Dither as The People Take to The Streets

29 Jan

A few hours after the jarheaded jackass signed an executive order to ban people from 11 countries from entering the US, tens of thousands of Americans flooded the International Airports protesting against the racist order.

These ad hoc demonstrations started just a few hours after Homeland Security tried to implement Putin’s Bitch orders.

The Democrats in the House and Senate con bring this fiasco to its knees if it wasn’t for their cowardly streak.

If Republicans continue to block the Investigation into Putin’s payoff to elect the Chumph…Maybe it’s time for a coup.

Senate Democrats have the power to stop Trump. All they have to do is use it.

As a Democratic Senate aide for the past seven years, I had a front-row seat to an impressive show of obstruction. Republicans, under then-Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, decided they would oppose President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid at every turn to limit their power. And it worked: They extorted concessions from Democrats with threats of shutdowns, fiscal cliffs and financial chaos. I know firsthand that Democrats’ passion for responsible governance can be exploited by Republicans who are willing to blow past all norms and standards.

Now we have a president who exemplifies that willingness in the extreme. Partly, this explains why he faces more questions about his legitimacy than any president in recent history and why he drew three times as many protesters as inauguration attendees last weekend. But in something of a mismatch, Republicans’ unified control of government means that the most effective tool for popular resistance lies in the Senate — the elite, byzantine institution envisioned by the founders as the saucer that cools the teacup of popular opinion.

Senate Democrats have a powerful tool at their disposal, if they choose to use it, for resisting a president who has no mandate and cannot claim to embody the popular will. That tool lies in the simple but fitting act of withholding consent. An organized effort to do so on the Senate floor can bring the body to its knees and block or severely slow down the agenda of a president who does not represent the majority of Americans.

The procedure for withholding consent is straightforward, but deploying it is tricky. For the Senate to move in a timely fashion on any order of business, it must obtain unanimous support from its members. But if a single senator objects to a consent agreement, McConnell, now majority leader, will be forced to resort to time-consuming procedural steps through the cloture process, which takes four days to confirm nominees and seven days to advance any piece of legislation — and that’s without amendment votes, each of which can be subjected to a several-day cloture process as well.

McConnell can ask for consent at any time, and if no objection is heard, the Senate assumes that consent is granted. So the 48 senators in the Democratic caucus must work together — along with any Republicans who aren’t afraid of being targeted by an angry tweet — to ensure that there is always a senator on the floor to withhold consent.

Because every Senate action requires the unanimous consent of members from all parties, everything it does is a leverage point for Democrats. For instance, each of the 1,000-plus nominees requiring Senate confirmation — including President Trump’s Cabinet choices — can be delayed for four days each.

While the tactic works well, as we’ve seen for the past eight years, there remains the question of strategy. Should Democrats be pragmatic and let Trump have his nominees on a reasonable timetable, so as not to appear obstructionist? So far, this has been their approach to some of Trump’s Cabinet picks.

But it’s also fair to say that, by nominating a poorly qualified and ethically challenged Cabinet, Trump forfeited his right to a speedy confirmation process, and Democrats should therefore slow it down to facilitate the adequate vetting that Trump and Senate Republicans are determined to avoid by rushing the process before all the questionnaires and filings are submitted. Four days of scrutiny on the Senate floor per nominee, even after the committee hearings, is a reasonable standard for fulfilling the Senate’s constitutional responsibility of advice and consent.

Democrats can also withhold their consent from every piece of objectionable legislation McConnell tries to advance. With 48 senators in their caucus, they have the votes to block most bills. But even when Democrats don’t have the votes, they can force McConnell to spend time jumping through procedural hoops. This is the insight McConnell deployed against Reid to manufacture the appearance of gridlock, forcing him to use the cloture process more than 600 times.

Finally, Democrats can withhold their consent from Trump until they feel confident that foreign governments are not interfering in our elections. Credible reports hold that U.S. intelligence agencies are investigating whether Trump’s campaign cooperated with the Russian government on Vladi­mir Putin’s personally directed meddling. Withholding consent from Trump’s agenda until an independent, bipartisan probe provides answers is not just reasonable; it’s responsible. If Democrats withhold consent from everything the Senate does until such a process is established, they can stall Trump’s agenda and confirmation of his nominees indefinitely. Sen. Richard Durbin has been a leader in demanding an independent investigation. But unless Democrats back their calls with the threat of action, McConnell will steamroll them and never look back.

Of course, it would be unwise to deploy this strategy blindly. The kind of universal obstruction pioneered by McConnell during Obama’s presidency is not in Democrats’ nature: They believe in the smooth functioning of government.

But Democrats’ concern with delivering results for their constituents is also part of who we are and something we should embrace. Even for innately cautious Democrats, some issues demand dramatic action. If Trump wants to put their concerns about his legitimacy to rest, he can reach out with consensus nominees and policies, and come clean about his ties to Russia and his tax returns (which may show whether he has compromising financial debts to Russian interests). Until then, Democrats can stand up for America by withholding their consent.

 

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2 Comments

Posted by on January 29, 2017 in Second American Revolution

 

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2 responses to “Democrats Dither as The People Take to The Streets

  1. ladyreddblog

    January 30, 2017 at 3:48 AM

    Posted by my cousin Johnnie, but I’m making it public:  For those of you who still don’t understand what all the fuss is about, here’s a list of Trump’s first week shenanigans so you can catch up: WEEK 1🔹On January 20th, 2017, DT ordered all regulatory powers of all federal agencies frozen.🔹On January 20th, 2017, DT ordered the National Parks Service to stop using social media after reweeting factual, side-by-side photos of the crowds for the 2009 and 2017 inaugurations.🔹On January 21st, 2017, DT brought a group of 40 staffers and followers to a meeting with the CIA to cheer for him during a speech that consisted almost entirely of framing himself as the victim of dishonest press.🔹On January 21, 2017, DT personally phoned National Park Service director Michael T. Reynolds and ordered him to produce additional photographs of the previous day’s crowds on the Mall, in order to show that the media had lied in reporting attendance had been no better than average.🔹On January 21st, 2017, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer held a press conference largely to attack the press for accurately reporting the size of attendance at the inaugural festivities, saying that the inauguration had the largest audience of any in history, “period.”🔹On January 22nd, 2017, White House advisor Kellyann Conway defended Spicer’s lies as “alternative facts” on national television news.🔹On January 22nd, 2017, DT appeared to blow a kiss to director James Comey during a meeting with the FBI, and then opened his arms in a gesture of strange, paternal affection, before hugging him with a pat on the back.🔹On January 23rd, 2017, DT reinstated the global gag order, which defunds international organizations that even mention abortion as a medical option.🔹On January 23rd, 2017, Spicer said that the US will not tolerate China’s expansion onto islands in the South China Sea, essentially threatening war with China.🔹On January 23rd, 2017, DT repeated the lie that 3-5 million people voted “illegally” thus costing him the popular vote.🔹On January 24th, 2017, Spicer reiterated the lie that 3-5 million people voted “illegally” thus costing DT the popular vote.🔹On January 24th, 2017, DT tweeted a picture from his personal Twitter account of a photo he said depicts the crowd at his inauguration and will hang in the White House press room. The photo is curiously dated January 21st, 2017, the day after the inauguration and the day of the Women’s March, the largest inauguration related protest in history.🔹On January 24th, 2017, the EPA was ordered to stop communicating with the public through social media or the press and to freeze all grants and contracts. EPA scientists were ordered to stop publishing their data unless cleared with DT transition personnel.🔹On January 24th, 2017, the USDA was ordered to stop communicating with the public through social media or the press and to stop publishing any papers or research. All communication with the press would also have to be authorized and vetted by the White House.🔹On January 24th, 2017, HR7, a bill that would prohibit federal funding not only to abortion service providers, but to any insurance coverage, including Medicaid, that provides abortion coverage, went to the floor of the House for a vote.🔹On January 24th, 2017, Director of the Department of Health and Human Service nominee Tom Price characterized federal guidelines on transgender equality as “absurd.”🔹On January 24th, 2017, DT ordered the resumption of construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline, while the North Dakota state congress considers a bill that would legalize hitting and killing protestors with cars if they are on roadways.🔹On January 24, 2017, DT’s director of strategy, Steven Bannon, said “the media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while. The media here is the opposition party. They don’t understand this country.”🔹On January 25, 2017, DT signed an executive order to begin building a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border that would cost an estimated $20 billion to $35 billon, and insisted Mexico would pay for it.🔹On January 25, 2017, DT tweeted “If Mexico is unwilling to pay for the badly needed wall, then it would be better to cancel the upcoming meeting” with Mexican president President Peña Nieto.🔹On January 25, 2017, Mexican president President Peña Nieto cancelled his meeting with DT.🔹On January 25, 2017, DT said he thought torturing terrorism suspects was justified. “Do I feel it works? Absolutely, I feel it works,” he told ABC News.🔹On January 25, 2017, the entire senior level of management of the State Department — many of whom had served under previous Republican as well as Democratic administrations – resigned.🔹On January 26, 2017, DT’s press secretary said DT will slap a 20 percent tariff on all imports from Mexico in order to finance the wall.🔹On January 26, 2017, DT’s vice president told congressional Republicans that the administration will initiate a “full evaluation of voting rolls in America, the overall integrity of our voting system in the wake of this past election.”🔹On January 27, 2017, DT closed the nation’s borders to refugees from around the world, ordering that families fleeing the slaughter in Syria be indefinitely blocked from entering the United States, and temporarily suspending immigration from several predominantly Muslim countries.🔹On January 27, 2017, DT established a religious test for refugees from Muslim nations, ordering that Christians and others from minority religions be granted priority over Muslims. #notmypresidentjust thought this would be something you would like to share with your more than enlightened page. Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android On Sun, Jan 29, 2017 at 8:31 AM, Btx3’s Blog wrote: | btx3 posted: “A few hours after the jarheaded jackass signed an executive order to ban people from 11 countries from entering the US, tens of thousands of Americans flooded the International Airports protesting against the racist order.https://www.youtube.com/watch” | |

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    • btx3

      January 30, 2017 at 7:44 AM

      Thank You very much for that Debra!

      Like

       

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