Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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June 27, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

OBSTRUCTIONISM....Without getting into the question of whether this particular video is effective or not, I think Democrats are smart to expend some effort highlighting Republican obstructionism in the 110th Congress. It's an easy charge to make stick, since it's plainly true, and it has two equally important targets: the press and the public. The press, for its part, needs to get over its "both sides are equally at fault" schtick, and the public, for its part, needs to know why nothing seems to be getting done in Congress. Right now, all they see are headlines telling them that "Congress Fails to Act" on this, that, and the other. They need to know exactly who's responsible for that.

Kevin Drum 7:54 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (38)

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The press is a lost cause. Their jobs depend on a constant flow of juicy quotes from important people. It is considered acceptable to attack democrats or attack both parties equally, largely because the republicans have the discipline to punish those who speak ill of republicans, while democrats do not. A reporter who attacks republicans will eventually find all republican sources, and their career, dry up.

Never expect fair treatment from the press.

Posted by: Adam on June 27, 2007 at 8:01 PM | PERMALINK

Whatever happened to all those Republicans who usta whine about "up or down votes"? Or did I just imagine them?

Posted by: Quaker in a Basement on June 27, 2007 at 8:08 PM | PERMALINK

the public, for its part, needs to know why nothing seems to be getting done in Congress. Right now, all they see are headlines telling them that "Congress Fails to Act" on this, that, and the other. They need to know exactly who's responsible for that.

They're already fairly well informed on that. Although congressional approval ratings have fallen recently due to progressives getting fed up with the timid ways of the Dems, when you drill down into the stats, you'll see that approval of congressional Republicans is still much lower than approval of congressional Dems.

Posted by: Disputo on June 27, 2007 at 8:11 PM | PERMALINK

Too funny. As if the Democrats weren't obstructionist for the 12 years before that.

Posted by: Al on June 27, 2007 at 8:38 PM | PERMALINK

Obstructionism is wonderful. The less these Bozos do the better.

Posted by: nikkolai on June 27, 2007 at 9:03 PM | PERMALINK

So?

The minority are using parliamentary tactics to halt the progress of legislation.

What rules have they broken? What laws have they violated?

I will tell you something for nothing liberals--Joe Six Pack has no conception of "cloture" or "Roberts Rules of Order" or "point of inquiry." And where were your leaders two years ago? They could have stopped so many terrible (?!huh?) pieces of legislation simply by utilizing these same tactics. You succeeded in keeping John Bolton from being confirmed with these tactics. Am I missing where the opposition has the obligation to give you hugs and kisses and tell you how wonderful you are?

If it fails, as a tactic, it fails and the Republicans will be held "accountable." Get started now explaining what "cloture" is to the American people. I wonder what it would look like...

Coming next fall on NBC--CLOTURE, the new series starring Justin Timberlake as a streetwise young politician from the 'hood who realizes that there is a deadly game of parliamentary cat-and-mouse being played in the halls of Congress...and all he has to do is listen to the ghost of Thomas Jefferson to understand when he can invoke...CLOTURE! With Jenna Elfman as his nutty wife, Tony Hale as his best friend Buster and George Thorogood as his rock'n'roll burnout uncle. Thursdays at nine!
Posted by: Norman Rogers on June 27, 2007 at 9:10 PM | PERMALINK

Al weighs in with the to-be-expected "Yeah, but Democrats do it too" riff, so typical of the adolescent mind.

Look, the media is owned and controlled (editors, publishers) by conservatives. Whether reporters are liberal or not doesn't mean shit to a tree. There will be a conservative bias in reporting until we take down the Rupert Murdoch's of the world.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on June 27, 2007 at 9:14 PM | PERMALINK

Norm, will you adopt me?

Posted by: Disputo on June 27, 2007 at 9:18 PM | PERMALINK

Look, the media is owned and controlled (editors, publishers) by conservatives. Whether reporters are liberal or not doesn't mean shit to a tree.

Exactly. Across all industries, owners and mgmt are conservative and employees are liberal, but Republicans never make a fuss about the liberal bias of products from the automotive or computer industries. Nor, likewise, do they ever complain about the fact that 95% of corporate directors are Republicans.

Posted by: Disputo on June 27, 2007 at 9:22 PM | PERMALINK

Republicans never make a fuss about the liberal bias of products from the automotive or computer industries.

I always wondered why the steering wheel of my car was on the left side...

Posted by: thersites on June 27, 2007 at 9:28 PM | PERMALINK

Whatever happened to all those Republicans who usta whine about "up or down votes"?

IOKIYAR

Posted by: thersites on June 27, 2007 at 9:30 PM | PERMALINK

Whatever happened to all those Republicans who usta whine about "up or down votes"?

On judicial nominees!

Posted by: Al on June 27, 2007 at 9:34 PM | PERMALINK

There's a big difference between Republican and democrat ostructionism. Democrats were trying to thwart the president's strategy to bring democracy to Iraq. Republicans are fighting to contain the liberal big-government, tax and spend agenda of the democrats.

Posted by: Al on June 27, 2007 at 9:37 PM | PERMALINK

Look, the media is owned and controlled (editors, publishers) by conservatives.

I'd really like to know what color the sky is in your world.

Posted by: Homer on June 27, 2007 at 9:42 PM | PERMALINK

Exactly. Across all industries, owners and mgmt are conservative and employees are liberal, but Republicans never make a fuss about the liberal bias of products from the automotive or computer industries. Nor, likewise, do they ever complain about the fact that 95% of corporate directors are Republicans.

Doesn't your ass ever get sore from pulling so much out of it?


Posted by: rnc on June 27, 2007 at 9:43 PM | PERMALINK

"Obstructionism is wonderful. The less these Bozos do the better."

Hear, hear!

Posted by: vernor on June 27, 2007 at 9:44 PM | PERMALINK

Never underestimate Joe Six Pack. He gets f&*ked a lot. That may be the one area where he is an expert.

Posted by: Glen on June 27, 2007 at 9:47 PM | PERMALINK

If the Dems forced the GOP to filibuster on a few popular measures, rather than pulling a bill once the GOP had blocked cloture (that's called a 'filibuster' these days, but calling it one doesn't make it one), it would be hard for the press to pretend that 'Congress' wasn't acting, because people could turn to C-SPAN and see who was blocking the vote, be it on the minimum wage, on ethics legislation, on the Employee Free Choice Act, whatever.

If the visible portion of the GOP's blocking a vote lasts for days, rather than for the 15 minutes it takes to hold a cloture vote, it would be a lot harder for everyone to overlook.

Posted by: low-tech cyclist (formerly RT) on June 27, 2007 at 9:52 PM | PERMALINK

JEEBUS, Dems finally decided to turn the tables on Bush "projectionism". It's way past time to get a clue.

Calling Repugs OBSTRUCTIONIST. So when will Dems get around to asking Repugs for an "up or down vote"? I mean if Repugs didn't see anything wrong with it????

Posted by: Me_again on June 27, 2007 at 9:56 PM | PERMALINK

Norman, I forgot to add you to my Pie List. (you're on now.)

On Topic: The Media is very easy to game. Give them a few "off the record" leaks, a catchy slogan or two, and make unfounded statements (that even a 3-year-old could disprove); and you've got your headline on the 6 o'clock news!!

Posted by: absent observer on June 27, 2007 at 9:57 PM | PERMALINK

Hey Kevin - hey everyone. What do you think about Slate Video? (slatev.com)

There was a debate a while back about whether bloggingheads was the least bit interesting or compelling (Kevin thought not). The shorts on slatev wipe the floor with bloggingheads in terms of interesting-ness and compelling-ness, imho. A little shallow, but quirky and memorable.

Posted by: lampwick on June 27, 2007 at 10:02 PM | PERMALINK

[I have become sufficiently annoyed with your abuses of a language you are obsessed with preserving.]

Posted by: TLB on June 27, 2007 at 10:29 PM | PERMALINK

TLB, inhale. 1 - 2 - 3.

Now, exhale. 2 - 3.


(does that help? i don't want anyone here having a stroke on my watch.)

Posted by: absent observer on June 27, 2007 at 10:58 PM | PERMALINK

Come now, who censored the inane, racist rantings of that maniac "TLB?"

If there's one thing I cannot countenance, its someone hijacking Kevin Dumbo's blog in order to further their personal agenda, draw attention to their particular gifts or talents, and make an ass out of themselves in a public forum.

Bwah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah!

Posted by: Norman Rogers on June 27, 2007 at 11:22 PM | PERMALINK

The fate of the immigration bill in the Senate became plain once Harry Reid declared it "Bush's bill."

Posted by: fatefull on June 27, 2007 at 11:27 PM | PERMALINK

Too soft.

Subtle ads won't work.

You have to use a sledgehammer to drive home the simple truth: Republicans are incompetent, corrupt, unethical, and immoral. Let them squirm and complain for once.

Posted by: gregor on June 27, 2007 at 11:33 PM | PERMALINK

This obstruction shows what a dinosaur the Senate has become. The States represented by 40 Senators could be as small as about 10% of the us population. The notion that 10% of the public can block debate on important issues of the country is just crazed. Why does Wyoming have the same weight as Florida, Alaska the same weight as New York for all these matters.

Bah!

Posted by: MobiusKlein on June 27, 2007 at 11:41 PM | PERMALINK

Doesn't your ass ever get sore from pulling so much out of it?

And there we have, folks, the epitome of wingnut political thought. A fine young conservative mind.

Posted by: Disputo on June 28, 2007 at 12:23 AM | PERMALINK

I still don't believe Al is real. He is just a clever (or maybe not so clever) construct of the liberals designed to make the conservatives look stupid.

Posted by: fafner1 on June 28, 2007 at 12:29 AM | PERMALINK

Sure Disputo. Now back up that "95 percent of corporate directors" figure, or sit back down. If you can, that is.

Posted by: rnc on June 28, 2007 at 12:32 AM | PERMALINK

Al-bot: "As if the Democrats weren't obstructionist for the 12 years before that."

Do you think the Democrats have had any real power for the past 20 years? Do you think Il Busho doesn't believe in big-government spending? Where do you live, Albania?

Posted by: Kenji on June 28, 2007 at 12:53 AM | PERMALINK

That's OK, Kevin. I'm sure everyone's slowly realizing how much of a lightweight hack you really are, and that deleting non-abusive (by normal standards) messages is the only way you can maintain any shred of credibility.

[Kevin doesn't delete you, he does not read every comment. I do. When I become sufficiently annoyed by you, I will delete you. Lightweight that.]

Posted by: TLB on June 28, 2007 at 1:58 AM | PERMALINK

MobiusKlein: "This obstruction shows what a dinosaur the Senate has become. ... Why does Wyoming have the same weight as Florida, Alaska the same weight as New York for all these matters."

I'd tell you, but I'd hate myself for ruining the plot for you. So, you'll just have to read The Federalist Papers for yourself if you want to find out.

But you're really not very interested in such mundane twaddle, are you? Reading for knoeledge is so anachronistic. Far better instead that you just express an opinion off the top of your head.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on June 28, 2007 at 4:13 AM | PERMALINK

I think Democrats are smart to expend some effort highlighting Republican hypocrisyin the 110th Congress.

Fixed if for you.

Posted by: Gregory on June 28, 2007 at 8:55 AM | PERMALINK

I'm sure everyone's slowly realizing how much of a lightweight hack you really are

I'll put it this way, TLB, ol' pal: I read Kevin's blog. I don't read yours. Savvy?

Posted by: Gregory on June 28, 2007 at 8:58 AM | PERMALINK

"A little shallow, but quirky and memorable."

I think that's Slate's tag line for thier "magazine" now as well.

Posted by: brewmn on June 28, 2007 at 10:26 AM | PERMALINK

Anyone who links to WM or CalPundit might want to check the pages they're linking to: you might be linking to pages containing hard-core porn links.

Right. You've made that assertion twice now. You are apparently threatening the livelihood of Mr. Drum and the integrity of the Washington Monthly, which hosts his blog.

That's kind of, ummm...stupid to do in public.

Posted by: Some Perspective For You on June 28, 2007 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't it amazing how when the Dems were the minority and were able to defeat a Republican measure, the press, justifiably would say Democrats halt X. Now that the Dems are a majority and are attempting to pass legislation that has broad public support, Republicans are able to kill these bills with the press, unjustifiably, attributing the failure to the faceless, party-less, "Congress".

Posted by: JM on June 29, 2007 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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