Feb. 5th, 2009

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US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg had surgery today for pancreatic cancer. Odds are that she either will retire or die in the near future, which would be a great loss to the nation. If so, then Obama will appoint his first Supreme Court justice to replace her. That appointment will say much about Obama, the Senate Democrats and the Senate Republicans.

I say this now: if Senate Republicans filibuster Obama's nomination -- meaning that if every single GOP member of the Senate refuses to vote (because all of them must concur to defeat a cloture motion) -- then the Democrats henceforth should literally ignore the GOP. For all Obama's talk of post-partisanship, for all of his GOP appointments to his Cabinet, for all of his significant legislative concessions despite his commanding congressional majorities, the GOP has done nothing to reciprocate. To date, the House GOP gave Obama zero votes, the GOP derided Obama from his first day in office, and now the Senate GOP would filibuster a Supreme Court nominee when they themselves threatened to eliminate the filibuster when a larger Democratic minority lined up against Roberts and Alito.

If such hypocrisy comes, and if it doesn't prompt Democrats to make light of GOP obstructionism and take steps to end it, then the Democrats are pansies and primaries are certain to follow.

The wise move now would be for Democrats to start using their commanding majorities in both Houses to show the GOP that neither the Administration nor the Congress will let the GOP roll them anymore. They badly lost the election and yet the Democrats have accorded them far greater authority and influence than the GOP's electoral numbers command. If the Dems keep rolling over and playing dead, they'll roll over and over and over until the nation falls off a cliff.


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March 2009

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