This is Democracy? Meet the GOP’s one man Toll Gate

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“It is my understanding Jim DeMint has had a standing hold on everything throughout this two year process,” Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) told the Huffington Post on Tuesday. “When I have had amendments on a couple of occasions, I have been told: ‘Absolutely, we in the Republican leadership are fine but you are going to have to clear it with Jim DeMint because he has a standing hold on everything.’

DeMint Has Had ‘A Standing Hold’ On All Legislation For Past Two Years

Sam Stein, HuffingtonPost — 09-28-10

“… but you are going to have to clear it with Jim …”

This is Democracy?

Sounds instead like the GOP’s own version of American Idol — where Gopher DeMint is the lone ‘Simon Cowell’ on the Jury.

Surely this is an idle threat. No Senator could dare to form their own Star Chamber, and actually get away with it.

Think again.  

Ask not what you can do for your country;  Ask what you can Do for DeMint.”

Speaking at a Center for American Progress forum on filibuster reform, Merkley’s comments were part of a broader argument about the need to change the rules of the United States Senate.

[…]

Merkley said that on the two occasions in which he was forced to clear his bills through DeMint’s office, the South Carolina Republican “lifted the hold.” One such piece of legislation, he recalled, was to send ten million dollars to help repair Oregon’s Klamath Basin, which was suffering from a severe drought.

[…]

“My impression was that everyone who had an amendment had to go [through DeMint],” Merkley said. “It was a standing hold but it wasn’t something he had just singled out in my particular case.”

Had DeMint objected to that or any other piece of legislation being considered under unanimous consent agreement, it would required the Senate to go through the time-consuming process of cloture (which requires 30-hours of debate and 60 Senators for passage) or simply drop the matter entirely.

Jim DeMint had to be consulted, in order for a Senator to react to a Severe Drought, in his OWN State ???

Unbelievable!

No wonder so much Good Legislation, ended up dying on the vine this year, in the Senate.

The GOP has a ‘Standing Hold’to go along with their ‘Stand Filibuster’!

No wonder they’ve managed to BLOCK numerous Votes, that would have

helped Small Businesses,

helped the Unemployed,

helped the Middle Class, by reversing the incentives to Off-Shore our Jobs.

Unbelievable!

Imagine what they’ll end up “BLOCKING” — IF they regain control of either the House or the Senate.

The Possibilities for Inaction are truly mind-boggling, given the Wingnut/Tea Party mindset.

SO, Why can’t WE — Vote those Gophers, OFF the Show, eh?

Afterall Simon, was given his walking papers, wasn’t he?  Couldn’t have happened to a ‘nicer’ judge and jury!

7 comments

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    • jamess on September 30, 2010 at 5:07 am
      Author

    Now if only I could find a Mama Grizzly — riding a Broom!

    yuk, yuk

    • jamess on September 30, 2010 at 2:56 pm
      Author

    the Fix:

    End/change the Filibuster

    perhaps only 1 out of every 3 Bills

    should be subject to it.

    alternately —

    make the Senate — get paid by “piecework”

    No Bills passed — No Paychecks!

    ie. Pass One Bill per Pay period.

    that would do it.

  1. Er, right?

    (meet the new boss, same as the old boss)

    • caul on October 2, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    “It’s a republic not a democracy.”

    To which the historian Eric Foner’s reply on a call-in show on NPR is apt:  That’s just a matter of your preference for Latin or Greek roots of words.

    This is what we call the authoritarian mindset.  And they will wield it in whatever form they want.  They aren’t interested in governing; they’re interested in ruling.

    • banger on October 2, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    SO, Why can’t WE — Vote those Gophers, OFF the Show, eh?

    I’ll tell you why. Because though this is a democracy in a limited sense it does reflect, more or less (mainly less), the will of the public.

    Case and point 42% of the American people self-identify as “conservative” while only 20% identify themselves as “liberals.” Of those about 5% identify themselves as “very liberal” or whatever–even in that area those of us who blog here regularly are a minority. So if DeMint has veto power over all legislation it is because he has his finger on the attitudes and opinions of conservatives and as such he serves an important and vital function.

    We have to get away from the notion that we could present a case for nurturing the public sphere and be heard even if we had the opportunity to make the case. Most people are, basically, focused on their separate and independent lives and their family, their clan and their cultural tribe all in that order. There is no such thing as “One Nation” as hope for by the demonstration today in Washington DC. We are not “One Nation” anymore. That has fallen apart and to hope for or try to recapture that sense of connection we had coming out of WWII is absurd and a waste of time. There is no way, NO WAY, progressive legislation can pass in this country when around half the people believe the Bible is literally true and that evolution is just a vague theory that cannot be true. We have to WAKE UP and get this essential reality. Not only that, as I indicated above, forget trying to use reasonable arguments against anybody with conservatives or even people who post at DKOS. Please, it can’t happen for many reasons to obvious to have to refer to.

    Our political system has the virtue, in my view, of honestly representing the values and attitudes of the American public as a whole. Never mind that you get polls saying that people want more socialized health care because other polls will tell you that they want less socialized health-care because many, many people can hold contradictory beliefs because they are not trained in the art of reason. In the end, the culture of narcissism trumps everything else. Not because people are naturally narcissistic, in fact, science shows the exact opposite, but because the cultural conditioning is 24/7 and extremely intense. It’s not a question of loudspeakers blaring slogans—our slogans come from our addiction to TV and consumerism that is fostered by people who are the best minds in the world who engineer PR and commercials in order to condition human beings to be selfish and understand that they are incomplete without the mass consumption of energy, gadgets, and status-symbol goods (cars, houses, clothes, etc.). This regime of constant involvement with media, marketing, advertising and PR (now PR is mainly brought to us by the MSM).

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