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« Horace Kornegay | Main | Rudderless »

Jan 22, 2009


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Jeffrey Sykes

@David Kurtz:"And willing to obstruct a wildly popular new President in the midst of not just a national economic crisis, but a convergence of international crises of which economic collapse is just one."

I'm so glad I read the biography of Sen. Josiah Bailey this summer. The work of the conservative opposition during the New Deal Era was a great tale of checks and balances and bi-cameral legislative manuvering.

I guess Mr. Kurtz would have us undo the traditions of the last 111 congresses so this wildly popular president can get his way?


I'm more or less with Sykes on this. For the past 8 years, congressional Democrats failed miserably in acting like an opposition party. Sure, they pissed and moaned and called Bush names; but when it really mattered, they folded like a cheap suit (do cheap suits really fold more readily than expensive ones?). And now they're pissy because the GOP isn't doing the same. Call the wahhhmbulance.

Dave Ribar


A question would be whether the opposition accomplished what it did through secret holds and prerogatives. The use of holds to block legislation is not a tradition dating back through all Congresses; it has been mostly used since the 1970s.

A single Senator blocking a nomination or legislation is inherently undemocratic.

The Congressional Research Service completed a report on holds just over a year ago.

Jeffrey Sykes

@Dave:"A single Senator blocking a nomination or legislation is inherently undemocratic."

I seem to recall that use of secret holds and prerogatives was an issue sometime during the last administration and that I agree with you that it is not the best way to conduct business. I more was reacting to Kurtz's clamoring about blocking a wildly popular president. Like Eric, I'd like to see a more active congress and a less imperialistic president, no matter the party.

As to your comment above, I wonder if you would agree with me that when the speaker of the NC House blocks a bill from coming to the floor, despite it having a number of sponsors equal to a majority of the house, that such action is also undemocratic?


Yes, the GOP should take advice from the liberal TPM. Oooh, I'm scared what might happen if we don't.

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