Saturday, January 1, 2011

Beyond "Dump Obama"

Congress's final burst of legislation (including repeal of  "don't ask, don't tell," the new food safety law, and the new arms control treaty) seems to have taken the wind out of the sails of the "Dump Obama" movement among liberals who were unhappy with his centrism. It was a silly idea anyway, for a couple of reasons.


From The New York Times:

Mr. Obama had to call Senator Harry Reid, the majority leader, to emphasize how important the treaty was to him, and even then, the decision to call a vote on the gay rights bill last weekend provoked a reaction among Republicans who thought they had been misled.

“Biden about had a heart attack” when Mr. Reid scheduled the vote, said a senator who talked with him. At that point, the senator said it appeared there were 78 to 80 votes for the treaty. Mr. Alexander said that anger over unrelated legislation cost the treaty 5 to 10 votes.

So let me see if I've got this: A vote comes up on a treaty with important implications for national security. Five to ten Republicans are prepared to vote for it, but don't because ... Democrats have a vote on gays in the military first. "I'll fix 'em! I won't talk to 'em in the Senate gym! And...and... I'll vote against that arms control treaty! That'll teach 'em!"

 And they said efforts by Democrats to score political points by forcing a vote on an immigration measure they knew would fail had angered Republicans and diminished their interest in a major immigration overhaul in the next Congress.

“I think it has hurt,” said Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina.

"Well, I was interested in immigration reform, but if you're going to be like that about it..."

Remind me: what are we paying these people for? Doesn't the Constitution have an age requirement for senators?