The fact that there remains a living person among us who still supports the Republican Party is a source of naked astonishment to me. On Wednesday, September, 19th, Senate Republicans blocked the “Veterans Job Corp Act of 2012″ in a disgraceful and callous slap of disregard for the very same men and women they voted to send to war; the hypocrisy of which is exceeded only by hubris. The bill fell two votes short of the necessary 60 votes required to override a filibuster. So in layman’s terms, the bill failed while still having won a majority of senatorial votes in favor of passage. Only five Republicans broke ranks and voted in favor of the bill. Republicans claimed the bill wasn’t “paid for” when in fact it was fully funded by an earlier bipartisan measure. This is nothing more than another attempt by Minority “Leader,” Mitch McConnell to prevent President Obama from achieving as much constructive legislation as possible, dividing the nation down party lines, with the end goal focused on the appearance of failure for the Obama Administration. For those of you who aren’t paying attention, trumping any and all legislation to improve the quality of life for American citizens and the brave men and women who serve and protect us is suddenly a major priority for the GOP. Republicans are under the impression no one is paying attention, and therefore congressional constipation will secure them the White House in the upcoming election.
As a point of fact, the 112th “do nothing” Congress has invoked a stunning record number of filibusters designed to stagnate the American economy and the greater good of the American people. Here in Pennsylvania, our idiot senator, Pat Toomey voted against the bill. We could have had retired U.S. Navy vice admiral Joe Sestak as our senator, but Tea Publicans preferred Pat Toomey’s experience shipping American jobs overseas to China…. Go figure.
In summation, when American veterans return from all the conflagrations in the Middle East (largely championed by the GOP) those men and women will find themselves facing yet another broken promise that can be directly traced to the Republican Party. The GOP is big on sending people off to war to risk life and limb – but short on follow through when it comes to obligations promised to those who’ve served and protected us.
Since Barack Obama took office, there were 137 filibusters In the 111th Congress, and 139 in 112th (thus far….) But since Congress is about to go on extended recess until well after the November election, you can count on the historic record number of combined Republican filibusters during Obama’s first term as being TWO-HUNDRED AND SEVENTY-SIX…!!! This is beyond unconscionable, it’s a factual embarrassment for the former “Party of Lincoln.” Before 2008, Congress would average about 25-40 filibusters per session. Now those who call for a filibuster no longer have to stand and talk until they drop, as seen in the film, “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” they can merely smirk, declare a filibuster, and go out for cocktails and dinner. In spite of over 70 attempts to reform or ban procedural filibusters, the pattern of obstructionism remains abundantly clear, it’s no longer a case of majority rule. Sadly, THIS go-around, the ones harmed are America’s most recent heroic war veterans.
Please forgive the ensuing “record” run-on sentence, but in spite of the Republican abuse of the procedural filibuster, Barack Obama has the following accomplishments to his credit:
Health Care Reform, the Stimulus, Wall Street Reform, ending the War in Iraq, initiating the draw-down of the War in Afghanistan, eliminating Osama bin laden, turning around the U.S. auto industry, recapitalizing the banks, repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, toppling Moammar Gaddafi and supporting the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak, reversing Bush torture policies, improving America’s image abroad, kicking banks out of the Federal Student Loan Program, expanding Pell Grants, creating “Race to the Top,” boosting fuel efficiency standards, coordinating the international response to financial crisis’s, passing the 2nd “mini” stimulus (which Republicans opposed while taking photo-op credit when jobs were created in their districts), increasing support for veterans(current Congressional Republican failures notwithstanding), tightening sanctions on Iran, beginning the process of closing our filthiest power plants, passing “Credit Card Reform,” implementing fair pay laws such as the ‘Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act” along with other equality measures, improving our Food Safety System, signing the new START Treaty with Russia, expanding AmeriCorps, expanding wilderness and watershed protection, giving the FDA Power to regulate Tobacco AND last but not lease, Obama oversaw THIRTY straight months of private sector job growth – ALL in the face of Republican obstructionism, largely through the use of the filibuster. Just imagine how much Obama could have accomplished had there been an atmosphere of cooperation in Congress….
Note: This post is respectfully dedicated to Facebook fellow, Jeff Disser, of Acworth, Georgia. God bless his loving, liberal heart.