Still Not Making Trouble

by digby

Clammyc at Dkos puts this whole sad congressional session into context and it isn't a pretty sight.

Reid allowed subpoenas to be ignored by administration members and didn’t follow up with any call for accountability. Pelosi allowed subpoenas to be ignored by administration members and didn’t follow up with any call for accountability. The PR battle over the nonsensical "surge working" hasn’t only been lost by the Democrats, it wasn’t even fought all that much by leadership – which could be another lie that leads to a President McCain.

Reid allowed a vote to condemn MoveOn – an entity that has been entirely supportive of the Democratic Party over the years, and then inexplicably had Rush Limbaugh praised officially on the Senate floor by republicans when his comments insulted the troops who were actually fighting this clusterfuck in Iraq. As for Iraq itself, well how many tens of billions were pledged under Reid and Pelosi’s leadership over the past year? And what kind of constraints were put on these blank checks? On a similar note, how does an inflammatory bill like Kyl/Lieberman get to the Senate floor, let alone pass – especially since we now know from the NIE how much of a threat Iran isn’t to us?

A FISA law needed a technical correction, and yet, we now are faced with expanded and illegal powers by this administration to continue breaking the law. And on top of that, when two bills are prepared that would fix the technical issue, one allowing for retroactive immunity for telecom companies that willfully broke the law to help this administration break the law and one without such immunity, what bill does Reid bring to the floor? The one that allows for retroactive immunity, and a kick in the teeth to the fourth amendment, not to mention We the People.

With republicans setting the world record for filibusters in one year (with absolutely no pushback) and the asinine "we need 60 votes for anything" suddenly becoming the new rule, who does Reid stick it to on a filibuster? His own damn party – brave folks and true leaders like Chris Dodd and Russ Feingold. When republican Senators put holds on bill after bill, Reid respects the hold. But when one of his own party does the same, he overrides it.

Sad, but true. The Democrats have adopted the "don't make trouble" strategy and this is the result. They got punk'd again today:

The fate of $600-$1,200 rebate checks for more than 100 million Americans is in limbo after Senate Democrats failed Wednesday to add $44 billion in help for the elderly, disabled veterans, the unemployed and big business to the House-passed economic aid package.

Republicans banded together to block the $205 billion plan from advancing Wednesday, leaving Democrats with a difficult choice either to quickly accept a House bill they have said is inadequate or risk being blamed for delaying a measure designed as a swift shot in the arm for the lagging economy.

Here's why:

``The president has made it clear that he doesn't want that extension of unemployment benefits,'' Republican Senator John Thune said.

The only reason they won't make the lame duck asshat veto this stuff is that they know they will be so successful at blaming the Democrats for it that they don't need to worry about upsetting their own constituents. The red state Republican senators are an awesome obstructive force for the GOP. Unless we get over 60 (not counting the Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelsons) they are going to keep playing these games very effectively until somebody figures out a way around them.