| Americans gave Democrats and Barack Obama a clear mandate in 2008.
Replublicans decided politics, not policy, would be the be-all, end-all of their existence and proceeded to obstruct, deny, and lie about almost every proposal of our duly elected president:
Over the last four years, conservative Republicans, attempting to reclaim squandered political power, chose to sabotage our nation's economy, obstruct majority rule, tempt America's racist tendencies and besmirch the legitimacy of Barack Obama's presidency.
Republicans in the United Senate did all that and more mainly by using the filibuster, a rule created by accident, used with malice, and abused by the senate miniority far too often.
The filibuster was used after the Civil War to deny slaves their freedom:
Slavery, the Civil War, Reconstruction, and blacks' voting rights in turn were the sparks for the increasingly frequent and contentious filibusters of the nineteenth century. Opponents had no weapon against them, since the only way to terminate debate was through unanimous consent, and proposed rules to restrict debate were repeatedly rejected.
And oh, by the way, unanimous consent is another of those senate rules that thwarts our Democracy.
In the 50s and 60s, Blue Dog Conservative Democrats (like current Blue Dogs Udall and Bennet) used the filibuster to further delay our nation's progress on civil rights. Strom Thurmond and Robert Byrd are two Democrats who were determined to delay the progress of blacks in our society and they used the filibuster to that end.
Is this the senate tradition our two current senators want to be associated with?
Beyond that shameful history, cuurent Republicans have exploded use of the filibuster and have been unrepentant in stifling our democracy as they pretend they only want a fair debate for these critical issues that somehow always reject.
Here's a chart from non-Blue Dog Senator Tom Udall that shows the increased use of the filibuster by Republicans:
And here are some of the issues that Republicans have filibustered the last 4 years:
- Republican John McCain filibustered job training for returning Iraq and Afghanistan vets.
- Republican Jim DeMint filibustered fair wages for TSA agents providing security at our nation's airports.
- Republican Senators Tom Coburn (R-OK), John McCain (R-AZ), Jim DeMint (R-SC), John Ensign (R-NV), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Rand Paul (R-KY), Mike Lee (R-UT) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) threatened a blanket filibuster of every senate bill.
- Republicans even filibustered a judicial nominee whom they supported within their caucus!
Republicans in the U.S. Senate have abused the process, abused our democracy, ignored voters, and thwarted the will the people every chance they had these last 4 years.
With all this can Senate Republicans be trusted to work towards bipartisan solutions to our nation's problems this next 4 years?
Should Democrats continue to beg and cajole Republicans for bipartisanship when Americans have thoroughly rejected Republican ideas and candidates across the nation and at every level of government?
Should Democrats trust Republicans with the filibuster for 4 more years?
Americans just gave a Democratic President, Democratic principles and their elected representatives another clear mandate to act on the will of the people. We know how elected Republicans will act, and we must not let them thwart our will again.