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A Date Picked, & Political Constipation The Capital.

The first piece of news is that the Supreme Court  has set April 28th as the day that it will start hearing arguments dealing with the release of the 130,000 petition signatures that got Referendum 71 on the Washington state ballot, which was the failed effort to overturn the states expanded "every thing but marriage" domestic partnership laws.  Depending on how the court rules this could have a large impact on open government laws not just in WA but threw out the country, as the goal of the anti gay rights group who has brought this case to the supreme court is to withhold the signature under the pretense that they are protected free speech. If ruled so it would me that in future initiatives you would not be able to see who signed and supported getting it put on the ballot and it opens up the slippery slop, that since the supreme court has found that campaign contributions are a form of free political speech (ala corporations are people and thus have a right to unlimited campaign contributions as part of their "free speech rights") it opens the door the the argument that disclosure laws them selves are a violation of political free speech.  Such a threat could fundamentally undue our government as there would no longer be a way to hold any politician accountable for where and from whom they got their money and with out that knowledge there is no system of checks and balances, when it comes to the public and their elected official.

OK now on to the some of that political constipation that is plaguing the capital, PS its one of my pitches the The Rachel Maddow Show's Filibuster Challenge , as a new name for the filibuster.(I know dorky but that's me) So as I was saying most strikingly in the senate with the party of No putting the kibosh on getting anything done whether it be providing a nominee to passing a bill, government has effectively ground to a halt, as nothing can get past the senate.  Yet the Democratic Senate majority leader all but refuses is to even acknowledge that there is a way to alleviate the Republican induced constipation and get things moving once again with a simple majority vote in the senate, which currently has a back log of at least 200 bills that the house has passed that, have not even made it to the floor of the senate do to the dead lock that is currently enveloping it.  Then there is also the not so new Republican tactic of opposing their own policies the moment the democrats and particularly the president puts support behind them in order to try to build some bipartisanship.

At this point the Democrats have to take a lesson from the Republicans from when they where in power and grow a spine and just start ramming legislation threw, as the Republicans have shown that they have no interest what so ever in stepping up to the table in a productive way.  One glaring example being HEALTH REFORM which in its current compromise state, includes all of the main points that the Republicans loudly proclaim they want to see in a comprehensive health reform bill, as a matter of fact the bill looks almost identical to what their own parties political strategies say an ideal compromise bill would look like, yet they refuse to vote for it, simple because they are not in power when it was created.  They have spent months demanding an televised open health care summit with the president, now that they have one they can't claim that it is a trap fast and loud enough.  Yet the democrats continue to insist on bringing the republicans to the negotiating table, it is futile you can not negotiate with people who willfully do not care about policy, who only care about holing the polar opposite position as you, even if that mean abandon their very own policies because you adopt them your self to try to gain their support. 

It is also time for congress to take some serious action to get health care reform passed, whether that means that the the house of representatives takes up the senate bill as a it was passed and the house democrats hold their nose at the parts they don't like and ram it threw to the President's desk for him to sign, or the Senate which is sooner then latter going to have to deal with its constipation issue any way goes nuclear on it, and then passes the compromise bill for the President to sign something has to get done.  Not to mention something that will have some immediate affects as the public as been waiting quite a long time for this to happen and they we are starting to get quite feed up with it. I

As for the rest of the big ticket legislation that the President has presented on his wish list, I think that he is going to have to step in and start using the power of his office, he is going to have to start out lining exactly what he wants from congress and use that power to help ram the legislation he wants. He has to learn from the mistakes made on health care and up until this point, when the white house dose not provide clear leadership and just throws the veg ball into the court of congruous to deal with it winds up getting bogged down and moving no where fast until it dies a death of a thousand debates and quibbles. Because for some reason, unless given clear directions and force full support the democrats seem utterly incapable of actually getting any really legislation done, instead they get it almost all the way there and then they let it all fall to pieces at that last moment and move on to the next project, doing the whole rinse lather and repeat cycle.  It would seem that given the upcoming elections cycle it would be in the presidents interest to take a more active roll in insuring that at least some legislation gets done and passed, because the time is quickly running out on being able to blame the lack of change and the lack of progress on what the mess inherited from Bush.  The time is quickly approaching that the Democrats are going to have to rightfully have to have their feet held to the fire for allowing the Republicans hijack the country and hijack the legislative process with a minority when the Dems had the power all along to over ride the republicans and force threw the legislation

It will be what they do now that will most likely determine how the story is painted for the 2012 elections, if the Dem's do it right, they can paint it as them taking the stand against the do nothing obstructionist republicans, the one who ground the senate the a halt, who gleefully abandoned their own policies when they where adopted into bills or proposed to be adopted as olive branches of bipartisanship.  They can paint the republicans as the party of no, the party of nothing, of nothing to offer of no ideas, of no true policy after all what good is policy if you are not even willing to stand behind your own policy, the party of non participation, they can paint them as the party that did not care about what was actually good for its own constituents but what was good for short term political gain.  If the democrats don't succeed in doing what it takes to turn things around they will once again have tar and fathered them selves into showing for the republicans that they have no back bone that they can not effectively pass legislation, and that they can not effectively run the government when they are the ones in power. Which is the whole point of the Republican game at the moment, to allow the democrats to trip over their own bar of lowered expectations.  So hear is hoping that the democrats wake up and go nuclear on the filibuster as well as starting making some legislation threw. Not to mention the white house getting more involved in the game of telling congress exactly what it wants them to do, instead of just siting back and waiting on them to do something kinda like what it wants.  


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