Since the inception of this blog, PhysioProf has heaped a fuckload of scorn on filthy rotten slimy Republican wharf rats, scuttling around in the dank gutters of our polity, plotting and scheming with their racist, sexist, neo-feudal cronies for the next opportunity to slap the shit out of the serfs. Well, lest you, fair reader, get the impression that PhysioProf is not a bipartisan foul-mouthed ranting lunatic, I am here to tell you that there are members of the Democratic Party, very powerful members of the Democratic Party, who also deserve unstinting and scathing scorn from every right-thinking decent human being in this nation.
Harry Reid has been a totally fucking annoying itchy burr stuck on my ass since “the Democrats took over control of Congress” in November, 2006. (That’s a total spurt of diarrhea anyway, as “the Democrats” didn’t take over; a Republican/conservative Democrat coalition took over.) Anyway, back to Reid and why he has been chapping my hide into a raw erythematous outrage since he became Senate Majority Leader. Among a host of nasty skanky behavior that he has engaged in, the most enraging has been his handling of the filibuster.
A Senate filibuster is a mechanism for a Senator to prevent passage of a bill by preventing it from being voted on by refusing to give up his or her parliamentary privilege to hold the floor and deliver a speech for as long as he or she desires. The classic filibuster involved a Senator (or Senators) exhibiting some fucking stones, speechifying, reading the phone book, and otherwise continuing to speak for hours or days, preventing votes on bills they found truly objectionable until the bills’ proponents were forced to negotiate less objectionable forms. However, with the votes of 60 Senators, the filibuster could be brought to an end, and the filibustering Senator’s privilege to hold the floor obviated. This is the vote for “cloture”, what I like to call the vote for “shut the fuck up already”.
Well, as you can imagine, this is really fucking inconvenient, and Senators really don’t like inconvenience, so, not surprisingly, a mechanism has been created to make this a lot less unpleasant for the Senators, both the filibusterer and the other Senators who have to stay in session while he filibusters. The mechanism is that if a Senator claims that he will filibuster a bill if it is brought to the floor for debate, then the Senate Majority Leader can simply refuse to bring the bill to the floor unless and until the bill’s proponents obtain the 60 votes that would be necessary for cloture.
This is where we get the despicable lying headlines in newspapers that should know better (Hello, New York Fucking Times!) saying things like “Democrats Fail to Pass Spending Bill”, when what really happened was that the Democrats had a majority prepared to pass the bill, but the Republicans threatened to filibuster, and the Democrats didn’t have the 60 votes needed for cloture. Such headlines makes it look like the Democrats are hapless creatures who “fail” to get anything done in Congress, when it is the Republicans (as fucking usual) who are making sure that anything decent that doesn’t inure to the advantage of their craven hell-bent political hackfuckery is fucked all to hell. In a just world, the headline would read “Republicans Successfully Obstruct Democratic Majority from Passing Spending Bill”.
If the Republicans, in such situations, were repeatedly forced to actually filibuster, instead of simply invoking the threat and having the Senate Majority Leader force the Democrats to obtain 60 votes for cloture to bring the bill to the floor, then it would be much more difficult for the shitheels at the newspapers to lie about whose fault it is that bills are not getting passed. And did I happen to mention that Senate Majority Leader who is enabling the Republicans to pull their obstructionist shit under the radar without actually filibustering is Democratic Senator Harry Motherfucking Reid! Yes, the most powerful Democratic Senator, chosen by his Senate colleagues to aggressively pursue a Democratic legislative agenda in the Senate, is an enabler of Republican obstructionism.
Now you might say, “Hey, PhysioProf, calm the fuck down you raving lunatic. Reid is just extending in a non-partisan way the same courtesy to all Senators regardless of political party so that no one has to spend hours or days filibustering, and so it is fair and is not really enabling Republican obstructionism at the expense of the Democratic agenda. Whenever a Democratic Senator threatens a filibuster, Reid extends the courtesy of avoiding filibuster, and he is just fairly, dispassionately, and evenhandedly extending that same courtesy to his Republican colleagues across the aisle.”
You could say that, but you would totally, completely, utterly, 100% wrong, wrong, wrongity wrong wrong fucking wrong. Yesterday on the floor of the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid said:
[I]f people think they are going to talk this to death, we are going to be in here all night. This is not something we are going to have a silent filibuster on. If someone wants to filibuster this bill, they are going to do it in the openness of the Senate.
Reid was threatening not to extend the courtesy of avoiding filibuster and simply requiring 60 votes to bring to a vote a bill to members of his own party (FISA, but I don’t want to get into the substance of the legislation right now; we are talking about Reid’s complete and despicable lack of loyalty to his party), even though he has routinely and repeatedly extended this courtesy to members of the god damn opposition Republican Party.
All I can say is, What the fuck is up with this shit!? Reid is a no good disloyal Bush- and Republican- skeezebucket enabler, and deserves to be kicked right to the motherfucking curb by the party whose legislative agenda he claims to, but manifestly does not, zealously promote. Progressive Democrats need to do everything in their power to try to ensure that Harry “Bush and Republican Lover” Reid is not chosen as the Majority Leader for the next Senate term.