Friday, February 22, 2008

Institutionalize obstructionism

In my previous comment today, I mentioned that the American Public has little stomach for the institutionalized obstructionism as is commonly practiced in the Senate. When some fear that they would lose a vote, especially one that has major ideological implications, they turn to obstructionist tactics. In the Senate, the ultimate obstruction is the filibuster, which takes a 2/3 majority to force to an end.

With the Senate, it happens pretty much in public. In the House of Representative, it happens pretty much behind closed doors. The major event in the House is to introduce legislation that everyone know will not pass, have it assigned to a committee that will not consider it, and then allow the Congress Critter to brag to their district that they had been fighting the good fight. BS.

The GPCA is no different. The tool here are the strict rules that we have on quorums for any action. At present the State Coordinating Committee is frequently prevented from taking effective action by the simple act of hanging up on a teleconference and then claiming that any further discussion or decisions were not valid due to the lack of a quorum.

In 1995, Newt Gingrich was prepared to allow the government to run out of funds in order to win a fight with President Clinton. The tactic appealed to his Contract with American base, but backfired when he actually tried to do it. It lead to to Democratic election gains in 1996. The American People have no stomach for this, and neither should members of the GPCA.

I am not so naive as to think that anybody is above gaming the system that we have in place. Some do it more than others. Others will cry foul whenever it suits their tactical objective to do so.

Is this all a sign that the GPCA has finally arrived as a political party, that we can play the same political games as the big boys... or is it a sign that we have not grown up yet and are still acting like kindergarteners.

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