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Am I glad to see that House Speaker John Boehner is putting himself out to pasture?
Do I believe it's going to make one iota of difference in the Washington balance of power?
John Boehner wasn't the problem. Oh sure, he made a convenient whipping boy, what with the nonstop tears and petty backstabbing. But in the end he was usually dragged, sometimes kicking and screaming, but dragged nonetheless, into rallying support for legislative initatives near and dear to conservative hearts.
And afterwards, where did those initiatives inevitably go to die?
Mitch McConnell's Senate, where Harry Reid apparently still reigns supreme.
John Boehner is a symptom. The ascendency of Donald Trump's presidential aspirations is also a symptom. Mitch McConnell and the GOP establishment are the disease.
In their latest show of political theater, McConnell's minions posted a stopgap spending bill that included a provision defunding Planned Parenthood. Good conservative red meat, right?
Why? To save us from a dreaded government shutdown. (Cue the scary music...)
In the process though, McConnell also spared Obama the embarrassment of having to veto the original bill, signalling he's unwilling to assert Congress's constitutional role in checking presidential power and ensuring political accountability.
By striking at Congress's constitutional powers, particularly the power of the purse, Mr. Obama seeks an unprecedented aggrandizement of presidential power. One way to prevent that happening is by reforming the filibuster rule.
Spending battles and government shutdowns have taken place in the past. Yet the Obama administration's strategy, denying the very legitimacy of Congress's use of its appropriations power, is historically unprecedented. It has been abetted by Democratic senators who deploy the filibuster to keep spending legislation that the president opposes from an up-or-down Senate vote. Their goal is to spare the president any potential political damage from casting a veto, and to allow him to shift responsibility for government shutdowns from himself to Congress—undermining the paramount constitutional virtue of accountability. This situation has particularly vitiated the authority of the House of Representatives, which originates all of the spending bills.
The constitutional balance of power between the two political branches must be restored. In this connection, it is important to understand that the Senate filibuster rule has no constitutional basis. . . .
Tradition is important, and eliminating the filibuster, despite its diminished policy utility, would be a momentous step. Yet it is one Senate Republicans should consider taking, given the constitutional imperatives at stake. . . .
If legislation commanding the support of majorities in both the House and Senate can no longer be permanently delayed by filibustering, a recalcitrant president would still be able to shut down a government agency or department by vetoing appropriations. But the American people would know whom to hold responsible.
The GOP establishement said, give us a House majority and we'll stop Obama.
We gave them a House majority. They didn't stop Obama.
Then the GOP establishment said, give us a Senate majority too and this time we'll stop Obama.
We gave them a Senate majority. They haven't stopped Obama.
Ergo, they lied to us.
Harry Reid had no problem nuking the filibuster to confirm Obama's extreme radical judicial nominees. He bypassed it entirely to cram Obamacare down our throats.
But McConnell refuses to play by Harry Reid's rules. He considers himself above such "ungentlemanly" tactics.
Except it isn't that McConnell and the GOPe don't know how to get down and dirty. They sure fileted Chris McDaniel to keep comatose Good Ole Boy Thad Cochrane in his seat. In fact, they have no problem fighting conservatives at every turn, even to the point of lying to Ted Cruz's face.
So the next House Speaker can advance all the conservative policy initiatives
he wants. It won't mean squat until Mitch McConnell and Reince Preibus and the
NRSC and rest of the GOP establishment join John Boehner in retirement. Until
then Obama and the Democrats will keep on winning the war, and of course,
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