Hey, DSCC: Quit whining about Republican obstruction

I have had it with e-mail blasts like the one I got over the weekend from J.B. Poersch of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee:

Republicans tried every trick in the book to block us, but Senate Democrats scored important health care reform wins in the past two weeks. We passed the Mikulski Amendment, to make sure every woman gets crucial cancer screenings. And we defeated the Senate’s version of the Stupak Amendment – one of the biggest attacks on choice in a generation.

But these wins didn’t faze the Republicans. A lot of what they are doing to kill the Senate’s bill isn’t making the headlines – but that doesn’t make it any less insidious. We’ve pulled together facts on their latest heinous tactics in our new Obstruction Report.

The e-mail goes on about how the DSCC will save us from “roadblock Republicans”:

We’re tracking their each and every move so that they can’t get away with it. Whether it’s attempting to force the entire health care bill back to committee, bringing up inane amendments just to vote them down, or writing a manual devoted to killing the bill, Republicans will stop at nothing to derail health care reform – and destroy our Senate majority.

Click here to access the new Obstruction Report. We’re tracking what they’re doing – and we’re not going to let them get away with it.

Yes, the Republicans are bad-faith negotiators, and that obstruction manual by Judd Gregg was a repulsive piece of work. (We dodged a bullet when Gregg didn’t end up in Obama’s cabinet.)

At the same time, it’s been obvious all year that Senate Republicans would work as a bloc to kill any health care bill worth passing. That’s why I opposed the pursuit of bipartisanship on health care and in particular the time-wasting “Gang of Six” talks on the Senate Finance Committee.

It’s equally obvious that the the “roadblock Republicans” couldn’t do a thing to block health care reform if there weren’t a few Democrats willing to help them. In case J.B. Poersch hasn’t noticed, we have 60 senators caucusing with Democrats now. Mitch McConnell and Chuck Grassley aren’t preventing a bill from passing. Our problem is people like Ben Nelson, Blanche Lincoln, Mary Landrieu and Joe Lieberman. None of them will rule out joining a Republican filibuster, and because of them, an already watered-down bill is becoming worse by the day.

The Senate’s version of the Stupak Amendment, which the DSCC is so proud of defeating, was the pet project of Democrat Ben Nelson. He’s still threatening to block the whole bill.

Senator Tom Harkin tried to change Senate rules on the filibuster in 1995, and the Burlington (IA) Hawk Eye reports that he may try again, “Given what he sees as the abuse of power by a couple members of his own party whom he said are threatening to join the minority party if their every demand is not met.”

Why would I send money to the DSCC when they will turn around and spend it on behalf of senators who threaten to filibuster unless good provisions are removed from the health care bill? Lincoln in particular is facing a tough campaign next year. But don’t worry, the DSCC will spend millions to help her.

If I hear the DSCC promising to cut off any senator who threatens to vote against cloture on a major domestic policy bill, I will consider donating to the organization again. Otherwise, I have better things to do with my money than reward Senate Democrats who pin their own failures on “Republican obstruction.” I’ll donate to the individual campaigns of members of Congress who are not working against me.

  • Well

    I don’t see much more good coming out of this except for getting rid of the preexisting condition ban and the portability issues, but maybe the exchange will work out better than I think it will.

    I really don’t see how seeing Blanche Lincoln go down in flames will help pass any reform unless Halter beats her in the primary and then the race Leans R even more in my view.  I always have these discussions over at Swing State and I still contend my friend seventy or eighty percent of the time is still my friend, especially in a state like Arkansas, Nebraska, etc.  Lieberman on the other hand is just an attention hound.  

    • I would rather roll the dice on Halter

      Lincoln stands in the way on most of the important legislation and is in trouble against third-stringers. I think Halter has a better shot.

      Also, if Lincoln lost to either Halter or a Republican, Debbie Stabenow would take over the Ag Committee, which would be very good.

      Regarding health care reform, they could end the pre-existing conditions stuff without creating an elaborate scheme for transferring tax dollars to profitable companies.

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