Category Archives: we want regular order

More Tools from the Obstructionist’s Toolbox



Republicans are playing “delay and distract” again and they are very good at it. The strategy: make a big deal about the buggy roll-out of the ACA first, so they can delay getting anything done (and they definitely do not plan to get anything done unless it is something they want, like cutting funds for food stamps) and second, so that no one will notice that nothing is getting done (even though it is obvious to just about all of us all of the time). It’s like the magician who distracts you with what he is saying or what his left hand is doing, while his right hand is doing something else.

The hearings and the negative commentary about the ACA; this type of activity is the equivalent of twiddling their thumbs as they wait for the clock to run down, first on the next crisis for the CR and debt ceiling, second for the end of the Obama Presidency in either 2016 or through his impeachment that they so devoutly wish for every day. They will pontificate, stall, criticize, complain, meet, show off, repeat their talking points whenever TV news people will let them and they will look very busy (because they are busy raising money for future elections); but nothing will get done in Congress unless it cuts a budget line item or obstructs the attempts of the President or any Democrat to bring any laws or Presidential appointments whatsoever to the floor of the House or of the Senate.

They have, by using their obstructive position, made themselves the gatekeepers over the country’s legislation. If it is something they want they can let it through (but few things sparkle enough to attract their approval and get them to open that gate and there is always that risk that the gate, once opened, will be hard to shut). We have to remember that, as these folks have proven, our Constitution apparently allows a majority in one house of Congress to put a stick in the spokes of the wheel of government and stop progress so that the party with the stick can wait out the clock in hopes of a better election outcome in the future. This should not be possible and I see it as a flaw in our Constitution; an oversight that should be fixed with some type of Constitutional patch. However, I accept that we cannot even patch the Constitution while our government is in standstill mode. We will have to elect Democrats in 2014 in order to fix this loophole and prevent one minority party from continuing to block the majority agenda.

If all that happens after an election is that we get ready for the next election; if no laws are passed and no business conducted, then we can save ourselves a lot of time and money by not having any more elections. The only problem is that this will ruin our country and we will end up with no government, which is what these obstructers want anyway. Perhaps we need to meet and design a new Legislative body that represents the increased complexity of a 21st century America and closes the loopholes that are appearing in the current design. The American people want the obstructionist practices to end, for government to return to “regular order”, and for the tools in the obstruction’s toolbox to be left to rust with disuse.

This is the view from the cheap seats.

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Why Can’t We Stop the GOP?

This started out as an experiment, an experiment to see if I could create  a power point document and figure out how to export it to my blog. I also needed to make a few demands of Republicans who have been making so many of their own demands lately.
First I had to figure out how to save each slide as a jpeg which is easy to do from the Save As screen, but then I had to remember to have My Pictures open so that I could find the jpegs once I made them. Oh the wonders of conquering a new procedure on the internet!
And as for this content, I know in my heart and my mind that our government doesn’t have to be in this crisis. This is a crisis that has been produced by extreme pundits and monied GOP Conservative organizations who are placing undue pressures on our government from the outside. We are being governed by many people who were never elected to govern us. We are letting a confused minority dictate to the majority and we can’t seem to stop it. I’m not at all sure why there are no mechanisms for halting this government takeover. We, the American people, are never paranoid enough, apparently, and have not built into our system rules that cover Congressional Representatives who are out of order and out of control. Also, we have grown so disconnected from government that we hardly emit a squeal when people behave in this undemocratic fashion. America is not a place where demonstrators flood the streets demanding, well, anything. Is this a flaw in us, or is this because we still believe that the system will work and the power equation eventually will be balanced?
I really am worried that these Republicans have gotten themselves in such a state that they will not be able to calm themselves, shift into a lower, calmer, more intelligent, less emotional gear. I am worried because they do not seem to realize that the changes they are talking about making to the American government are revolutionary and that these changes need to be made in a slow and orderly fashion. Weaning people away from some forms of government “subsidy” will be like sending the whole nation to some kind of stern rehab, even our children. An entire nation, if as dependent on government support as you claim, cannot go cold turkey all at once without social upheaval and chaos. What I worry about is that your anger and self-righteousness are building to an explosion and that that explosion could actually result in a civil war. I am a little worried that your side has all the guns and has been so rabid about keeping them. Along with gerrymandering, limiting women’s health choices, passing restrictive voter registration laws, busting unions, getting Republicans elected in a majority of states, and obstructing Democratic lawmakers have you been forming secret militias (this is just my paranoia, I hope and believe, because we would know if this was happening, wouldn’t we) ? I am so worried that we are leading up to a civil war with our very uncivil behavior. Restoring regular order in Washington would go quite a way towards reassuring me and any others who might share my fears.

The Daily Kos, an admittedly left-skewed source, published a series of charts showing connections among Republican groups, groups that have been actively pushing the Republican agenda in America. I will just include one chart here to illustrate the extent of this ingrown political activism, this kind of quasi-legal power structure that we are trying to make headway against. Democrats have nothing like this. These groups show an incredibly homogeneous fraternalism that may come out of the evangelical movement or out of the old boy networks in the South and Midwest. Democratic support groups are outnumbered and out-maneuvered by these Conservative groups. They are organized around fear, hatred of change and all the usual reactionary suspects. It’s not that I embrace change or have an easy time adjusting to change. I have all the same fears about the future we all have. It is just that I see the hand-writing on the wall. Change is already moving like a slow tsunami or lava flow through the nations of the world and it will happen whether we want it to or not.

Here’s a small section of that article in the Daily Kos.

“There is a cabal of Foundations working very hard to make your life miserable and they are succeeding.

This chart just scratches the surface of Conservative Foundations (interactive link).  Note Freedom Works Foundation on this chart.  It’s a Koch funded entity.  These conservative groups are all interconnected.

AN ASIDE: If you double click on a chart, you will see a larger version, under which you will find a link to the interactive Muckety Map.  When viewing an interactive Muckety map, you can see the relationship description by scrolling your cursor over either the solid or dotted lines. Muckety has done an amazing job cross referencing, so look under their maps for additional information.  Enjoy your research.

(You will have to follow the link to enlarge the chart.)

Donors Trustis one of the entities the Koch Brothers and their like-minded, greedy friends funnel money through hoping to end our democracy as we know it.  You will see some other Right Wing foundations in this chart as well as Freedom Works Foundation (which means freedom for the rich to do whatever they feel like doing to our land, water, air, and us)”


This is the view from the cheap seats.

This blog post is also available at