Republican Hardball

So I’ve been wondering why the Democrats in the US don’t seem to have been able to take advantage of the landslide election of  Barack Obama.  Here’s one man’s answer:

When Republicans held less than 60 seats in the Senate and wanted to push through legislation, right-wing judges, etc., we never heard about how they lacked the 60 seats to pass whatever they wanted.

They played hardball, telling Democrats that if they dared to even consider a filibuster they would use the “nuclear option,” and Democrats curled up in the fetal position and waited until the Republicans had so badly damaged the country that the American people simply couldn’t vote for them anymore, and said, “We want the other guys.” Well, the other guys are in now, and they seem to have convinced themselves that they have neither the power nor the mandate to do the people’s business the way the people asked them to do. For those Americans who thought they might see things like comprehensive health care reform come out of this Congress and this Presidency, good luck. Unless the Democrats dramatically change course or the new President puts his foot down and reminds the American people who they voted for, any new legislation will have to pass muster with co-presidents Collins, Specter, and Snowe, and their shadow cabinet of Cornyn, Boehner, Shelby, and McConnell. The new co-presidents will not be able to do the kind of damage their party did over the last eight years, but they will be able to prevent the Democrats from fixing it—and to allow the radical conservatives to say “I told you so” in two years and take back large swaths of the House and Senate.

Drew Westen

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