Can Hardly Wait

Kevin Drum posted this graph of filibusters, color-coded by party. As you can see, Republicans drive the obstruction, even though Republican messaging looks like this:

The next election is about the 9% popularity do-nothing Congress, and getting the message across that Republicans effectively control both houses is job one right now. I’m like Atrios and jobs on this topic, I realize, but that’s because it’s important.






15 replies
  1. 1
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    Great, another hockey stick graph.

  2. 2
    gene108 says:

    The next election is about the 9% popularity do-nothing Congress, and getting the message across that Republicans effectively control both houses is job one right now.

    Good luck with that.

    Explaining Senate procedural arcana so that it fits on a bumper sticker, i.e. is short enough to be easily repeated and therefore easily remembered, seems like a tough road to hoe, hill to climb, etc.

    Also, too the mainstream media treats Republicans as Very Serious People, who are doing what they are doing because of Deeply Held Serious Beliefs and not because of political opportunism, so they can win back control of government. You aren’t going to get the memo out to the Real Americans that Republicans are screwing things up on purpose, through their media gatekeepers.

    EDIT: Actually, thanks to the Citizens United decision you don’t have to through the MSM. You can spend millions of dollars running ads on T.V. to get your point across. Of course the other side will be spending hundreds of millions of dollars pushing their lies, but at least you have a chance…right?

  3. 3
    Feudalism Now! says:

    The MSM looks at the graph and comes away with both sides do it. Degree and comparison are not a big talent to having the Great Debate. Nope both sides filibuster that is all.

  4. 4

    Speaking of a do-nothing Congress, it’s been over 900 days since the Senate Democrats have even proposed a budget plan, as mandated by law.

    But then maybe that’s one way to avoid filibusters.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/.....f-sessions

  5. 5
    gene108 says:

    @Feudalism Now!:

    The MSM looks at the graph and comes away with both sides do it. Degree and comparison are not a big talent to having the Great Debate. Nope both sides filibuster that is all.

    I think the general message that is out in right-wing and MSM sources is that since Democrats had a large majority in the Senate and they still have a majority, they should be able to get things done, despite Republican opposition.

    I’ve rarely seen a reporter, when interviewing a Democrat, who brings up the abuse of procedural rules by Republicans, who doesn’t retort with, “yeah, but you guys got a majority and had a huge majority in the 111th Congress, you should be able to get stuff done.”

    They don’t seem to have a friggin’ clue about Senate rules nor do they seem to want to educate themselves.

  6. 6
    Marc says:

    I don’t get the point of the casual defeatism in the comments. Getting this point across to the general public will take persistence, but it can be done (and has the virtue of being true.) It’s also at the root of the “broken system” that people are so unhappy about, so there is a natural hook for public sympathy.

    If nothing else, it’d be a better use of liberal energy than “how has Obama disappointed you today?”

  7. 7
    RobertB says:

    Nice ratchet effect in that graph too.

  8. 8
    Yutsano says:

    @Eric Lindholm:

    Speaking of a do-nothing Congress, it’s been over 900 days since the Senate Democrats have even proposed a budget plan, as mandated by law.

    LOLwut? Someone needs to read the Constitution.

  9. 9
    Redshift says:

    The next election is about the 9% popularity do-nothing Congress, and getting the message across that Republicans effectively control both houses is job one right now.

    Perhaps it would be more effective (and more accurate), rather than saying Republicans control both houses, to say that Republicans have the power to stop both houses from doing anything. They don’t control the Senate to the extent that they can get things passed (except when their hostage-taking works.)

    It’s a do-nothing Congress because Republicans have the power to make sure it does nothing. Period.

  10. 10
    MBunge says:

    “I’m like Atrios and jobs on this topic,”

    Don’t be so hard on yourself. Your posts have none of Atrios’ self-satisfied “Why isn’t Obama as smart as me?” bitterness.

    Mike

  11. 11
    Nutella says:

    If someone’s got the time, an interesting set of statistics would be number and category of bills in the House. I read somewhere that the House has scheduled only 6 working days this month and they frittered away one of them on a nonbinding resolution about a motto. Comparing the workload under Pelosi with the workload under Boehner might be interesting, and if the numbers do show that Boehner’s been slacking off, it’s a simple and clear message: We pay these clowns $174 grand a year each and they don’t do any work, not even talking about legislation.

  12. 12
    gene108 says:

    @Marc:

    I think my defeatism comes from the fact that any summary of anything political that is too long to fit on a bumper sticker, will not resonate with the American people.

    We do not have the attention span to plow through long winded explanations.

    In general no one really cares why something isn’t done, they just want to get it done.

    If you can’t get it done, then they’ll make a change for change’s sake.

  13. 13
    MCA says:

    @gene108 – I’m not quite that pessimistic on this one, at least. Most voters have at least some general idea of what a filibuster is. Add some arrows pointing to the spikes in this graph, with captions saying “Congress is broken?” “Doesn’t get anything done?” and “Who’s fault is that, now?” and people might get the point. IF it’s widely disseminated and Democratic politicians can harp on the issue incessantly and in unison proclaim that Republicans have made the Senate a 60-vote majority.

    Wait. Like THAT would ever happen. I guess I’ll switch to defeatism.

  14. 14
    Mark says:

    This doesn’t help. I was dating an otherwise intelligent woman who couldn’t deal with the idea that Republicans might somehow be gumming up the works – and she refused to comprehend this particular issue. She was a definite believer in centrism/pox on both your houses, etc. You can imagine how an avid reader of this blog would have a relationship with such a person crash and burn in under three months.

    Also, some dipshit at work just told me that he felt like his vote for John McCain had been validated by the state of the economy under Obama. “Obama’s policies haven’t worked,” he said. I tried and failed to explain to him that the 60-vote supermajority means that we implemented mostly McCain’s plans.

  15. 15

    […] leadership in Congress had decided that they will succeed if the President fails, (see also this chart on filibusters), even the most obvious and necessary of ideas can’t get through.  More money to place the […]

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