Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Do Democrats "want to win"?
From the New York Times
: (excerpts, emp add)
Rules Keeper Is Dismissed By Senate, Official Says
By DAVID E. ROSENBAUM
Published: May 8, 2001
Republican leaders decided last week to dismiss the Senate's parliamentarian, Robert B. Dove, because of their frustration over his recent rulings on tax and budget matters, a top leadership staff assistant said today.
One of Mr. Dove's recent rulings was that only one tax bill could be considered this year under special budget rules that prevent filibusters. The final straw apparently came last week when Mr. Dove determined that a Republican plan to set aside more than $5 billion in next year's budget to cover expenses related to natural disasters could be removed from the budget unless Republicans could muster 60 votes to keep it.
Those decisions frustrated Republicans. Earlier this year, he delighted Republicans and infuriated Democrats in declaring that a tax cut could be considered under procedures that prevent filibusters on measures that reduced budget deficits.
Presiding officers in the Senate -- the vice president or senators when the vice president is not in the chair -- invariably follow the counsel of the parliamentarian on procedural questions. As a practical matter, the parliamentarian's rulings can be overturned only by a 60-vote majority, and that rarely happens.
''The stakes are very high, and when you have a 50-50 Senate, it leaves the parliamentarian who is trying to be an honest broker in an excruciating position,'' said Norman J. Ornstein, an expert on Congress at the American Enterprise Institute.
''These are guys who want to win,'' Mr. Ornstein said of Republican senators, ''and they don't want roadblocks in their way.''
The Democrats couldn't pass wind out of their asses with full control of the White House, House and a supermajority in the Senate.
Now they find themselves in the horrible injustice of having to gain the support of one single Republican in order to pass their legislation and they are sobbing over the cruel injustice of this horrible, ungovernable nation.
No sympathy here.