Keeping the Lame Duck from Waddling
By Bruce Walker
November 22, 2010
The shenanigans of the Left are legion. During the Health Care debate, Nancy Pelosi pondered “deeming” a bill as having passed the House of Representatives. Obama’s flacks completely turned around what experts said about the danger of drilling for oil after the Gulf Spill. Republicans, who will judge the actual winner of close House races, should recall just how blatantly partisan the House has acted in the past in choosing Democrat candidates who “won” – Lee Hamilton is the perfect example.
Now, in a Lame duck session of Congress, Obama and his Leftist pals are already trying to finagle the rules of democratic process. Senator-elect Kirk will not be sworn into office because undisclosed Democrat functionaries in the bowels of Illinois cannot find the paperwork. Oddly, though this duly elected Republican will not take office before the lame duck session begins, Senator-elect Manchin and Senator-elect Coons, both Democrats, will be sworn and serve in the lame duck session. The malodorous stench of hack partisanship is repulsive, and also so familiar to Democrats in power.
What could a Lame duck session do? Anything. House members already voted out of office in Red districts need not fear the wrath of the voters. Fifty-nine senators will be close to cloture strength, with “Senator” Manchin and “Senator” Coons voting while “Senator” Kirk waits for a file clerk in Illinois to find the paperwork to swear him into office. So all the great evils we feared from Obama can be done in a single day by a Left massively repudiated by the voters.
Scott Brown, the 41st Republican in the Senate, should be able to sustain a filibuster. Given the issues involved, though, Republicans should push very hard for more than just Senator Brown. Manchin, for example, ran a campaign promising not to be a rubber stamp for the Democrat leadership. Senator Byrd’s term actually ends in 2012, so Manchin will stand for re-election in two years. West Virginians should hold his feet to the fire on supporting a filibuster of a rogue lame duck session. If he lines up with Harry Reid to try to ram through unpopular bills in a Congress rejected by the people, then Republicans should make it clear that beginning the day Manchin votes to impose cloture, conservative groups in West Virginia will begin a drumbeat message “Manchin lied. Manchin betrayed West Virginia.” Everyone in the state should know by November 2012 whether Manchin is a closet leftist who secretly mocks their trust in them.
Senator Nelson of Nebraska should also feel the heat of voters. He already knows how unpopular his support for Obamacare is in his home state. Nelson should also know that everyone in the state will be watching to see if he is willing to let the next Congress – the one just voted in by Americans – decide important issues, or if he is willing to sneakily work to pass laws that the people clearly have rejected. The whole state should make it clear that he will be the next Blanche Lincoln if he supports cloture.
Webb (Virginia), Tester (Montana), Bingaman (New Mexico) and Conrad (North Dakota) – all Democrats in conservative states – must also be told emphatically that a vote for cloture in a lame duck session will be considered by conservatives to be the most offensive they can make. There are three other “Bush Republican” states with Democrats up for reelection in 2012: McCaskill (Missouri), Nelson (Florida), and Sherrod (Ohio.) Each should be made to know that a vote to effectively disenfranchise voters will be a target on their backs in 2012. Each should be made to know that a vote for cloture is also a vote to condone the Chicago-style machine corruption which is keeping the other duly elected Senator Kirk from taking his rightful place beside them in the Senate.
So what should conservatives ask these nine Democrats to do in the lame duck session? We should ask them to “Do an Obama” and vote “present” on cloture motions. We need not ask them to vote against ending a filibuster but rather, out of respect for the will of their bosses, us, we should ask them not to cast a vote for or against cloture. We should ask them to take the “moderate” position. Voting against cloture would make them “conservatives” and voting for cloture would make them “Leftists,” so offer them to prove their moderation by taking the middle path and declining to vote.
Conservatives should also contact the eleven Senate Democrats from Red states who will face voters in 2014: Begich (Alaska), Pryor (Arkansas), Udall (Colorado), Landrieu (Louisiana), Baucus (Montana), Sheehan (New Hampshire), Udall (New Mexico), Hagan (North Carolina), Thompson (South Dakota), Warner (Virginia), and Rockefeller (West Virginia) and make it clear that a vote for cloture during a lame duck session without Senator Kirk seated is an affront to democracy which will haunt them will into the 2014 campaign.
Conservatives are very savvy about politics now and we can get our message out in less than a day. We know what a cloture vote means. We know that Senator Kirk is being denied his right to sit in the Senate by corrupt politics in Illinois. We should flood these twenty Democrats with emails, phone calls, and letters to make sure they know are watching and that we will not forget. Seat Senator Kirk. Wait two months to do business. Or simply abstain from supporting cloture in a crooked Congress. But side with the Far Left and that vote will be fatal to your political career. Keep this lame duck from waddling and the first post-election test of will between conservatives and Leftists will be won.
Bruce Walker is a long-time conservative writer whose work is published regularly at popular conservative sites such as American Thinker.