Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Obama’s Responsibilities

In 1787, compromise gave us a Constitution, and that provides for a government where compromise is the only way to get things done, the only other option is complete legislative paralysis.

The “Hastert Rule” is designed to prevent reaching a consensus by stipulating that no legislation will be allowed to come to a vote in a Republican controlled House unless it’s supported by a majority of the majority party.  

During President Obama’s first term in office, Senate Republicans embarked on an unprecedented obstruction campaign against his agenda, particularly against his executive and judicial nominees.  They used the filibuster an average of 14.4 times per year to block his nominations.

The word ‘‘filibuster” doesn’t exist in the Constitution, but has become a routine 60-vote hurdle that allows a minority with 41 votes to frustrate any effort of the majority party.

There have been more filibusters during Obama administration than in the ‘50s, ‘60s, and ‘70s combined.  In the history of our country, there have been 168 filibusters of executive and judicial nominations.  Half of them occurred during Obama’s administration.

Regarding the opening on the Supreme Court, Obama explained:  "I plan to fulfill my constitutional responsibilities to nominate a successor in due time.  There will be plenty of time for me to do so, and for the Senate to fulfill its responsibility to give that person a fair hearing and a timely vote.  These are responsibilities that I take seriously, as should everyone.  They’re bigger than any one party.  They are about our democracy.  They’re about the institution to which Justice Scalia dedicated his professional life, and making sure it continues to function as the beacon of justice that our Founders envisioned."

On 1/21/17, Obama would be available to be appointed to fill the opening on the Supreme Court. 


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