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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 4/4/09

The GOP's Coleman-Franken Obstructionism Needs Democratic Hardball Response

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First they counted the votes. Then they recounted them. Then they painstakingly went over every disputed ballot by hand. It was the most thorough and exhaustive recount process Minnesota has ever seen.  The BI-partisan canvassing board declared Al Franken the winner of the U.S. Senate race in Minnesota but  Norm Coleman, and the Republican Party leadership don’t like the result and the GOP and Coleman think they have found a way by which they can block the Democrats in the Senate from getting the magic number of 60 votes needed to close off filibuster in case of a contested vote in the Senate.

Coleman and the Republicans want to drag this process on in court, if necessary for years, even after a majority of Minnesotans have indicated by poll after poll that they want this matter resolved and they want Minnesota’s other senator to be seated. Even when,Coleman’s own lawyers are now predicting he'll lose if he appeals, Coleman is threatening to keep appealing anyway to more and more courts.

Because Norm Coleman and the Republican party don’t care what courts, commissions or the people of Minnesota think. As with McConnell, Boehner, Cantor, et al, party ideology trumps their duty to the people of their state and to the American people to abide by fairly arrived at election results.  

So how many more recounts does Norm Coleman want? How many more delays? How much longer will the Republican Party hold Minnesota's Senate seat hostage? 

My answer would be the following: IF the Republicans persist in stymieing the resolution of the Coleman-Franken vote controversy, and if they continue to seek to keep the second Minnesota Senate empty through endless litigation then Democrats are correspondingly justified if THEY use the special parliamentary maneuver in the Senate whereby the 60 vote majority requirement can be circumvented and legislation can be passed without needing the 60 votes for overcoming a fillibuster. 

If the Republicans are going to play hardball, the Democrats need to also play hardball. The Republicans are interfering with the official business of the United States, at a time when votes on key issues is critical to the survival of the country.

If these un-American party ideologues have to put their party ahead of their country, and they do, then they need to be swept aside by whatever means the Democrats have to use. The Democratic majority was put in place by the American people, who elected them to enact needed reforms. The Republicans are die-hard-sore-loser-obstructionists, while they continually lie and try to accuse the Democrats of being the ones who are unfair.  

So bottom line, the Democrats have the power to play legislative hardball in the Senate and they are justified in doing so in order to fight fire with fire and give the Reublicans the Democratic answer to the GOP’s unreasoning nay-saying and attempts to derail reform.after the Minnesota vote count is essentially over, even if Coleman continues to tie it up in court. 

Republicans can either be reasonable or else they need to simply be swept aside by the means the Democrats have at their disposal. After all, when the Republicans had the majority, they didn’t hesistate to use their majority status to shut down Democratic congressional opposition.  

Turnabout is fair play and the Coleman-Franken case proves that Mitch McConnell is a bald faced liar when he says “Republicans have reached out but can’t get any bi-partisan cooperation from the Democrats”.  Obviously the opposite is true.  

So I say: shut down this charade. If the GOP wants the Coleman case tied up forever, they can be defeated in their ultimate purpose of derailing progressive reforms by whatever means Democrats can use to just sweep them aside.  
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I live in the Pacific Northwest and I am interested in current affairs.
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