Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Happy Constitution Day

Last March, I wrote about the atrocity of Republican spending hundreds of billions of dollars and thousands of lives to bring democracy to Baghdad while continuing to deny democracy to residents of Washington, D.C.

Since then, the House of Representatives, with support from both parties, passed a bill that would remedy the situation in part by expanding the chamber’s membership by two seats – one for D.C., (putatively a Democrat) and one for Utah (putatively an Osmond). Today, 57 percent of the Senate agreed.

But it will not become law, because under Senate rules it took 60 votes, the requirement to stop the filibuster promise by Mitch McConnell, the senator from Kentucky who is the leader of the body’s Republicans.

Had it passed and President Bush signed it, the law would probably go to the Supreme Court because of conflicting Constitutional claims: either Article I, Section 2, declaring that the House shall be made up of members of “states” (of which D.C. is not one) or Article I, Section 8, giving Congress has sole jurisdiction over the laws of the city, including voting, which is a state function. But Mitch McConnell and 40 of his Republican colleagues wouldn't let it come to a vote in the Senate.

Only one Democratic voted to keep federal taxpaying residents from having representation, someone you have never heard of and, God willing, you never will until his timely death. He is Max Baucus of Montana, a DINO, or Democrat in Name Only. He has previously sold out his party by using his position as the top Democrat on the Finance Committee to adopt Bush’s tax giveaways to the rich.

Here is a list of the only eight Republican senators to side with democracy:

Susan Collins of Maine
Olympia Snowe of Maine
Richard Lugar of Indiana
George Voinovich of Ohio
Robert Bennett of Utah
Orrin Hatch of Utah
Norm Coleman of Minnesota
Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania

Too bad McConnell couldn’t make this a true travesty by trying to kill democracy yesterday, which is “Constitution Day.” But the Senate doesn’t bother to do any business on Mondays.

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