Friday, January 25, 2013


Sen. John Kerry (
        Kudos to Senator John Kerry for his masterful opening statement to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee yesterday, and for the way he responded to questioning. His statesmanlike bearing and his obvious grasp of the broad-reaching and strategic leadership role of the United States in world affairs and in the community of nations, reflected his long years of experience as a member and as chair of that powerful and extremely important committee.
        Senator Kerry tactfully resisted the attempts of some committee members to create any separation between his views and those of his predecessor, Hillary Clinton, who had given one of the three very strong introductory endorsements, the other two coming from his newly elected Senatorial colleague from Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren, and from his long-time Republican friend and colleague, Senator John McCain. Senator Kerry also made it very clear that he will advance the President’s foreign policy, which he skillfully defended against the insinuating questions of some of the Republican committee members.  
        President Obama’s nomination of John Kerry should have no difficulty winning the approval of the Senate. He will make an excellent Secretary of State.
        So much for kudos. Now for the cat-calls, which today go to Senate Majority leader Harry Reid for caving in to Senator Mitch McConnell and the Republicans on filibuster reform. He had repeatedly declared

that there would be no “handshake deal” on filibuster reform, but that’s what the two of them did, and in so doing Senator Reid sold out the American people who were counting on him to keep his promise to end the egregious misuse of the filibuster by Senate Republicans.
Senators Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell  (AP photo)
        The mild reforms they agreed to do nothing to end the use of the “silent” filibuster, which has enabled Republican Senators to oppose a bill without ever showing up in person to defend their position before the Senate in full view of the American people,  and the over-use of the  super-majority rule, which requires a 60-vote majority to pass bills that should be decided by a majority vote. The use of these two legislative tactics by the Republicans has stymied the current  Senate, and as a consequence in 2012 they passed the fewest number of bills in modern history.
        Cat-calls to the entire Senate for not listening to the American people, the majority of whom have indicated their disgust with the gridlock in both Houses of Congress. And loudest cat-calls to all those Senators who voted for the watered down Reid/McConnell compromise instead of insisting on real filibuster reform.
        They had their chance to do something right for America and they blew it!

No comments:

Post a Comment