The writer compared this one-day sit-in which called attention to the many times the majority Speaker of the House has refused to allow discussion or voting on bills proposed by minority members to the 10 times in history that elected officials of both parties have "shut down our government," costing billions of dollars each time. Apples and oranges.
In these days of record-breaking-spending legislators and aspiring politicians, regardless of party, pursue campaign dollars from high-income donors as a matter of simple political survival. They follow the advice of Willie Sutton who, when asked why he robbed banks said, "that's where the money is."
Since President Obama took office, Republicans have used the filibuster an average of 14.4 times per year to block his nominations. That is 50 times higher than the 1952-2008 average, and more than 14 times higher than during the administration of President George W. Bush. It is a shame that the Republicans brought things to this pass. The filibuster is a useful tool to prevent a president whose party controls the Senate from pushing through the nomination of an appointee who is incompetent, who lacks integrity or whose views are truly outside the "mainstream" of respectable opinion. That we have now lost that important safeguard is deeply unfortunate. But the responsibility for this development rests squarely on the shoulders of the Republican members of the Senate, who have brought this not only upon themselves, but upon the nation. It is a sad day for America.