THE BLOG
07/29/2010 04:37 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

"No-Guts" Democrats Make Mitch McConnell Our Putative President

The "no-guts" Democrats have turned the country over to the losers. The de facto government right now in the United States is the Republican minority in the Senate. It's been no secret, and there's been little if any deception in their method. They use the rules of the Senate to hold all Obama administration appointees hostage while invoking the dreaded Rule 22 filibuster at every opportunity. Even on bills the Republicans might have favored - had they been introduced by a Republican Senator or proposed by a Republican President - like the ghost of Dick Cheney, Mitch McConnell waterboards our political process, grinding government to a halt, ending all chance for an up or down vote on any issue he choses. And the Democrats never catch on - they're not in Kansas anymore.

To make matters worse, the Democratic Senate majority - the largest seen in the Senate in nearly a half-century - tucks its tail between its legs and crawls meekly into the corner with hardly a whimper of protest. Harry Reid of Nevada is the most ineffective Majority Leader in American History. He will be remembered (if he's remembered at all) only for his astonishing political weakness and an apparent lack of any real sense of Senate leadership other than capitulation.

And the Democrat in the White House - "the one we were waiting for," the one who campaigned on a slogan that is now so embarrassing that to repeat it here would only be a cause for laughter - his power is so diminished the famed Oval Office has become little more than an Oval Cubby Hole. In it he sits, doing nothing to empower his historic mandate. More Americans cast their vote for Barack Obama than for anyone who has ever run for President in our national history. Unlike his immediate predecessor, President Obama actually won his election, fair and square, and did so in remarkable fashion with some 70 million votes. You would think he - of all people - would remember that.

But, by now the election slogans are all gone. The hats and T-shirts have mostly been tossed in a closet somewhere. The bumper stickers have been rubbed off. The pride has vanished. The promises go unfulfilled. What's left to "believe" in? The 70 million-vote President has been knocked around the ring like a novice boxer, smacked silly by a GOP Minority Leader who squeezed into the Senate with only 953,000 votes himself. When it comes to national leadership on federal legislation, a 70-1 electoral ratio goes begging and a relative few from a small, border state make Mitch McConnell the nation's putative Chief Executive.

Only two questions remain relevant. When will it stop? And, why should we ever again elect Democrats to anything?

If the only answer to the first question is, "when 60 or more Democrats are elected to the Senate" we might as well fold our tent and let representative democracy die a respectfully muted death. Nowhere in the Constitution, or any other founding documents, or in any discussions, writings or informal musings of the Founding Fathers will you find even a hint that in order to have a functioning federal government you need 60% of the seats in the US Senate. So, if that's your response - don't bother. Vice President Joe Biden, the constitutional President of the Senate, can alter everything - today, tomorrow, on the opening day of the next Senate session. He can do it in a New York minute. So, enough of this "60 vote" nonsense.

A thoughtful answer to the second question is somewhat more difficult and a great deal more important. If the Democratic Party refuses to use its legally designated political authority - won in a fair and honest national election in 2008 - what good might be served by electing them again in 2010? If a Democratic President with 70 million American votes cannot find the will or the courage to do battle with Mitch McConnell's handful of Kentuckians, why reelect that Democrat in 2012? I understand "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" but, how about - if it doesn't work now, what makes you think it will work any better later?