Last week, Democrats attempted to break a logjam of 101 executive branch nominees being blocked by Republicans. Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) appeared on the Senate floor to call up the names. Unfortunately, Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) arrived just in time to officially object to each and every name. Therefore, C-Span viewers were treated to an extraordinary example of theater by the Party of No.
Whitehouse read five names, followed by McCaskill, who read another 17. Each time a name was mentioned, Kyl adjusted his tie and smugly stated I object. McCaskill returned to the floor later in the day and read 75 more. All were met with the same response by Republicans.
No one should be surprised by such tactics from Republicans (least of all those of us who live in the state represented by Kyl and his pal, John McNasty). Since the 2008 election, Republicans have blocked hundreds of nominations for key positions in the Obama administration. They have refused to vote for any major legislation, even after Democrats embraced many Republican amendments. They continue to call the President a Socialist despite the fact that he has governed from the center, and even though he appointed a number of Republicans to key positions. (In reality, he has only done what he promised to do during the campaign.)
So when Kyl repeatedly stated I object on the Senate floor, he was simply articulating the entire agenda of the Republican Party. Republican leaders seem proud of their obstructionism. Indeed, Sarah Palin has said that its not the Party of No. Its the Party of Hell No.
Let’s hope that, when these Republicans are up for re-election and ask for support, voters respond in kind with a loud “Hell No”!