World’s Greatest Deliberative Body, My Ass

Now that Olympia Snowe is leaving the Senate, she is complaining that she did not get enough face time from Obama:

Retiring moderate Republican senator still prizes “bipartisanship” over actually passing legislation

Retiring Sen. Olympia Snowe has finished grading the president’s report card. President Obama gets an “F” in bipartisanship, where “bipartisanship” is defined as “constantly stroking the fragile egos of self-important Senate moderates.”

Snowe is not seeking reelection because the Republican Party wholly merged with the conservative movement and then began enforcing much stricter party discipline than it had in the past, and she would likely lose a primary election to a more right-wing candidate. But in her high-minded version of what happened, she is leaving because of “partisanship,” an evil spell cast on the formerly fraternal and cooperative United States Senate by comity-hating wizards.


So instead of cap-and-trade, we got nothing. Instead of the DREAM Act, we got nothing. If healthcare reform had failed, we’d have nothing. If Snowe’s stated goal was to maintain the status quo, because she doesn’t care about immigration and doesn’t believe in climate change, then she’d be totally doing a very good job. But she claims to care about climate change and want to do something about immigration, which leads me to believe that she’s horrible at being a senator. It is the incompetent political maneuvering of “moderates” like Snowe, and not “partisanship,” that leads directly to Senate inaction. If what she needed, in order to be swayed to the side of passing legislation to address problems, was for the president to make a much bigger public show of courting her, then she’s a bizarre and repulsive specimen. Being against everything because people aren’t paying you enough attention is so much worse than being against everything on principle.

The Senate is not a great deliberative body.  It is a support group for narcissistic sociopaths.

Even more than the insane members of the Senate *cough*Jim Demint*cough* *cough*Tom Coburn*cough*, it is those who worship at the alter of bipartisanship, because their efforts are nothing more than preening for an imagined audience when there are real issues that need to be addressed.

The problem is that the Senate is a broken institution, and it has been for some time, because of people like Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, Joe Lieberman, Ben Nelson, etc. who value the appearance of being reasonable over actually being reasonable, and care not a fig for being effective representatives of the citizenry.

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