Yesterday, just hours after the Senate voted 96-0 to confirm Martha Johnson as the Administrator of the GSA after a pointless 9-month delay, we learned that Sen. Richard Shelby from Alabama has placed a blanket hold on all nominees, including national security nominees, to use as leverage for some projects in his state. He's holding up 70 nominees, among them top intelligence officials at the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security. According to the National Journal, he’s holding them up until two defense contracts that would benefit interests in his state can be fast-tracked.
Let's be clear: Sen. Shelby is preventing qualified nominees who will help protect the American people from being confirmed. He’s not alone, though. This is just the latest example of this kind opposition for opposition’s sake that the President talked about earlier this week.. This strategy of obstruction is preventing qualified people from doing their jobs on behalf of the American people and it’s preventing real work from getting done in Washington. Every minute spent needlessly blocking noncontroversial nominees, many of whom go on to be confirmed by 70 or more votes or by voice vote (nine of the President’s nominees so far), is a minute not spent on the issues that matter to American families.
Now that is definitely a good start, but it reaches only those who go onto the blog and the few MSM places where they repost it and excerpt it. Robert Gibbs also called out Shelby earlier in the day, but still to drive this home we need more. What needs to happen now is that President Obama himself needs to step up to the plate and explain what Senator Shelby did and why. Its a situation that is easily explained and will be easily digested by the American people. And THEN when people can actually see for themselves WHY Washington isn't working they will at least know where to cast blame.
Now don't get me wrong, people still want results and this won't completely let Democrats off the hook. But at the very least they won't buy as much of the bullshit getting shoveled at them by the Republicans.