Obstructionism Could Cost the Republicans A Win

I’ve never been one to see a lot of virtue in the Senate’s traditions of collegiality across party lines. But now that the Republicans have so strongly cast their lot with obstructionist tactics for explicit partisan gain on the eve of the State of the Union, there may be a real value in the fact that this body doesn’t like it when one side of the aisle proverbially flips the Risk board off the table and prevents the game from continuing.

When the GOP moved to block every single amendment to the Intel bill yesterday, they likely set a lot of moderate Republicans and conservative Democrats against their tactics, at least in large enough numbers to ensure that Monday’s cloture vote on the Intel bill will be won by the Democrats.

Senators Specter, Whitehouse, Feinstein, and Bill Nelson all had their compromise amendments shut out. Those are amendments that, though bad, are borne out of a desire not to have the pure Intel bill be made into law. Now they may well be amenable to voting against cloture on the Intel bill so their amendments can be given a chance to be considered by the full Senate.

Even Jay Rockefeller, Dick Cheney’s partner in writing the bad Intel bill, isn’t going to go along with it. D-Day says, “Jay Rockefeller today announced on the Senate floor that he would not support cloture on the FISA bill without more amendments voted on.”

We all know the Republicans in the Senate have brought a vicious strategy of obstructionism to the FISA fight. We will soon find out if they’ve gone too far and assured their own defeat.

Cross posted at the CREDO Blog.

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