MUHAMMAD: The Late, Great Barack Obama
Askia Muhammad | 11/20/2013, 3 p.m.
The Ku Klux Klan Kaucus of the United States government (the Republican Party) has just about gotten its wish. For all practical purposes, it’s finished off President Barack Obama, his signature legislative achievement, and his future legacy in history, in one fell swoop.
I refer to this gang of night riders who masquerade as respectable members of the U.S. Congress as the KKK Kaucus of the entire government because the lock-step Tea Party Caucus in the House of Representatives has managed to commandeer control of both houses of Congress to carry out their dastardly intentions.
They have not only managed to effectively sabotage the Affordable Care Act – affectionately nicknamed “Obamacare” – by putting every imaginable roadblock to its successful implementation in its path, voting 43 times in the House to repeal it before it was scheduled to go into effect, they have managed to convince the millions of often dirt-poor people around the country who are most in need of a health care system that ranks better than 10th place in the rest of the industrialized world, convinced the dirt poor that Obamacare is not in their best interests, and is indeed bad for them, while the legislators themselves enjoy practically flawless health care protection for the rest of their lives, all at taxpayer expense. Genius.
In the House where Republicans are in the majority, the 60-member (out of 435) Tea Party-Johnny-Reb-Caucus has Speaker John Boehner under its spell, so that he will not bring any measure to the House floor for a vote that they oppose, even if that measure might pass on a floor vote in the full House if both Democrats and Republicans were permitted to vote for it, not just the Tea Party Ku Kluxers.
In the Senate, using the filibuster which requires a 60-vote “super majority” to end debate and bring a measure to a vote for final passage, the Republican minority has dictated to the Democratic majority, what bills go forward, and more importantly which judicial and cabinet nominees get voted on.
Never mind the age-old principle that presidents are entitled to have the nominees of their choice to lead their administrations, the Republicans have blocked judges, and most shamelessly they refused to permit an up-or-down vote on the president’s nominee – Rep. Melvin Watt (D-N.C.) – to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency. That was only the second time in the nation’s 225-year history when a sitting member of Congress was not confirmed by a senate vote!
But in the very same week, at least seven Republi-Klanners broke ranks from their party to invoke cloture on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which forbids discrimination against lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, trans-gender, or queer persons in the workplace. Only two Republicans joined Senate Democrats in voting to permit the confirmation vote for Rep. Watt.
Needless to say, Mel Watt is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus. Do you get my drift? LGBTQ yes! Black man no! So their power is virtually unassailable. The GOP-KKK Kaucus is in control of the entire legislative branch of the government, not just a tiny faction in the House.