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Warren writes: "There's a vacancy on the most important court in America, and the message from Senate Republicans is crystal clear: forget the Constitution."

Elizabeth Warren. (photo:
Elizabeth Warren. (photo:

Senate Republicans: Do Your Job

By Elizabeth Warren, Reader Supported News

11 March 16



There’s a vacancy on the most important court in America, and the message from Senate Republicans is crystal clear: forget the Constitution.

In fact, their response to one of the most solemn and consequential tasks that our government performs is to pretend that the Supreme Court vacancy – and President Obama himself – do not exist.

But this isn’t a new problem, and it’s not isolated to one Supreme Court seat. For seven years, Republican senators have bowed to extremists who reject President Obama’s legitimacy and abuse the Senate rules in an all-out effort to cripple the Administration and paralyze the federal courts.

In 2013, only one year into the President’s second term, Republican leaders flatly rejected the President’s authority to confirm any judges to fill any of three open seats on the second-highest court in the country. Democrats had to change the filibuster rules to move nominees forward. Once Republicans took over the Senate in 2015, judicial confirmations nearly ground to a halt.

The same is true for non-judicial nominees. Republicans have held up the President’s nominees to run the Department of Labor and the Environmental Protection Agency, largely on the suspicion that those highly-qualified individuals might actually help those agencies do their work. Republicans have held up nominees to the National Labor Relations Board and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Republicans regularly hold up the confirmation of dozens of ambassadors, undermining our national security and our relationships with other nations.

Last year, Republicans blocked confirmation of the Attorney General, the highest law enforcement official in the country, for 166 days. That’s longer than it took the Senate to consider the prior seven Attorneys General combined.

The message from Senate Republicans couldn’t be clearer: no matter how much it damages the nation, no matter how much it undermines our courts, no matter how much it cripples our government or lays waste to our Constitution, they will not acknowledge the legitimacy of our democratically-elected President.

For too long, Senate Republicans have wanted it both ways. They want to nullify the Obama Presidency while claiming that they can govern responsibly. That game is over. Extremist candidates motivated by bigotry and resentment are on the verge of winning the Republican Party’s nomination for President, and Republican Senators must now make a decision.

Because here’s the deal: extremists might not like it, but Barack Obama won the Presidency in 2008 by nine million votes and won re-election in 2012 by five million votes. There were no recounts or hanging chads, no stuffing the ballot box or tampering with voting machines, no intervention from the Supreme Court. President Obama was elected the legitimate President seven years ago, and he is the legitimate President right now.

So if it’s true that some Republican Senators are finally ready to stand up to the extremism that denies the legitimacy of this President and of the Constitution, I say to them: do your job. Vote on a Supreme Court nominee. Vote on District Court judges and Circuit Court judges. Vote on ambassadors. Vote on agency leaders and counterterrorism officials.

If Senate Republicans want to stop extremism in their party, they can start by showing the American people that they respect the President and the Constitution enough to do their job in the United States Senate.

Thanks for being a part of this,
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+27 # tswhiskers 2016-03-11 15:46
Surely the Rep. game of "Let's obstruct Obama and then blame HIM when things don't get done" is wearing thin with a majority of the public. So DO the Reps. want to continue to deny the legitimacy of Obama as president? Does ANYONE really think that Hillary or Bernie would not struggle just as much as Obama has to get legislation passed if they were in the WH? We have had a rogue GOP for a long long time and I think nothing will change with it until Rep. voters and legislators decide to change things. I blame both GOP voters AND politicians for this mess. Until Reps. learn to accept the Constitution as it REALLY is written, and not as a document with removable parts, we will not be able to govern ourselves as we were meant to.
+28 # Radscal 2016-03-11 18:51
First, I believe there is a racist element to the obstructionism against Obama. Perhaps that would extend to sexism against HRC or anti-Jewish bigotry against Sanders.

But, the Senate could easily regain a Democratic majority IF voters can be motivated to get out and vote, and IF our votes are tallied accurately.

But, due to gerrymandering, it's unlikely that the House will be retaken in 2016, though many seats could return to Democrats.

And how did we get to this situation? In the crucial 2010 election (a Census year), voters did NOT feel motivated to get out and vote for the Democrats, both in Congress, and in State legislatures and gubernatorial races.

And here I agree with what Senator Sanders said to the DNC in his first ever speech to them last year. The Republicans didn't WIN those elections; the Democrats LOST them.

If we're to end this obstructionism, we need to promote candidates who will motivate voters, not just in 2016, but in 2018 and especially in 2020 (the next Census year).
-8 # HowardMH 2016-03-12 09:54
How about candidates like the Dem in Ohio that is running - Now there is some backbone.

It is such a shame that Obama is such a weak leader, that every country along with the congress know it and continue to walk all over this Very Weak Leader.

The republicans know that Obama is such a weak leader, and they will continue to walk all over him just like they have for over seven years. When he nominates someone, how many times you think he will show up in the pressroom (it is maybe 50 feet from his office) and call out the obstructionists by NAME for not doing their job? I predict not even ONCE does he have the backbone to do that.
+7 # bmiluski 2016-03-12 12:03
Really Howard....that same old oinking about President Obama? I think President Obama has shown incredible strength and resolve. He's had to face full on obstructionism from a political party that only thought about it's own self rather the people of this country.
+7 # bmiluski 2016-03-12 11:59
WHISKERS...It has worn thin. The idiots that are supporting Drumpf, are mad at Washington. But because of their myopic vision they can't face the fact that it's their beloved party that is at fault. That's why it's easy for them to support Drumpf (who is a fellow repug) thus giving the finger to the rest of the GOP.
+24 # Radscal 2016-03-11 18:54
Senator Warren's speech before the Senate was very powerful and moving. I can only hope that Republicans (especially voters) hear it.
+24 # Moxa 2016-03-11 22:04
Elizabeth Warren,
I signed petitions asking you to run for president. You didn't want to, which is your right. But now it is time for you to endorse Bernie Sanders. Your positions are certainly closer to his than to Hillary's. Why can't you take a stand and support Bernie?
+20 # Radscal 2016-03-11 23:06
The time for Senator Warren to endorse Sanders was before the MA primary. If she had, I have no doubt he would have won, and by a large margin.
+28 # Emmanuel Goldstein 2016-03-11 23:17
At what point, I wonder, does obstructionism become SEDITION?
Considering that today's Republican party is based in the South and that its obstructionism/ sedition coincides with the tenure of the nation's first black President, I wonder if we aren't witnessing some sort of perverse Southern revenge for the Civil War.
+6 # HowardMH 2016-03-12 10:05
Absolutely Emmanuel, the south is still fighting the Civil War. I sure hope Drumpf is the obstructionist nominee so we can watch the whole Republican Party go down in flames in Nov. Give them some Shock and Awe to the point they will not know what hit them for a few years.
+23 # m... 2016-03-11 23:24
Republicans and the Foxified world they all live in constantly decry those on any kind of public assistance, unemployment, disability, welfare, food stamps, medicaid, and even social security, as lazy people 'living on the dole off the backs of taxpayers.' They say it so much, everyone expects it from them now as a standard comment/respons e everywhere in the blogosphere and media world.
The truth is-- The Non-Governing, Non-working, Living-on-the-D ole Republicans elected to office need to start looking in the mirror when they point their righteous, corrupt, well paid, platinum-medica l insured fingers and accuse anyone of being lazy while living off the backs of taxpayers these days.
+2 # Shades of gray matter 2016-03-11 23:51
Looks like a brokered Convention may be looming. I hope the party pols in the smoke filled rooms select a Warren-Brown ticket.
WHATEVER happens, every American will be called upon to stop the fascist Coiffed Crusader in his tracks. NO excuses.
+11 # seeuingoa 2016-03-12 05:24
"Senate Republicans: Do your job"

and you please do yours by endorsing
Bernie Sanders.
+6 # tswhiskers 2016-03-12 09:00
I voted already for Sanders
+9 # debimazor 2016-03-12 08:20
The office of President was delegitimized in 2000, when the SCOTUS silenced the voice of the electorate. Now it is very much in vogue to drag elected officials's especially the President's name in the mud. I must admit I did the same with G.W. Of course, with the Court and the President in disrepute, it only took Congress's obstructionism and defiance to complete the triad of illegitimacy. History teaches that the People either rise up in the face of illegitimacy or capitulate to tyranny.

The Honorable Senator Warren eloquently articulates my view on the subject. We are so lucky to have her and others who learned the fundamentals of democracy and continue to teach them.
+7 # kalpal 2016-03-12 10:08
So far as I know no one in Congress is required to show up and work in order to collect a paycheck. I think you need to come by and be sworn in after being elected but work is utterly optional.
+7 # Vardoz 2016-03-12 11:53
What the Republicans are doing is an act of treason and they should be charged and indicted for their acts against the constitution and President Obama!

We don't believe that a higher standard of living for the American people = left. It should be the norm! This is what Bernie Sanders wants for the American people. This is not a battle about right or left. This is about up or down for the 99% and it will take a mass revolution against big money and corporations to change the game.
+5 # Elroys 2016-03-12 12:55
It saddens me to even say these word, but.... The Republicans and their 4 remaining Presidential candidates are playing to the most fearful, ignorant, racist and uninformed people in American society. Those who deny the science of global warming and climate change, those who believe we should "dominate" the natural world and seem to have no regard for the future, those so close minded to reality that they spew hatred and throw punches at anyone who disagrees with them. The real test will come on the first Tuesday of November 2016. Will the masses of our more open minded and educated citizens come out to vote or will they stay home thereby enabling Trump-Cruz to be the next President? What a frightening thought.
+3 # Karen 2016-03-12 13:01
My question is,"Why do republicans dislike Obmama so much? Is it because he is a democrat, is it because he is black, is it because he beat them??? Anyone have an answer? Oh, maybe it's because he is a good president for all the people.
+1 # librarian1984 2016-03-12 18:29
I have no doubt part of the obstructionism against Obama is racially motivated, but if you were around during the Clinton years you would have seen the same vitriol. Those attacks, vicious and constant, were more personal, while the resistance to Obama is institutionalized.

It is certainly galling to see these guys wrap themselves in flags and wave Bibles around, then turn around and be completely unChristian. Then they condemn government while they vote themselves raises and decide not to do their jobs anymore. They have long holidays and good insurance. They are the pigs from Orwell's Animal Farm. I want a job like that.

+1 # Pearlbell 2016-03-12 18:50
Funny, I always thought from the early debates that John Kasich would be a viable horse in the race. The media never picked up on it. Never suspected the Donald would be such a distraction.

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