Thereby successfully obstructing from the minority position a symbolic motion by the majority Democrats.
The 53-38 vote to move the resolution to full debate fell seven short of the 60 required on Monday. In bringing the matter up, Democrats dared Republicans to vote their true feelings about an attorney general who has alienated even the White House’s strongest defenders by bungling the firings of federal prosecutors and claiming not to recall the details.
Republicans did not defend him, but most voted against moving the resolution ahead.
Wow. That’s a pretty spectacular fucking backfire. Not only did the Democrats fail to come up with their symbolic vote of no-confidence on Gonzo, they failed further to force the GOP into even going on the record about Gonzo, since all they had to do was vote against taking the vote in the first place. That leaves Republicans with the option of saying, in future, that they had personally lost faith in Gonzo, but didn’t feel it was a matter for the Congress or didn’t see the point of a symbolic gesture or wev. In other words, the Dems handed them the perfect shield behind which to hide their typical unwillingness to do the right thing. That result, by the way, was something that could be seen coming from ten miles away, so I’ve no fucking clue why on earth the Democrats went ahead with this sad maneuver.
Unless their real plan was to reinforce the perception that the GOP can outplay them at politics even from the minority position—in which case, success!
To wit, see Trent Lott do exactly what I predicted Republicans would do:
“He deserves to be fired,” said Senate Majority leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.
Whatever Gonzales may or may not deserve, some Republicans said, it’s not the Senate’s job to hold forth on a member of the president’s Cabinet.
“This is a nonbinding, irrelevant resolution proving what? Nothing,” said Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss. “Maybe we should be considering a vote of no confidence on the Senate or on the Congress for malfunction and an inability to produce anything.”
And with that, the GOP officially redirected its well-earned “Do-Nothing Congress” moniker back at the Dems.
Meanwhile, Harry Reid’s favorable rating has fallen to 19%. And, while I don’t think he’s as dreadful as that number suggests, I’m not thrilled with him at the moment. It was completely foolish (and detrimental to the Dems) to go ahead with this no-confidence horseshit when he hadn’t secured the 60 votes he needed to get to the point where he could force Republicans on the record. Moving forward without them was a big fumble. It has undermined the emergent meme that even the Republicans are sick of Gonzo, and that inevitably helps Gonzo—not to mention his stupid boss, with whom the Grand Old Party is in lockstep once again, despite his being the lamest of lame ducks.
Thanks for the boost, Dems!