Thursday, June 24, 2010

How to deal with GOP Obstructionism - Open Letter to Harry Reid

Dear Senator Reid,

I realize that you and I aren't particularly close, but I am a long-time Democrat, and a watcher of all things political for a number of years.  I'm not a blogger by trade, actually, I'm an attorney and prior to that I worked in politics for a few San Diego candidates you've never heard of.  I also have lots of ideas that you probably disagree with - but that's a topic for another letter.

With that said, I am the kind of out-of-the-box thinker you need right now, because if the reports are right, if the current reports are correct, the Senate Republicans are about to filibuster the Senate jobs bill.  Not having this bill pass would be a disaster.  We all know people who are hurt by the "Great Recession" (or at this time, "The Less Than Ideal Recovery"), and they need help.  Moreover, the loss of income would probably plunge the economy back into a recession.  Given that the American people generally don't follow politics, and expect things to get done, the American people will blame the failure of doing something on the Democrats, and it is going to hurt the Democrats in November. 
But there's a way out.  Right now, not only does the Democratic Party have the Senate, but they hold the White House.  So, in concert with President Obama, do the following:

1) Force a real filibuster - that is, if the GOP wants to filibuster the jobs bill, make them stand on the floor and debate the bill.  Now, yes, this will stall the passage of the bill, but bear with me here, you actually want that.  Shutdown all business in the Senate if you have to, but keep the GOP filibustering the bill.

2) While the GOP is filibustering, get every Senate Democrat possible on every news show possible, slamming the GOP for shutting down business in the Senate to deny jobless Americans their benefits. 

3) Every week that the filibuster goes, have President Obama address the country from the Oval Office and criticize the GOP for the filibuster.

Now, the benefit of this approach is that the Republican Senators, most of whom have never actually filibustered anything, may end up folding.  But even if they don't, you will have spent months demonstrating to the America people that the Republican Party is causing the double dip recession.  Its a win-win communication strategy.

Thanks again,

Phat Jim

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