Quote of the Day: How to Sabotage the Government

| Fri Jun. 10, 2011 10:46 AM EDT

From Mitch McConnell spokesman Donald Stewart, explaining Republican unwillingness to allow the Senate to vote on Elizabeth Warren to head the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau:

It’s not sexist. It’s not Elizabeth Warren-specific. It’s any nominee.

Points for honesty, I guess. The Senate's breakdown over its core function of confirming presidential nominees is now complete: Republicans aren't just filibustering a particular nominee, they're filibustering any nominee as a way of preventing a regulatory agency from doing its job.

There's an old saw that liberals like to repeat about conservatives and government: "Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work and then they get elected and prove it." In the past, though, there was usually a modest bit of subtlety about this, along with a sophisticated intellectual superstructure to hide what they were trying to do. This was either due to lingering embarrassment about deliberately sabotaging the federal government or because they thought voters would punish them if they caught on. But no longer. They just flatly don't want government to work well, and they're following a methodical scorched earth process to ensure it. They're betting that most voters are fine with that these days, and it's a bet they might just win.

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