The Latest Body Count From the Senate

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From the Washington Times yesterday:

President Obama on Monday nominated civil rights attorney Thomas E. Perez to be the next labor secretary, immediately drawing Republican opposition and another contentious confirmation fight on Capitol Hill. Shortly after Mr. Obama made the announcement, Sen. David Vitter, Louisiana Republican, said he would prevent Mr. Perez’s nomination from moving forward until the Justice Department responds to a 2011 letter accusing it of “spotty” enforcement of national voting rights laws.

From The Hill today:

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) said Monday that he would place a procedural hold on President Obama’s pick to run the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Blunt threatened to block the confirmation of Gina McCarthy, who currently heads EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, until he gets an update on a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project to repair a levee on the Mississippi River system.

Let’s take a look at the body count of high-profile Obama nominees so far: Susan Rice, Chuck Hagel, John Brennan, Jack Lew, Caitlin Halligan, Thomas Perez, and now Gina McCarthy. Plus maybe some others that I’ve already forgotten.

And now for the list of high-profile nominees who haven’t been blocked or filibustered: John Kerry.

Are we going to keep playing the game where we pretend that by some immense coincidence, every single high-profile position in the Obama administration is being offered to someone who’s a dangerous radical? That there’s no broad plan to simply block everyone, it’s just that every nominee has some kind of unique problem that really, truly needs deep investigation by the Senate?

We’re not children here, and it’s obvious what’s going on. This isn’t an Obama problem, it’s a Republican Party problem. When will the earnest pundits and talking heads start suggesting that Mitch McConnell needs to show a little more leadership here?

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Democracy and journalism are in crisis mode—and have been for a while. So how about doing something different?

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