Let’s say you hate your job, but not enough to quit. Let’s say you’re no good at your job, but not bad enough to be fired. Let’s say you’ve decided to go through the motions—punch a clock, dodge the boss, and go home. You’re faking it.
Now let’s say you’re a Republican member Congress and your job is to work with other people, pass laws, and govern. You may hate your job. You certainly aren’t getting anything done; the GOP-led Congress is dysfunctional.
And now you’re not even faking it.
Conflating opposition with obstruction, the GOP leadership has decided to skip any pretense of working with Democrats and the White House. In the last few weeks, congressional Republicans:
- Declared they would not allow a hearing or vote on President Obama’s nominee to replace Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. It doesn’t matter who Obama choses (he hasn’t nominated anybody yet), because conservative interests groups plotted months ago to cow GOP lawmakers.
- Refused to meet with Obama’s budget director to discuss the president’s annual budget. The snub, the first of its kind in decades, came before Obama submitted his budget.
- Refused to act on any of Obama’s nominees before the Senate Banking Committee, a dereliction of its advise-and-consent powers that, according to the New York Times, “has interfered with economic sanctions and hampered the work of the Export-Import Bank and the Federal Reserve.”
- Rejected with obnoxious relish the president’s plan to close the post-9/11 prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, after demanding the White House submit such a plan. Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas had himself filmed throwing the document into the trash. Kansas is the home of Fort Leavenworth, a potential alternative for housing terrorist suspects.