Thursday, Democratic New York Congressman Anthony Weiner let loose a full-throated arm-waving finger-pointing tirade against Republican obstructionism that has been speeding around the web as another YouTube snapshot of the dysfunction that has gripped the Capitol. Weiner accused Republicans of hiding behind feigned offense with procedural matters to stall and vote against Democratic bills. In this case, it was a bill to provide $7.4 billion in aid to “the heroes” made sick by toxins generated by the 9/11 attacks, as Weiner put it. Republicans killed the bill not because they disagreed that rescue workers deserved the aid but because Democrats had suspended rules in order to block amendments.
It’s the same kind of argument Colorado Republicans Mike Coffman and Doug Lamborn made last week when they voted against a long-overdue proposal to bolster law enforcement efforts on violence-plagued Indian reservations. They agreed with the legislation but not on how it was brought to the floor. That bill passed but this clashing over procedure is likely the new normal in Washington. In other words, a nonpartisan generally great bill designed to aid heroes has no better chance of passing than a partisan horrible bill that serves no public interest whatsoever. Digest that fact and watch Weiner act the way you feel.