A Missing Macroeconomic Playbook?
links for 2010-05-29

James Fallows on How the Republican Party Hurts America

James Fallows:

Weakening America: Mitch McConnell Shows How: Depressed about how hard it is to get first-rate people into federal jobs, so they're ready to handle emergencies like the BP oil disaster? Wondering if our systems of self-government really are up to the challenges of the moment? Curious about whether people who complain about Senate obstructionism and tyranny-of-the-minority are exaggerating? Consider the works of Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-KY (below), on the Senate floor 36 hours ago.... If you go to this White House site, you'll find a searchable, sortable list of all 820+ nominations and appointments made so far in the Administration; about 240 have not even come up for a Senate vote.... On Thursday afternoon, just before its Memorial Day recess, the Senate had planned to consider about 80 of these nominations as a group. They all had been through financial and security vetting; they had been through committee consideration; they were headed for jobs that in many cases now stood vacant; they were ready to go. Sen. Tom Harkin, Democrat of Iowa, moved for approval by unanimous consent, apparently believing that a deal to clear out the huge backlog had been struck. Sen. Mitch McConnell, the minority leader, begged to differ. He was still sore about the recess appointment of Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board. Therefore he wouldn't agree to the en-bloc vote...

I say it again: we would be better off as a country if we shut the Republican Party down today, and started up a very different opposition party to the Democrats.