Last Wednesday, February 10th, the Senate blocked the (routine) nomination of Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board. Actually, the Senate voted in favor of him, 52-33, but due to arcane Senate rules that were established to make sure they never get anything done, he wasn't confirmed. While this vote, and the filibuster procedure in general, both bothered me, it was the response from the Republicans that made me ever more angry.
Mike Enzi, the leading Republican on the Judiciary Committee, said
"If a nominee garners a greater level of public scrutiny and larger than usual volumes of questions, we should ask why. This unique scrutiny should be a signal that the individual has raised a great level of concern and controversy."
Becker was asked as many questions as the GOP wanted, and answered all of them. However, what Enzi is saying is that he rejected the nomination because the scrutiny was raised. So, because Republicans questioned him at all, he was deemed unqualified, as if the opposition party has never scrutinized a nominee before.
If you Google "Craig Becker Filibuster", you will see and ad for the Workforce Fairness Institute (I was going to link to them, but I don't want anyone giving them internet traffic), which asks you to sign a petition with this wording:
"Sign this petition and say "no" to a recess appointment for Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board, which would subvert the bipartisan will of Congress."
The Senate voted for him 52-33. I'm not sure what about that vote tally adds up to "subverting the bipartisan will of Congress", but it is clear that they are either too stupid to do simple math to determine that a side that lost by 19 votes in the Senate doesn't represent the "bipartisan will of Congress", or their organization profits and operates off of lying to people that are less informed than they are. Either way, I hope that each and every person at their organization is ashamed to work where they do. Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to tell them anything else on the topic.
Sherrod Brown, the great Senator from Ohio, put it best when he was talking about Republicans who claimed the Becker nomination was "rushed":
"I hear them on the floor saying we shouldn't rush this. It's been 10 months. The Senate Republicans are the only people in the United States of America who think it should take more than 10 months to give us the option to vote up or down on a nominee who is clearly qualified."
If Republicans don't want to work to move country forward and are willing to block every single policy and nomination the Democrats put forward, then lie about the Democrats violating the "bipartisan will of Congress", it's time for them to start acting on their own.