Keeping the Lame Duck from Waddling

The Democrats face their last grasp of legislative power in the lame duck session ahead. Conservatives must mobilize to prevent the potential mischief this entails.

The shenanigans of the Left are legion. During the health care debate, Nancy Pelosi pondered "deeming" a bill as having passed the House of Representatives without House members voting on it. Obama's flacks lied about what experts said about the danger of drilling for oil after the Gulf Spill. Republicans, who will judge the actual winner of close House races, should recall just how blatantly partisan the House has acted in the past to choosing Democrat candidates who "won" -- Lee Hamilton is the perfect example. 

Now, in a lame duck session of Congress, Obama and his leftist pals are already finagling the rules of democratic process. Senator-Elect Kirk will not be sworn into office because undisclosed Democrat functionaries in the bowels of Illinois state government cannot find the paperwork. Oddly, though this duly elected Republican will not take office before the lame duck session begins, Senator-Elect Manchin and Senator-Elect Coons, both Democrats, will be sworn and serve in the lame duck session. The malodorous stench of hack partisanship is repulsive, but also familiar when Democrats are in power.

What could a lame duck session do? It could do anything. House members already voted out of office in red districts need not fear the wrath of the voters. Fifty-nine senators will be close to cloture strength, with "Senator" Manchin and "Senator" Coons voting while "Senator" Kirk waits for a file clerk in Springfield to find that darned missing paperwork needed to swear him into office. So all the great evils we feared from Obama can be done in a single day by a Left massively repudiated by the voters. 

With Scott Brown, Republicans should be able to sustain a filibuster. Given the issues involved, though, Republicans should rely on more than just Brown's vote. Joe Manchin just promised West Virginians he would not be a rubber stamp for Obama. Senator Byrd's term actually ends in 2012, so Manchin will stand for reelection in two years. West Virginians should hold his feet to the fire on supporting a filibuster of a rogue lame duck session. If he lines up with Harry Reid to try to ram through unpopular bills in a Congress rejected by the people, then Republicans should make it clear that beginning the day Manchin votes to impose cloture, conservative groups in West Virginia will begin a drumbeat message: "Manchin lied. Manchin betrayed West Virginia." Everyone in the state should know by November 2012 that Manchin is a closet leftist who secretly mocks their trust in them. 

Senator Nelson of Nebraska should also feel the heat of voters. Nelson already knows how unpopular his Cornhusker Kickback support for ObamaCare was in Nebraska. Nelson should also know that everyone in the state will be watching to see if he is willing to let the next Congress -- the one just voted in by Americans -- decide important issues, or if he is willing to sneakily work to pass laws that the people clearly have rejected. The whole state should make it clear that he will be the next Blanche Lincoln if he supports cloture.

Webb (Virginia), Tester (Montana), Bingaman (New Mexico), and Conrad (North Dakota) -- all Democrats in conservative states -- must also be told emphatically that a vote for cloture in a lame duck session will be considered by conservatives the most offensive they can make. There are three other "Bush Republican" states with Democrats up for reelection in 2012: Missouri (McCaskill), Florida (Nelson), and Ohio (Sherrod). Each of these Democrats should be made to know that a vote to effectively disenfranchise voters will be a target on their backs in 2012. Each should be made to know that a vote for cloture is also a vote to condone the Chicago-style machine corruption which is keeping the other duly elected Senator Kirk from taking his rightful place beside them in the Senate.

Conservatives should also contact the eleven Senate Democrats from red states who will face voters in 2014 -- Begich (Alaska), Pryor (Arkansas), Udall (Colorado), Landrieu (Louisiana), Baucus (Montana), Sheehan (New Hampshire), Udall (New Mexico), Hagan (North Carolina), Thompson (South Dakota), Warner (Virginia), and Rockefeller (West Virginia) -- and make it clear that a vote for cloture during a lame duck session without Senator Kirk seated is an affront to democracy which will haunt them will into the 2014 campaign. 

So what should conservatives ask these twenty Senate Democrats to do in the lame duck session? We should ask them to vote "present" on cloture motions, at least until the Democrat-run government of Illinois finds that pesky paperwork which was right at hand when Blago picked Burris to be senator. Those senators should like to vote "present." Voting against cloture would make them "conservatives," and voting for cloture would make them "leftists," and all of these senators are moderates -- so we offer them the middle path of voting "present."

Conservatives are savvy about politics. We know what a cloture vote means. We also know that Senator Kirk is being denied his right to sit in the Senate by corrupt politics in Illinois, Obama's home state. We should flood these twenty Democrats with e-mails, phone calls, and letters to make sure they know we are watching and that we will not forget. Seat Senator Kirk or wait two months to do business. But side with the Far Left, and that vote will be fatal to your political career. Keep this lame duck from waddling, and the first post-election test of will between conservatives and Leftists will be won.

Bruce Walker is the author of a new book: Poor Lenin's Almanac: Perverse Leftists Proverbs for Modern Life.