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Posted at 11:29 AM ET, 12/ 1/2010

Republican 'extortion' letter

By Jonathan Capehart

When I arrived at 30 Rock, the team at MSNBC's "Jansing & Co." was buzzing with the news of that letter from all 42 Republican senators. They vow to block any measure that does not deal with keeping the government running and addressing the Bush tax cuts. It's a brilliant bit of political theater. Because these issues are vitally important and must be dealt with during the limited lame-duck session, everything else will get squeezed out. Thus leaving other issues at the mercy of a less sympathetic Republican majority in the House and reduced Democratic majority in the Senate. DREAM Act and repeal of don't ask don't tell? They could be on life support.

Anchor Chris Jansing asked me on air what I thought the Democrats should do. I was at a loss. But David Mixner, gay rights advocate and political adviser, was not. Saying that "we need to be tougher on the Republicans," Mixner thundered that what the GOP is doing is "cheap, political extortion." He said that what they are doing, and I'm paraphrasing here, is telling gays they can't serve their country, telling immigrant students they can't pursue their dreams and cutting off millions of Americans from unemployment benefits just in time for Christmas.

Well, when you put it that way, David, I'm inclined to agree.

By Jonathan Capehart  | December 1, 2010; 11:29 AM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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Insisting that Congress fulfill its constitutional duties regarding taxes and fiscal operation of the government is not "extortion". These are critical and urgent items. Gays in the military, START treaty ratification, and amnesty for illegals are neither.

Posted by: kitchendragon50 | December 1, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

The Republicans have merely agreed to continue what they have done for the last 2 years, block and filibuster everything.
The American public that pays any attention to Washington are getting sick and tired of the political games, if nothing gets done the outcry will eventually build till the rules are reformed and both parties start losing seats, the sooner the better.
The country needs less grandstanding and more work from our legislators. They probably should get paid nothing since they are doing nothing.

Posted by: KCHam | December 1, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

What the Democrats need to do is:

1. Propose a law to make the current rates for incomes below $250000/yr;
2. Extend indefinitely unemployment benefits while the unemployment rate is above 7%.

Let the Republicans filibuster it. But Obama should be on TV every day wondering why taxes are going up in January.

Posted by: AMviennaVA | December 1, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

AMviennaVA; all,

to "AMviennaVA": let obama try that sort of foolishness! please, please, please! - we voters will remember in 2012 & dump him & all of his nitwits/haters/fools, as we "stupid, stupid, trailer park-trash, people from flyover country" (THANKS to Princess Pelosi for that "gem" from 2009.) are anything but stupid & we will "get our pound of flesh" from "the donkey party".

to all: if you are disgusted with the mess, that the DIMocRATS & BHO have made of our nation over the last 2 years, join the TEA PARTY in your hometown & help us dump every single elitist/"member of the ruling class", who believes him/herself to be "just superior in every way to the average person". you will be welcomed with open arms & made to feel "at home". = it's past time for real change!

sincerely, Retired MP46

Posted by: retiredMP46 | December 1, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

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