A vindictive or spiteful person exudes a powerful and unreasoning desire for revenge with the express intent of causing anguish or hurt for their intended target. Republicans have caused misery for the American people over the past five-and-a-half years out of revenge for electing an African American man as President by actively obstructing governance by spitefully refusing to allow debate or votes on legislation for the people. They also willfully blocked filling vacancies to myriad posts in government out of sheer malevolence toward the President, including diplomatic posts and ambassadors in countries where America needs a representative to deal with international crises affecting national security. National security, like the welfare of the people, is of no consequence to Republican spite.
Presently, the United State has no ambassador in Guatemala. With Honduras, Guatemala is where children fleeing violence emigrate from to America’s southern border for relief according to Bush-Republicans’ law that suddenly is an immigration crisis. Since February, America did not have an ambassador in Russia either, despite the crisis involving Russia invading Ukraine to assist separatists embroiling the region in what should be labeled a civil war. When America most needs diplomats to help address the myriad international crises affecting either this country’s allies, national security interests, or a ginned-up immigration crisis on the southern border, Senate Republicans are continuing their obstructionist tactics and blocking diplomatic nominees en masse. Instead of routine unanimous consent, Republicans expressed their typical racial hatred of Barack Obama, disregarded for national security, and adolescent petulance at Harry Reid for attempting to rein in their prior obstruction of judicial and diplomatic nominees.
Last year when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid finally took very limited action to stop Republicans filibustering (obstructing) Presidential appointees for no other reason than acrimony. Reid only took the so-called “nuclear option” to expedite filling critical government posts, and it appeared that maybe some of the 59 vacancies in 186 diplomatic positions around the world would finally be filled. On Thursday, Senator Robert Menenedez attempted to get what, under normal governance ,was unanimous consent for over 24 diplomatic vacancies, but Republicans said no; they want vengeance for Reid’s filibuster reform to expedite Presidential appointments.
It is noteworthy that all of the nominees were already approved by by committee and only need floor votes to take their posts, but being the vindictive malcontents they are, Republicans will not let allow that to happen. They are childish angry and have used every tactic available to bring the nomination process to a screeching halt either by demanding “regular order” for each nominee and then extend the maximum debate time although the have not been too interested in debating. Prior to Reid’s limited “filibuster reform,” Republicans block nominees simply to prevent normal government and judicial appointees from working for the people, this time they admit their obstruction is payback against Senator Reid for the dreaded nuclear option that was necessary to govern.
When Senator Menendez asked for unanimous consent for the “bloc” of previously approved nominees, Wyoming Republican Senator Michael Enzi objected to every request made by Menendez and referred to last November’s “nuclear option” filibuster rule. He said,”We used to pass ambassadors and all kinds of people en bloc like that, but we have this nuclear option now that the majority chose so it takes a little longer to do that whole process, and on that basis, I object. My college roommate was a career ambassador, and I helped him get assignments and brought a lot of people through en bloc at the same time. But that was before we did the nuclear option.”
Now, the State Department will have to wait at least five weeks while Republicans luxuriate on hiatus or campaign on their high regard for America’s national security. The Republican vendetta is particularly egregious since Secretary of State John Kerry went public and pleaded with Republicans in the Senate to confirm much needed State Department officials before the Senate went on an undeserved 5-week paid vacation. According to the American Foreign Service Association, the Republican Senate’s intransigence will “damage America’s reputation and weaken our country’s national security interests.” It is curious why the AFSA is shocked Republicans could not care less about national security. Surely they knew Republicans voted to prohibit the Pentagon from acknowledging another clear and present threat to American national security, global climate change.
AFSA president Bob Silverman said, “Chairman Menendez went out of his way to have a vote on qualified nominees and we commend him for his leadership, but clearly political bitterness took over in the Senate last night. The fact that other nominations went through without objection indicates that some in the U.S. Senate don’t care about the role of American diplomacy in promoting national security. What happened last night is deplorable.” It is deplorable, but only slightly more-so than normal because Republicans had the temerity to openly admit they were being deliberately mean-spirited for meanness sake. Senate Republicans have been blocking nominees for five-and-a-half years, so this time is no more “deplorable” than throughout the President’s tenure.
A spokewoman for AFSA, Kristen Fernekes said Africa is a chief region of concern “with the ebola outbreak, Islamic terror group Boko Haram, and general national security issues” that made filling the 20% vacancies immediately “in everyone’s interests.” Everyone, that is, except Republicans whose only interests lie in obstruction; only now they admit it is out of sheer spite. To be fair to the GOP obstructionists, they did finally allow a vote for an ambassador to Russia that has been vacant since February and Russia’s military foray into Ukraine that led to the shooting down of a Malaysian passenger jet.
A great deal of attention is given to House Republican intransigence, spiteful actions, and blatant disregard for national security, except of course when refugee children arrive at the southern border, but Senate Republicans are no better. In fact, they are just as vile as the Ted Cruz-led teabagger House and they are taking out their vengeance on America’s ability to maneuver through international crises regardless the adverse affect on the nation’s security at home and abroad.
These Republicans malcontents have displayed a level of vindictiveness that exceeds any pretense that they care about America’s national interests. Ebola and Islamic terrorists in Africa, Russia invading Ukraine, and Guatemalan children fleeing violence to seek refuge in America, and the United States has no ambassadors to assuage the problems that affect this country’s national security. Not because there are no qualified and approved nominees waiting for over seven months, but because Republicans want vengeance regardless the danger to America’s national security. Although Republicans are openly obstructing diplomatic nominees and objecting because of the “nuclear option,” it is a continuation of their five year vendetta against Americans for electing an African American man as President.