Shut down half the internet by proposing SOPA.
On January 18, 2012, websites across the country — including Google and Wikipedia — staged ‘blackouts’ in protest of the 112th Congress’s poorly thought out “anti-piracy” bill, titled the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). Critics of the bill read through it and found that its so-called anti-piracy efforts amounted to nothing more than online censorship that would take away the basic functionality of many popular sites. Just a few days after the blackouts, Congress tabled the bill, finding that it was just too unpopular among constituencies cut across the board.
Ignored gun control after their colleague was shot.
Former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-AZ) was shot at a meeting with constituents in an Arizona parking lot. And while the public raged over the incident, Giffords’s colleagues in Congress stayed conspicuously silent about the political issues around the shooting. In fact, it wasn’t before another three mass shootings shook the nation before members of the 112th Congress were ready to talk about gun control at all. Giffords’ husband called the approach “feckless.”
Held a hearing on birth control where women couldn’t testify.
When House Republicans expressed outrage over the mandate in Obamacare requiring employers provide copay-free contraception to employees, they decided to call a hearing on the issue. Every person they brought forward to testify was a man, and the House Republicans blocked the only woman who was supposed to be a part of the hearing from delivering her testimony. The Senate, meanwhile, rejected an amendment that would have nullified the contraception mandate.
Gave the NRA veto power over judges.
Caitlin Halligan is one of President Obama’s most outstanding judicial nominees. As a former Supreme Court law clerk, former Solicitor General of the state of New York, former head of appellate litigation at one of the nation’s top law firms, former constitutional law instructor at Columbia Law School, and current general counsel for one of the largest prosecutor’s offices in the country, Halligan is far and away one of the most well qualified individuals nominated to the federal bench in any presidency. Yet Senate Republicans filibustered her nomination to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit because she once argued a position on behalf of the state of New York that the National Rifle Association disagrees with. Nor is Halligan the only exceptional nominee filibustered by Republicans for no good reason. Republicans pledged to filibuster any nominee to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in an effort to shut down that agency.
This post was originally published by ThinkProgress.
Top photo: KP Tripathi/flickr
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