A slow-motion shutdown

A SLOW-MOTION SHUTDOWN…. Arizona Sen. John McCain (R) told the media on Monday about his outrage over the Democratic majority voting to approve legislation they support. He announced that, going forward, he would tell Dems to stay off his lawn refuse to cooperate in the Senate’s legislative process. To punish Democrats for fulfilling their campaign promise to the nation, McCain said, “There will be no cooperation for the rest of the year.”

We saw the manifestation of this pettiness yesterday, when Republicans used an obscure rule to block any Senate hearings from continuing after 2 p.m. Amanda Terkel reports on the developments that are almost too juvenile to believe.

Today, during a Senate Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing on transparency, Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) announced that he had to stop the proceedings because of Republican blocks. […]

ThinkProgress spoke to a Homeland Committee staffer who said that the committee’s work would be significantly disrupted if Republicans refuse to give unanimous consent throughout the week. The AP also reported today that Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) had a hearing on the bark beetle canceled today “after Republicans angry over the passage of health insurance reform legislation blocked it by using an obscure Senate rule requiring a unanimous consent to hold hearings scheduled after 2 p.m.”

Democratic staffers on the Hill told ThinkProgress that they anticipate Republicans will not only continue blocking hearings for the rest of the week, but also delay or block all sorts of minor, routine measures.

The country has not seen a congressional minority this pathetic in a very long time. Republicans are effectively shutting down the Senate because a supermajority of the chamber approved legislation the GOP didn’t like.

Kevin added, “To call this behavior childish would be an insult to children everywhere. Are we really expected to take a party like this seriously?”

For its part, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) office noted in a statement, “The bottom line is that as millions of Americans are learning about the immediate benefits of health reform, Republicans are throwing a temper tantrum and grinding important Senate business to a halt.”