Capitol building
Credit: Daniel Huizinga/Flickr

Oh, here’s a newsflash:

Senate Republicans have a plan to break the Democratic resistance to Donald Trump’s Cabinet: Make their delay tactics as excruciating as possible.

And how is this supposed to work?

…the GOP is preparing to keep the chamber running around the clock if that’s what it takes to speedily confirm Trump’s Cabinet. It’s the kind of retaliatory strategy that would bring all-night sessions, 3 a.m. votes and a long slog through the first months of Trump’s presidency that could sap some of the GOP’s legislative momentum.

Sen. John Thune, the No. 3 Senate Republican, said the GOP will do “whatever it takes” to get Trump his team as quickly as possible.

They’re going to break the Democrats’ will by pulling all-nighters. Maybe it’s time to invest some of your nest egg in Domino’s or whatever pizzeria is preferred on Capitol Hill.

Anything else?

…the GOP believes that if Democrats pull out their dilatory techniques the pressure will increase on moderate Senate Democrats from Trump-leaning states to buck their party and help Republicans move the nominations along.

I don’t think there are twelve Democratic senators as fearful of their constituents as Joe Manchin. And that’s what it would take to get the 60 votes to stomp on those dilatory techniques.

So, the real weapon here is simply hope.

“It’s harder to keep your side together if you’re losing day after day than if you’re winning day after day,” said Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), a member of GOP leadership. “I just don’t think they’ll be able to stick with it.”

Historically, I’d be inclined to agree with Senator Roy Blunt, but that was before they refused to even hold a hearing for President Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court.

When you combine that with the fact that Donald Trump has the crazy idea that Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III will fly with the Democratic base, that the pathologically diseased Ben Carson is a suitable head of Housing and Urban Affairs, that our Treasury Secretary should be a predatory floreclosure maestro, that our Secretary of State should be a Putin-loving oil magnate with no government experience, and that Rick ‘Oops’ Perry should be in charge of our nuclear weapons, I think you’ll see a little more resolve than we’ve see in the past. There are few acceptable nominees, and certainly not the Amway woman they want at Education or the hamburger dude they have in mind for Labor. These picks are so bad, in fact, that the Democrats are seemingly relieved to give up on civilian control of the military and won’t put up a fight about (barely) Ret. Gen. James Mattis taking over control of the Pentagon.

And the Republicans are making it easy to fight because they’re trying to blow off the basics, like actually having these nominees submit to normal vetting.

In the end, the Republicans will probably get all these nominees through and their Supreme Court Justice, too, but it won’t go quickly.

The Republicans’ tactics over the last eight years, and the last year in particular, have assured that.

Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at