GOP 'Obstruction' Highlighted in 'Harry Potter' Video

By Nathan Burchfiel | July 7, 2008 | 8:32pm EDT

( - White House advisor Karl Rove is "Lord Rovemort," scheming to undermine the efforts of Senate Majority Leader Harry Potter - er, Reid - in a new political video unveiled Friday to highlight Republican "obstruction" in Congress.

The video is the first step for the Campaign for America's Future (CAF), which announced its efforts to criticize GOP "obstruction" during the August recess when senators and representatives will be in their home districts.

The video "Caught on Tape! The Plot to Bury Progress" can be seen on and at CAF.

CAF, a liberal advocacy group, says Republicans are obstructing the Democratic agenda so they can label the legislature as a "do-nothing Congress" for political gain in upcoming elections.

The strategy is akin to "mugging the postman and complaining that the mail's not getting delivered," according to Robert Borosage, co-director of CAF.

Borosage hosted a conference call Friday to announce the group's media events, protests, and email and letter-writing campaigns targeting 12 senators they think are leading the obstructionist movement.

The GOP senators in the crosshairs are:

Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.)
John Sununu (N.H.)
Pete Domenici (N.M.)
Norm Coleman (Minn.)
Susan Collins (Maine)
John Ensign (Nev.)
Chuck Grassley (Iowa)
George Voinovich (Ohio)
John Warner (Va.)
Pat Roberts (Kan.)
Elizabeth Dole (N.C.)
Wayne Allard (Colo.)

"They are doing everything humanly possible in the United States Senate to stop the business of the American public from getting done," Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) said during the conference call. "We could be doing much more, much more quickly if it were not for the obstructionism."

"Every time we try to help people who need it ... they scream about the money that we're spending on these kinds of things," said Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.). "And then have the nerve to say that we aren't accomplishing anything."

The Internet video that compares Rove to the villain in the popular Harry Potter book series, Lord Voldemort, was written and directed by former "Seinfeld" star Jason Alexander, who portrays "Rovemort."

The five-minute video shows "Rovemort" conspiring with radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh, McConnell and Senate Minority Whip Trent Lott (Miss.) to block the Democratic agenda.

"You will never serve the people while there are those in your midst who serve only me," Rovemort says to an on-screen image of Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, calling the pair "Harry and his little mudblood friend."

The video cites Lott, who in April told a Capitol Hill newspaper that "the strategy of being obstructionist can work or fail ... and so far it's working for us. Democrats are the ones taking the blame for not getting anything done."

Republicans argue they are within their rights as the minority party to use filibusters and other procedural maneuvers to block legislation. They have criticized Democratic leaders for trying to pass some legislation without subjecting it to normal legislative procedures such as hearings and debate.

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Tuesday said Republicans were "outraged" at the way Democrats have been treating them. On Wednesday, he said Republicans "have been treated with disrespect."

When asked if Democrats were simply employing the same strategies Republicans had used when they controlled the House, Boehner said that "while those that preceded us may have had a heavy hand ... it was never anywhere near as bad as what we've seen this first seven months. And they've done things that we would never even have contemplated."

Brad Woodhouse, president of Americans United for Change, told reporters that Republican tactics as the minority are different than strategies employed by Democrats when they were in the minority.

"Republicans are on an unprecedented course of obstruction," Woodhouse said. "It has never been done on the scale that obstruction's being practiced in Washington today."

Woodhouse said Republicans are "literally using the filibuster as a political strategy and they are using it to protect the corporate interests," and he warned that senators being targeted in the campaign "are going to be receiving a tremendous amount of heat in their states."

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