What Fresh Hell Is This?

February 14, 2010

I'm Getting There, Too!

From Talkingpointsmemo. A reader is running out of patience:
Let's put the blame for this lack of action and acomplishment squarely where it belongs: Obama. He has noble intentions of "changing the tone" in Washington, but sometimes high-mindedness is simply naiveté. Enough with the Gandhi-esque s--t - it's time to pass some bills that will make a positive impact in the lives of millions of Americans.
Especially since the loyal oppositions idea of "compromise" is best described by another TPM reader:
It's been apparent for months that Republicans are unwilling to compromise on legislative initiatives, unless by compromise you mean that they will allow Democrats to agree with their proposals.
"Changing the tone" is all well and good, but the GOP never got that memo. They're still playing by their rules.

The Dems have huge majorities in the House and in the Senate. They have the White House.


Playing nice is not an option with the birther/tenther/teabag/patriot party.


spork_incident said...

It's worth noting that the GOP has purged all non-conservatives from their party.

The Dems, on the other hand, are a "big tent" - there's more than a few conservatives in the party.

So even 60 votes in the Senate was never really 60 votes.

Therein lies the problem.


EdHeath said...

Rachel Maddow, on Meet the Press, brought up an interesting point. She said that Nancy Pelosi pointed out that the House passed 200 pieces of legislation that the Senate has not acted on. So nothing to do with Obama per se.

Now while it would certainly be nice if the Republicans would occasionally not vote as a monolith, and if they would stop trying to frighten the country, the simple fact is that enough people in enough states elected enough Senators that the Democrats had a super majority. Those Senators needed to realize that they needed to put party loyalty ahead of their own agendas, that if the Democrats get some wins (and they have good policies) then their re-election possibilities would improve considerably. But Harry Reid has not been able to convey that message to his Senators, or whatever Reid's deal is.

Obama has sent some mixed signals, and maybe has not talked firmly enough with Harry Reid. And for those reasons I am annoyed with Obama, but still it seems the lions share of the blame lies with Senate Democrats and perhaps particularly Harry Reid.

Dayvoe said...

Yea, yea...

This is no time to be REASONABLE!!!

Clyde Wynant said...

Changing "the tone" in Washington is pointless. Obama is acting like a corporate CEO who believes that the things hindering his company are some vague "attitude problems," and who goes about trying to fix them, INSTEAD of fixing the real problems with R&D and production, etc....

I don't give a damn about the tone. And I don't think anyone else does, either.

Obama is still campaigning, which he did well. Whether he'll ever manage to be a leader is still very much up in the air. RIght now he's giving Jimmy Carter a run for his money.

n'at said...

I'd have a more positive outlook on bipartisanship if the midterm elections yield a few moderate republicans over their blue dog counterparts. The dems may have 60 party members in the senate, but the shortsighted desperation of the party to achieve a supermajority have eroded the party planks.
Whether or not you agree with the Republicans, their "litmus test" for "purity" is paying off in party loyalty and strict adherence to their mantra: defense, low taxes, personal liberties.

To this end, if the democrats were to do the same, then I would expect increases in third and fourth party enrollments - Independent, Green - excluding Libertarian. For whatever reason, these Tea Partiers - whose issues are mostly Libertarian - feel they're too weak to compete against the Republican Party at any level.

EdHeath said...

n'at, the expression "More honoured in the breach than in the observance" would seem to apply at least in part to your assessment of the Republicans. We would have to have forgotten the period of January 2003 to December 2006 when the Republicans held the House, Senate and White House in order to believe the Republican actually stand for personal liberties. And the low taxes thing strains credibility when the Republicans spent money like it was going out style (certainly as much as the Democrats ever do).

Right now the Democrats needed a super majority because of the Republicans obstinacy. It isn't working because the only litmus test the Democrats have is if the candidate passes the primary. As I said before, I would like to see Harry Reid do more to make filibusters more difficult (but not to eliminate them).

In these various efforts at bipartisanship that are floating around, the Republicans may claim that Democrats are only wanting to throw them crumbs. But they are minority party, as decided by voters in the last general election. And if Harry Reid were to get his shit together the Republicans might not even get crumbs.

That litmus test is nothing but hypocrisy of the highest order. When the Republicans are back in power (at whatever point that is) the poor and middle class will suffer greatly again. Until then, the Republicans will employ their "unity" and count on Harry Reid's ineffectualness to cuase the poor and middle class to suffer greatly. Hechuva job, Repubs.

n'at said...

Ed, not so much a colored assessment, than a intimate observation of what they advertise.

I don't believe the Dems need a super majority, and I reiterate that it is this specific procedural conquest that will be their failing. If the bulk of the Democrats feel so strongly about healthcare, taxes and the like, then let the Republicans filibuster. Let them speak for days on C-Span, embarrass themselves and fall flat.

EdHeath said...

N'at, you have put your finger on the problem (or at least a problem). Some time in the last fifty years, perhaps even in the last ten, the requirements for a filibuster were changed. Now it is sufficient for the minority party to simply announce they will filibuster. For some reason, Harry Reid has come to behave as if that announced filibuster would last forever, so what ever bill is tabled.

I am with you, lets change it back to the old rules. Somewhere I read the priceless phrase, let's make Mitch McConnell wet his pants.