Tuesday, August 17, 2010
The Donkey Business Done
In progressive politics, no good deed goes rewarded.
(or something like that)
Carl Hulse's piece in the "New York Times" (Aug. 15) says congressional Democrats find themselves on the "political defensive" despite having done everything they promised voters in 2008, save for delivering on a climate change bill.
Republicans, the article reads, "grudgingly concede that Democrats compiled a record perhaps unrivaled since the Great Society programs of President Lyndon Johnson were passed during 89th Congress or the New Deal programs were pushed through they 73rd Congress by President Franklin D. Roosevelt."
And that, Hulse noted, was with considerably more opposition than those two earlier executives faced. By contrast, The Obama/Reid/Pelosi "victories were wrenching, partisan and procedurally ugly, but they were victories."
As White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel told Hulse, "He said what he was going to do, and he did it."
"He" being the president.
No wonder the American people are furious! They're not used to seeing things get done and when you throw in the fact a lot of these measures are about improving our lives long-term, rather than froth designed to deliver votes in November, they should rightly be flummoxed.
For years now, they've grown accustomed to "divided government." Having blessed the Republicans with the one guy they needed to filibuster Washington D.C. into its habitual inactivity, the words of Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell should be disheartening.
He told "The Times" that he was "amused" that his caucus's endless caviling, holding, stalling, and fingers-up-their-buttings should be criticized.
"I wish we had been able to obstruct more," McConnell said. "They were able to get the health care bill through. They were able to get the stimulus through. They were able to get financial reform through."
And we didn't need any of those things. We needed nothing and lots of it!
Out on the hustings, Obama called the Republicans the "no we can't crowd" and correctly noted that they are "more concerned with the next election than the next generation."
The minority leader says the Democrats will pay for pushing such "sweeping measures" in the face of public opposition.
The GOPers often forget they represent a single region of the country and that, love Dixie though we all do, it simply does not represent a majority any more than the Republicans do.
Hulse's piece quotes Democrats lamenting that they don't know "how to celebrate" and that's why November is going to bring THE END OF THE WORLD! (as we know it).
Not sure what else the Democrats could do. It would be nice, for them anyway, if the Hulse piece, instead of being buried on page 20, were on the cover and crowned with a headline like, say... "Democrats Have Compiled Record Unrivalled Since FDR."
But there's no point complaining about the media anymore. People are either smart or stupid and that extends to their choice of news source and their literacy when it comes to consuming it.
It's a matter of cold and hard politics and with more than a year of gloom and doom forecasts, "The Times" also noted that, unlike in 1994, the Democrats are prepared and taking those steps necessary to prevent the no-nothings from storming the gates (again).
Should they fail, those of us who support the president and his cohorts might be content with the record they've pieced together and the easier task of stopping GOP efforts at repeal.
Wither goest thou America, forward or back?