Monday, April 24


GOP faces stormy weather. Deservedly.

The poll found that 41% of those surveyed thought that this Congress had accomplished less than its recent predecessors — the most negative evaluation of Congress' record since 1997.

GOP leaders in the House and the Senate hope to counter that complaint by racking up legislative accomplishments in the coming months. But it won't be easy, because many of the problems before them — such as high gas prices and continuing instability in Iraq — are largely out of their control. Other issues, such as immigration and the budget, deeply divide the party.

Of course, the Rethugs have in their back pocket plans to attempt other, more party-uniting but general-citizenry-polarizing legislative wins in the state legislatures, such as anti-abortion measures and bans on gay marriage.

Republicans worry that because their party is dominant in Washington, they will bear the blame for high gas prices.

"The Republicans are in power; Bush and Cheney are identified with the oil business," Bill Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard, said on "Fox News Sunday." "It's not a hard issue for a Democratic challenger to demagogue."

Demagogue? (First of all, Bill, as a professional writer you should know that linguists frown mightily upon the use of "demagogue" as a verb. Were you the one who first called Dubya "the decider"?) Why should such a claim be characterized as demagoguery? It's no appeal to prejudices -- the Rethugs ARE firmly in power, THEY'RE the ones who allowed oil industry executives to write energy legislation, they've consistently underemphasized conservation and development of alternative energy sources, and they've thus far allowed oil company profits to soar while granting those same companies unnecessary and expensive tax breaks.

House GOP leaders will have a tough time passing a budget, which stalled before the recess amid party infighting. Moderate Republicans objected that the proposed budget allowed too little for education and other social programs; conservatives complained it provided too much. And Republicans on the Appropriations Committee objected to a crackdown on earmarking money for pet projects. ... The House also is scheduled this week to take up legislation overhauling its ethics and lobbying rules, a response to the scandals that have roiled Capitol Hill.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. The ethics legislation that is most likely to be approved by Rethugs will fall well short of that which would actually produce anything like lobbying and ethics "reform".

The short and sweet of it is that this GOP-controlled Congress is unlikely to do anything substantive to improve the lot of the American people, and the voters are threatening to hold them accountable for it. Their only response is to distract voters from the real issues by campaigning on wedge isssues and use the specter of a showdown with Iran to once again scare voters into sticking with the "devil they know."

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Blogger mikevotes said...

You're right, but they're going to talk a whole lot. One interesting theory I read somewhere from an "unnamed strategist" theorized that as the Republicans will inevitably lose with whatever version of the immigration bill they pass, it might be in their interest to deadlock and not pass one.

The reps in "nativist" districts can claim they were strong and true to their electorate while those in moderate districts can say they are moderate by refusing extremist measures.

I don't know if I buy it, but I found it an interesting way to positively spin the deadlock.

(Also, I liked the the little shot about demogogueing as a verb, but that also makes me feel obliged for my own grammar.)


9:44 AM  
Blogger Motherlode said...

I just recently came upon the reference to "demagoguing" and couldn't resist the little snark --

In truth, I'm not above making up a word when it suits me, although after all the digs about "decider" (my communications department hooted all day about that one), I may be a little more cautious in the future.

10:43 AM  

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