Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Dems Refuse to Be Chumps, WaPo Disapproves

Well, one of my New Year's resolutions was not to get as pissed off over what I read in the papers. But it's hard to do when stuff like this is out there to make me crazy.

Today on Washingtonpost.com, the so-called liberal Post takes the Democrats to task for supposedly reneging on pledges of bi-partisanship:

As they prepare to take control of Congress this week and face up to campaign pledges to restore bipartisanship and openness, Democrats are planning to largely sideline Republicans from the first burst of lawmaking...

Instead of allowing Republicans to fully participate in deliberations, as promised after the Democratic victory in the Nov. 7 midterm elections, Democrats now say they will use House rules to prevent the opposition from offering alternative measures, assuring speedy passage of the bills and allowing their party to trumpet early victories.

You know, sort of like the Republicans have been doing since 1994.

Of course, they ignore the possible reasons for this, as set out in this quote from the New York Times:

Republicans are hoping Democrats stick to their guns and allow the minority a stronger voice on legislation. The opposition leadership said it would take the opportunity to put forward initiatives that could be potentially troublesome for newly elected Democrats in Republican-leaning districts who within months will have to defend their hard-won seats.

“There are going to be days when we will offer alternatives in ways that are going to be very appealing to Democrats in districts the president carried just two years ago,” said Representative Roy Blunt of Missouri, who will be the second-ranking House Republican in the 110th Congress.

Republicans see the ability to force tough votes — which they avoided in the majority by stifling Democratic alternatives — as having two potential benefits: It can put vulnerable Democrats on record with positions that might not be popular at home, or it can fracture the untested Democratic majority.

IOW, the Republicans have indicated that they intend to take the olive branch and beat the Democrats over the head with it. But in the minds of the Beltway pundits, it's the Democrats who are being big meanies when they refuse to let it happen.


Roddy Reta said...

Still, if you promise that you're going to do things differently, and then do an abrupt about-face as soon as you win, well I think people have the right to be a tiny bit cynical about that.

I have little doubt that the Dems will become just as bad as the Republicans in a few years when it comes to respecting the rights of the minority and procedural fairness. Such is the nature of power.

JD Rhoades said...

Roddy: the best take I've read so far on this was in the comments to the WaPo article: If we wanted to Republicans to have input, we would have elected them.
The Democrats offered bipartisanship; the Republicans indicated that they were going to manipulate it for the cynical purpose of playing political hardball. So be it. Bipartisanship works both ways.

Kim H said...

Oh, those big bad mean Democrats. First, they force Republicans to start working 5 days a week.

Then they try to block the do-nothing GOP congress from giving itself a pay raise on their last day in power.

Then, they put an end to the annual 'January in the Caribbean lobbyist-funded trips' the GOP is used to taking.

And now, most egregious of all, they want to get some shit done! How dare they? Don't they know Congress is for babbling about gays, flag burning and other do-nothing topics? How dare they try to get the minimum wage increase or other bills that actually effect people passed? Harrumph.

PS - I hope you don't get sued because of my post on your blog.