26 March 2010

The Party of No Deal to Continue ... not dealing

"[O]ur people are pretty upset. The consequences of doing something this big in such a partisan, sleazy way--those consequences are real."  
--Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), March 25, 2010.

WTF. I'm sorry, but this is just beyond belief. Let's get this straight. Alan Grayson was being theatrical when he put up posters on the House Floor saying: "Republican Health Care Plan: 1. Don't Get Sick. 2. If you do get sick... 3. Die quickly." But there is truth in this portrayal. The administration and Dems on the Senate Finance Ctte. worked for months and months to try to get any constructive cooperation from even a small number of Republicans, but they offered absolutely nothing constructive or even halfway realistic; and they obstructed and opposed everything, entirely, always, and finally (other than what turned out to be a little phony pretend cooperation from Olympia Snowe).

Meanwhile, other critical issues languished, and the Obama legislative agenda was effectively derailed by the tactics of obstruction and delay, with no cooperation, no negotiation in good faith, and no realistic alternatives.  This can be contrasted with what often seemed to Progressives like embarassingly excessive cooperative attitudes from many Democrats during the Bush presidency (and Bush I's and Reagan's, let's not forget, but not... remember Newt's shutdown?...reciprocated by them during Clinton's).

The Democrats are partisan? The Democrats are sleazy? Because they used majority rule to pass legislation? Because they used the reconciliation process, which has been used more often by Republicans, including in passing multi trillion dollar non-offset tax cuts that have ruined our fiscal health going forward for decades? Because they used their congressional majorities to pass the cornerstone of what President Obama ran on, however watered down?

Puh-leeze, Republicans, cut the palaver. Go ahead and continue obstructing, but don't give us that crap. The consequences are real, all right. Eventually enough of the electorate is going to wake up to the fact that you are all shills for ultrarich and corporate interests, you are all liars, and you are all hypocrites, who care nothing for the real interests of ordinary people, and you will be politically marginalized. Even your own so-called moderate supporters have already mostly left.

Some day the Republican party will remake itself, just as the Democrats (largely unfortunately) did after the historic defeat of George McGovern. But until then, I think their trajectory is unlikely to be upwards, given this kind of negative and angry refusal to work with anyone on anything. The public, ultimately, will judge this childish and elitist conduct harshly.

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