Who Hijacked Our Country

Monday, December 17, 2007

Congressional Democrats: Do Something or Get the F#$&#$#! Out

E.J. Dionne has a blunt message for our Democratic “leaders” in Congress. He also has some sympathy for their self-created dilemma. Yes, it’s hell to be a spineless boneless jellyfish.

As he puts it: “Republicans chortle as they block Democratic initiatives — and accuse the majority of being unable to govern. Rank-and-filers are furious their leaders can't end the Iraq war.”

The Democrats can't pass any legislation because Republicans keep stalling their bills with one parliamentary move after another. This fact by itself should be a PR advantage for the Democrats. But as usual, they just lie back and let the Republican Spin Machine paint them into a corner. “Tax and spend,” “they don’t support our troops,” “nanny state,” yada yada yada.

Republicans seem to know zillions of obscure parliamentary rules that can be invoked on every possible occasion. “It’s Tuesday and we haven’t had lunch yet. Section 37D Paragraph 24 clearly states…”

So why can't the Democrats do this? Congressional Republicans had Clinton practically paralyzed during the last six years of his presidency. What do they know that the Democrats don’t know? Or maybe they have spines and the Democrats don’t.

Dionne says: “In an ideal world, Democrats would pass a lot of legislation that Bush would either have to sign or veto. The president would have to take responsibility for his choices.”

Fortunately for Dumbya, his Congressional drones are protecting him from any personal responsibility. Since they keep most legislation from even getting to his desk, he can just sit there spilling whiskey and learning songs about Condi. (Bonus Question: Name the Tom Waits song alluded to in the previous sentence.)

And the Democrats’ razor-thin majority in the Senate isn't helped when Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Chris Dodd and Barack Obama are too busy running for president to be bothered with their mundane jobs in the Senate.

No wonder people are fed up with the two party system. Oh, there're some differences between the two. On the right we have a bunch of stormtroopers marching in lockstep. On the left, a bunch of spineless blobs call out “how high sir?” whenever the stormtroopers say “Jump!” And jumping without a spine ain't easy.

Do the Democrats stand a chance in 2008? According to Dionne, this is what they have to do:

“House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid should ...use the Christmas break to come up with a joint program for 2008. They could start with the best ideas from their presidential candidates in areas such as health care, education, cures for the ailing economy and poverty-reduction. Agree to bring the same bills to a vote in both houses. Try one more time to change the direction of Iraq policy. If Bush and the Republicans block their efforts, bring all these issues into the campaign. Let the voters break the gridlock.”

cross-posted at Bring It On!

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Blogger J. Marquis said...

While I agree the Dems have been disappointing, didn't the Republicans who battled Clinton have a bigger majority? I don't remember...

December 17, 2007 at 5:54 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

J. Marquis: It just seems like Republicans are more skillful at finding a loophole or an obscure by-law for every occasion. They seem to be having more clout now than the Dems do, even though the Dems are in the majority. Whoever wins the White House in '08, I hope the Democrats end up with veto-proof majorities in both houses.

December 17, 2007 at 6:40 PM  
Blogger Jolly Roger said...

I have a joint program for them in 2008.


They are failures in their positions. It's time to step aside, and let someone unafraid ascend.

December 17, 2007 at 9:00 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Jolly Roger: Yup, I think that's the painful truth. And for their replacements there need to be a few prerequisites: integrity, a moral compass and a spine.

December 17, 2007 at 11:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Senate has an incredible amount of procedure rules, that's why things move so slow - Nancy seems to be able to get the house to move pretty fast


December 17, 2007 at 11:18 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Erik: I'm pretty disappointed in Pelosi. For all her talk about "draining the swamp" before she took over, she hasn't done much. And now it turns out she knew about Bush's rendering and torturing back in 2002, but kept quiet about it. I think she may be more a part of the problem than a part of the solution.

December 17, 2007 at 11:27 PM  
Blogger LET'S TALK said...

It's like you said Tom, if somehow the Democrats are blessed with a House and Senate that is a veto-proof majority, then things would be a sight better.

I am somewhat at a lost with just what has been going on in both the House and Senate.

This torture affair, that Democrat knew yet did nothing.

Just maybe a real third or fourth party would be great for America. But it's hard for folks to change their ways. They already seem to vote for the same people year after year.

December 17, 2007 at 11:43 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Let's Talk: Yeah, it's a real dilemma whether to vote for a third party. Everyone votes for the lesser of 2 evils. And in 2000 when millions of people voted for Nader, Bush showed us that there really is a difference between the 2 parties. Democrats suck but Republicans are even worse. What to do?

If enough Democrats get voted into Congress in '08, maybe that'll make a difference.

December 18, 2007 at 12:39 AM  
Blogger Randal Graves said...

E.J. wrote himself a nice piece of fiction there. The Dems will be just as spineless next year as they are now. Fool me six-hundred fifty-two times, shame on you...

For not failing to make Bush veto/not veto everything, and failing to tie all the Republican candidates to Bush himself, I don't like our prospects in November at all.

December 18, 2007 at 12:17 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Randal: Aw come on, can't you be more optimistic :)

Yeah, since they've been this spineless and unwilling to defend themselves up 'til now, there's no reason to think they'll be any different next year. Kind of like waiting for a leopard to change its spots.

December 18, 2007 at 2:29 PM  
Blogger Candace said...

I had such hopes after the '06 elections. Now I'm so mad over the complete lack of leadership - the lack of brain cells, evidently - by the Democrats that I would LOVE to vote them out. But wait - that would mean having a Republican majority again, so I can't do that. And Pelosi and Reid know that. Shit! What are we supposed to do? There is no viable third-party option! Voting for a third party next time will have the same effect as voting Republican - not acceptable. Grr. All I've done, and all I know to do, is call and email to complain, plus tell the callers from the party why I'm not going to send them one damn dime. That's not terribly effective, damn it all.

I have to say at least Chris Dodd took time out to come back and stand up for us. Maybe if everyone started supporting him - and I mean everyone - it will make a difference.

December 18, 2007 at 5:44 PM  
Blogger J. Marquis said...

Maybe if we can win the presidency and get bigger majorities in the House and Senate, the Dems will regrow their spines.

It's kind of like they've had Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome since

December 18, 2007 at 6:44 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Candace: There's no getting around it, both parties have their constituents over a barrel. They're a monopoly and they know it. All they have to do is sit there and collect millions of dollars in bribes from their corporate donors. Other than that they don't do a fuckin' thing.

And like you said, voting for a 3rd party just helps the "other" party that's even worse.

I admire what Dodd has done. I hope a few others will follow his example.

J. Marquis: That's a good description, Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome since 9/11. Or maybe since Vietnam. They're afraid if they stand up to Bush and Iraqmire, they'll be called "soft on terror" and "anti-American." If they can't handle being called names on Fox News they should find another job.

December 18, 2007 at 6:51 PM  
Blogger Randal Graves said...

Tom, I can if I've been drinking. No, wait, that makes me more cynical. But I sing my cynicism!

December 19, 2007 at 5:38 AM  
Anonymous anders said...

"No wonder people are fed up with the two party system. Oh, there're some differences between the two. On the right we have a bunch of stormtroopers marching in lockstep. On the left, a bunch of spineless blobs call out “how high sir?” whenever the stormtroopers say “Jump!” And jumping without a spine ain't easy."

Yes! Are you on Daily Kos at all? Because your writing would do very well over there, and because I want to be able to click the "recommend" button!

December 27, 2007 at 8:06 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Anders: Thanks for the compliment. But the only other blog I write for is Bring It On!, a group blog where I cross-post everything. I really don't follow the "big" blogs much; I spend too much time online as it is.

December 27, 2007 at 12:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'ts not Democrat or Republican- is's all about POWER and Subdgitation of ALL the Citizens of These United States by the Congress and the Judical System

December 30, 2007 at 7:01 PM  

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