Democrats & Liberals Archives

The Party of Nothing

In many rank and file Republicans’ minds, it’s only fair. They feel their principles must be adhered to. But more people on election day felt differently about the principles that should run this country, and this is a Democracy. They could offer alternatives agreeable to both sides, work with us. But that’s not what they’re doing. What the Republican Party’s politicans offer to Americans right now is literally nothing. It is the absence, negation, and the destruction of the other side’s policies, with nothing else put in its place to fulfill the needs the Democrats are answering.

The Republican strategy is to crater approval numbers. To scare people into rejecting what they might otherwise find reasonable, at least to compromise on, if nothing else.

Democrats remain the majority. which means they get to decide what comes to the floor, much less what passes. If the Republicans propose legislation that the Democrats cannot tolerate, then the Democrats can shut the door on it. The Republicans in Congress have two choices. They can chose to negotiate with the other side so that their interests have a moderating pull on the other side's legislation...

Or they can choose to propose things the other side would never go for, which is in effect doing absolutely nothing.

The Republicans in Congress have decided to do nothing, in effect. But while that by itself would be bad for the Republican party, they've decided that if they can't get what they want, nobody can.

That's what they've been doing the last three years, since they lost the election. They obstructed at a record-breaking pace, not allowing much of any non-advantageous legislation of any kind to come up for a final Senate vote. This was designed, as the current obstruction is now, as a means to prevent Democrats from getting credit for legislative achievements. Now it could be argued that they're simply roadblocking potentially troublesome legislation, protecting America from the majority it so foolishly elected. But not only is that kind of patronizing and anti-democratic (in the small-d sense of the word), it also runs into the problem that Republicans aren't really proposing workable alternatives in the place of what they're preventing from coming to a vote. The only alternatives they are providing, is Republicans back in power.

Let's be clear on this: the Republican strategy has not been to convince Democrats to switch to their side, to vote against the legislation. It hasn't been to propose alternatives, and compromise their way towards a successful vote on it. Their idea has been to utterly prevent any action at all, to flatly deny the representatives of the American people in the House and Senate their opportunity to vote for or against a bill.

The Republicans up in Washington are worse than a party of "no". A party of "no" could stand athwart history yelling stop, being a loyal opposition. But a loyal opposition can craft compromises that actively serve their constituents interests, that create policy both Democrats and Republicans can live with. It can make its votes on the critical issues, letting folks back home know, that even if they didn't win the vote, they spoke their peace and voted against the offending legislation. There is a path Republicans could take where they would recruit centrists and conservatives in the other party to their alternatives, where they could negotiate a better deal.

The Republicans, if you keep careful tabs on what they're saying now, and what they were saying before their fall, have not really changed their minds on much of anything, or their strategies and approaches. Honestly, the Republicans haven't learned anything. They were tossed out for what they did to the country, what they put us through, and they want to be welcomed back having been unapologetic for much of what they went into defeat exhorting to all who would hear them. They're still for the same things, against the same things, taking the same money, kiss up to the same people, and put forward the same kind of people as the next big thing in their political world.

The party wants to regain all it lost, despite the fact it hasn't resolved its differences with the public it alienated. They wants us to admit our error and come crawling back, apologetic for what we did. Since we were mistaken, in their eyes, its only fair if we don't get what we're asking for. We can't be allowed such discretion. It goes against what the main mission of the modern Republican Party, the power structure that is born of the entitled sense of purpose that the leaders have, that their role is to save America from itself, save America from the liberals and the Democrats.

Today's modern coalition is no accident: the Republicans on Capitol Hill represent

1) the religious interests who long ago became convinced that secular society was going to be the downfall of the country.

2) the Wall Street Republicans who never got used to FDR's reforms of the financial industry and his direct, stimulative aid to the middle and lower classes.

3) The conservatives of old times who resented the increase in power that escalated under the Democrats.

4) The Dixie supporters who never got over the betrayal of the Democratic Party's shift towards the Civil Rights movement.

And others. But their agendas were never squarely in line with one another, except on one thing: Their resentment, sometimes even hatred of Liberals and their policies.

Everything has become steeped in the necessity at all costs to keep power from the hands of Liberals and Democrats, or those who would listen to Liberals and Democrats. There's no middle ground, no room for compromise with those who have some beliefs about things but not others. Did we not witness the power struggle after the Republican's fall between the different wings of the party, the disgust with which they treated each other? It should be no surprise that in their utter defeat of the liberals post-2004, and utter defeat by the liberals post-2006 that the Republicans would turn on each other. After all, for them, the pure Republican Party, the conservatism as they saw it, was represented by them.

This exclusionary sense of what conservatism is, where the belief in things is not so important as the disbelief in other things has become the hallmark of the current version of the Republican Party. They don't believe in Climate Change, don't believe in environmental regulation, don't believe in unversal healthcare, don't believe in the wall of separation between church and state, don't believe in raising taxes for any reason, don't believe in constraining businesses with regulation, or this or that.

The Party has become rigidly about what it will not do, what it will not allow, and what it will prevent, with whatever power it has. Every political controversy is a fight to the finish, and there is no compromise with what they see as and portray as a fifth column internal enemy.

And because of that, so long as Democrats are in charge, nothing can be done or should be done by the government to deal with things, because if we did address the concerns of right now, the party that would take the lead would be the party that is in the lead. Because that goes against the rather hardline conservatism that pervades the Republican delegation in Congress, and the power structure that supports them in the congress, the Republicans have decided to paralyze Congress, rather than make any kind of compromise with the Democrats.

Trouble is, the American people would like to borrow that Congress, if the Republicans aren't doing anything with it. The troubles we're facing (many of which their leadership is responsible for) aren't going away, and our situation in the world remains uncertain. Those problems will become worse and more complicated, just the way they did while they were stalling against doing something for political benefit under Bush. Most of us would like to see things dealt with while we can still deal with them.

We don't need a party in Washington acting like a black hole of inaction, obstruction, and partisan rancor. We don't need a minority that believes that it's got the right to countermand the clear mandate of a public that feels they are in desperate need of help. We do not need the party in Opposition to be the Party of Nothing, the party whose only purpose is paralysis in the quixotic defiance of change and needed reform.

As of right now, the Democrats have attained sixty seats in the Senate. This means, of course, theoretically, that the party can now break any filibuster on a party line vote, and in practice makes it easier to gain a few Republican votes for Cloture and break things that way. But it is a sign of things to come, if the Republicans don't release their procedural strangleholds, because sooner or later, the Democrats in Congress will want to have something to show for their efforts, to their constituents.

And sooner or later, Folks outside Washington will start becoming even more ticked off at the Republicans over their interference than they were before. Though some of their fearmongering on the deficit has worked, the Republicans are one crisis or necessary and urgent action away from seeing that fog of inaction blown away.

Sooner or later, if the Party of Nothing continues to be the Party of Nothing, it will pay the price, and what is a strategic absence from leadership will become a real absence from leadership. The party cannot continue to do nothing, allow nothing, and advocate the status quo, and expect the long-term health of their fortunes to continue.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at July 9, 2009 8:46 AM
Comments
Comment #284306

S.D.
With congress’ approval rate and the Pres’ popularity slipping I think it is fair to say that people are getting PO’d at the Democrats. With the midterm election comming up I can just about guarentee you that your beloved democrats will lose some seats. The approval rate in my state of Ohio gives BHO a 49% unless you democrats come up with a miricle, create jobs, come up with a health care plan that is better than what you are proposing. YOU LOSE!!!

Posted by: KAP at July 10, 2009 4:35 PM
Comment #284308

Stephen:
i agree.

IMO, the Republicans lost a viable opportunity to offer a common-sense difference. Instead of offering solutions, they offer obstructions. Honestly, if America was healthy like it was in the 90s, that approach may work. But since the country is hurting so badly, this behavior from the Republicans is pathetic.

Dissent is fine. But Dissent without an understanding of what your opposing is silly.

Posted by: john trevisani at July 10, 2009 6:03 PM
Comment #284311

Stephen,
Why I suppose one could claim the Republicans are claiming Ignorance if not Stupidity about what “We the Corporation” is capable of doing in order to regain power. Can one not make the case that the Leadership of the Republican is not debating in Good Faith?

Deny and withold job creation in order to make the Democrats look bad and hope that they regain the Seats in Congress and the Whitehouse so they can look good. Is it a possible political plan?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at July 10, 2009 7:38 PM
Comment #284312

KAP-
If that’s what you wish to celebrate, fine by me, you’re making my point. Rather than talk about better solutions to the issues and problems, your party (or at least side of the political spectrum) has talked about nothing but stopping us from putting forward ours. Oh, you give your reasons, your exaggerated, hateful, melodramatic reasons, but what you don’t give are alternatives the rest of us can live with.

Like John said, you guys have missed great opportunities. But since you didn’t want to be responsible for anything, you will be responsible for nothing, both in the absence of real policy, and in your forcing of inaction.

How much of that do you want to be responsible for, in the end? How long can the Republican party maintain this fight, where its ownly achievement is making sure the Democrats have none?

First, it can’t last forever. At some point, perhaps now, the Democrats become better able to pass legislation despite your obstruction. And if they pass enough, it becomes useless to obstruct any further. And then what do you have? The rest of the legislature ticked off at Republicans, and unwilling to compromises. The sad fact is, Republicans do not know how to negotiate from a weak position.

And what legislation will you have to show for this long period of obstruction? Nothing.

That is what makes the Republicans, the Party of Nothing. it is entirely about preventing Democratic Party victories now. The minute you’re less able to do that, you’re screwed.

But you’re dragging down our poll numbers, aren’t you? Such genius!

You know, that’s exactly what you tried in 2008. And you got completely hammered, despite record breaking obstructionism, and a President running over Congress.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 10, 2009 7:44 PM
Comment #284313

KAP-
Congressional Budget Office: The Public Option’s a money-saver

Is removing or watering down something like this what you mean by a better proposal?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 10, 2009 8:17 PM
Comment #284316

Democrats are finding out that it is a lot easier to imagine something great than to achieve that in the real world. It is also a lot more fun to criticize others for their mistakes than go one better yourself.

It is interesting how the tables have turned and much faster than I thought. Back in 2005, the Republicans “owned everything” and their opponents found lots to blame them for. Even when the economy was growing and unemployment and the deficit was dropping, it was never good enough. Democrats said that it was their duty to be in the opposition, and they were right.

Republicans asked Democrats to get on board, but they demurred. Criticism was too much fun and profit. Maybe Republicans should treat Obama as well as Democrats treated Bush.

Democrats have controlled congress since 2007, so they are entering their third year of power there and they now they own everything, to an even greater extent than Republicans ever did. But they don’t want to take any of the responsibility.

When you control the House and have 60 votes in the Senate, as well as the presidency, it is ALL your fault if nothing gets done. Republicans could threaten the nuclear option; Democrats already have all the votes they need. Just stop the excuses.

Playing the ignorant victim really doesn’t work when you are in charge of everything.

Posted by: Christine at July 10, 2009 8:45 PM
Comment #284317

S.D.
Where did I say I was a Republican? Like Christine said you hold all the aces. All I did was point out that people are PO’d at you Democrats as well, and don’t count your chickens before they hatch in 2010, you may lose. Dems in congress are considering taxing the rich for the health care plan, and what do you think the rich are going to do, pass the cost on to the little guy, so like I said find a better way.

Posted by: KAP at July 10, 2009 9:15 PM
Comment #284318

Sorry Stephen, But we are now the Party of Dissent.

You must remember the concept of dissent? The end-all and be-all of political discourse? The banner under which it was ok for the left to dream about the assassination of Bush. Or to ridicule and insult in the most vulgar terms? Under which it was ok to speculate endlessly about the criminality of even the most mundane political act (of republicans)?

Dissent was once the highest form of patriotism especially in the face of ‘One Party Rule.’ What happened?

I mean really… the left controls this country lock stock and barrel. You’re telling us that conservatives are toast forever and yet you cannot tolerate even the tiniest bit of criticism at all? No questioning of the policies of those in complete power of our government. Complete unchecked power doesn’t need any devil’s advocates— no questions, no dissent.

Not that I’m surprised.

But don’t worry, I’m still patriotic enough to question the liberal orthodoxy and challenge the leftist groupthink that threatens to destroy this country. It may not prevent the destruction but at least you will have been warned. ;)

Posted by: eric at July 10, 2009 9:19 PM
Comment #284319

Christine-
No, we knew that already. What we didn’t count on was a Congressional minority that would abuse procedure to stop up the works. But as opposed to the Republicans, we’re trying to get something done, while they’re showing off for their voters.

The Republicans were as ruthless a majority as they were a minority. Witness their denunciation of the filibuster when it was being used occasionally, and their threatening to cut it off- the nuclear option. They deliberately cut the Democrats out of negotiation, and writing of the laws.

People in my party, at this point, might be beginning to think that we should show them no more mercy than we were shown by them. Do you really want them to think this?

As for criticism? I didn’t criticize for my health. Real things were going wrong, and still are. Yet the Republicans are mainly complaining about things with these exaggerated, cariactured charges of being reckless spenders and radical socialists. The mainstream right-wing media is acting as if Obama’s practically Hitler. They’re even flirting with secessionist talk, this the party of Lincoln, over the change.

You can talk about owning everything, but it doesn’t seem like the Republicans have acknowledged yet that the government doesn’t belong to them, or that it shouldn’t, by virtue of the verdict of the voters.

Personally I am sick and tired of the fearmongering rhetoric. We do not need to be formulating policy in this atmosphere of sick, paranoid intolerance. We don’t need every option knocked off the table by a minority that thinks the rest of us don’t deserve to decide for ourselves what’s best.

You can talk about fault, but it’s like blaming a person for falling off the cliff when you shot him.

KAP-
You are aware, right, that the rich already pass the costs to us? That’s the policy of the Insurance companies. With the Public Option, though, we might actually see things done more cheaply, and Insurance companies might pass on less costs to employers. So rich people might lose on one end, but on the other, they might gain.

Eric-
Party of dissent. Right. Was this the party that asked loyalty oaths from its voters? Which once again sent people into peacefully assembled groups to spy on them? Who penned up protesters out of site in “free speech zones” away from the media and the President’s eyes? Who threatened to annihilate the filibuster, before they used it at record pace to their advantage!

We have lists worth of substantiated claims as to what Bush and his people did. We don’t have to make up things, to imagine horrid, apocalyptic things, to find fault with Bush. His behavior is on the record, and most Americans find him one of the most terrible presidents for a reason.

You guys are free to dissent, and I’m free to critique the central motives of that dissent, to critique the absence of any real, positive, alternative engine of policy within your party’s political operations. And I’m free to point out that dissent against the other party is a ridiculously simple thing to do, and we Democrats do it plenty.

Do your people dissent? Do you look at the hypocrisy of your positions with shame? Do you doubt anything of what your people did, if it doesn’t involve agreeing with the Democrats?

Your folks aren’t intent on bringing your own voices into shaping policy. You could have easily deigned to condescend to our level, to make deals with us on legislation. But that would have meant that Democrats were passing legislation, no matter how much the Republicans managed to moderate the liberalism in there.

And you just couldn’t have that. If yours isn’t the one party that gets to rule, then you guys won’t let anybody truly rule. It’s you folks, or nothing, the way you’re doing it, and this is a Democracy and that is not the way we do things in this country!

When are you folks going to humble yourselves enough to realize that this a country shared between Americans, not just reserved for the control of your “right-thinking”, “real” Americans? When are you going to acknowledge, the real, overwhelming majority dissent towards your party, and like participants in Democracy either take the hint and tone it down, or prepare yourselves for obscurity?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 10, 2009 10:20 PM
Comment #284320

Stephen

Republicans plain and simple cannot do anything unless Democrats let them. The Democrats hold ALL the cards and lots of them.

The Republican complaining and acting out sounds a lot like we heard from Democrats. The only difference is that Democrats had significantly more power to make changes. Democrats dominated Congress since 2007. Today they are predominant. Is there a word beyond predominant. If so, that is what they Democrats own.

Blaming Republicans is like blaming occult forces. This is the simple truth. Almost nobody alive today can remember when Republicans had the kind of one-party power that Democrats enjoy today. They have ALL the power that our political system can give them. They essentially own the Federal government. They have ALL the things they claimed they needed. How many other ways can we say that.

Yet you are put out because Republicans refuse to drink the Kool Aid. It evidently offends Democrats that there are still those who have not accepted the power of “the one”.

The Democrats do not provide real options to Republicans. They just allow Republicans to ride on their bandwagon if they behave. Democrats are not seeking partners. What they want is accomplices.

Well, the fact is that the Democrats have won the whole show. They should do something or admit that they are not competent. Maybe the voters will do that for them.

I just think it is funny. Democrats got everything they wanted - everything. I guess the old saying “be careful what you wish for” applies.

Posted by: Christine at July 10, 2009 10:42 PM
Comment #284322

Christine-
You’re acting like you never had the chance to push through your will, your policies. You did, and your policies failed so badly, that people elected the Democrats instead, the Democrat you’re now trying to cut off at the knees, just as you folks did when you were the majority. Only this time, you don’t have that mandate. All you have is a procedure you badly abuse, to make sure that few items of legislation are actually passed.

It is one thing to ask for participation, but is this the way to get it? To lose patience in less than a month, and decide on a campaign of obstruction as the means to get people to listen? And it seems like the only way the Republicans will acknowledge our extension of bipartisanship to them, is if we just entirely pattern our leadership, our policies, after theirs!

That’s not bipartisanship. That’s not negotiation. That’s being given power by unofficial means that Americans deliberately invested in the hands of the Democrats in rejection of those policies.

The Republicans are trying to rewrite the outcome of the election to suit their politics. They are not accepting anything less than capitulation. They could choose otherwise, be more accomodating, but instead, they are choosing a path in diametric opposition to ours, and then complaining when we don’t accommodate that.

So lets be serious here: the Republicans either learn to accommodate, or the Democrats learn to stop accommodating. If the second happens, I’ll admit its bad for everyone, but in some situations, it may be a much better thing than more of this paralysis.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 11, 2009 12:24 AM
Comment #284323

Now, now, children, enough of this argument over who touched who first. Just stop touching each other, altogether. It works in Congress. They put the blues on one side of the aisle and the reds on the other. Some model for running a nation, eh?

Political parties are in the business of electing their own to power, keeping their own in power, regardless of how incompetent, corrupt, or ineffective their own may be. Political parties therefore, serving that one master, are ill-equipped to govern a nation like ours, I don’t care what color spots you paint on them.

The American people would do well to vote out incumbents and for challengers as a routine until such time their government begins acting like responsible adults and enlightening our future instead of dimming it with their preoccupation with fussing over next year’s election.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 11, 2009 12:39 AM
Comment #284325

eric, dissent should have a purpose other than dissent.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 11, 2009 12:41 AM
Comment #284327

Stephen
I lean libertarian. No party solves my problems. Republicans tend to be closer to what I like than Democrats, but neither party gives me what I want. The Republicans failed miserably by expanding the scope and size of government. Now the Democrats promise to do even more in the same direction. I don’t think the remedy for the fat man is to eat twice as many donuts.

We went as far as we should with the stimulus. We planted enough seeds; we should just wait for them to grow. Further stimulation will be very bad. So I find nothing inconsistent with supporting stimulus a few months ago and opposing it now. Two aspirin might help alleviate the headache, but impatiently swallowing another twenty tablets when you don’t get immediate relief is not a smart idea.

I am on the record here of supporting a much more radical health care proposal. I think we should go straight to the Scandinavian systems. I recognize that we need to make some sacrifices to get a greater good. I support the Democrats on this, I just wish we would be honest about what we are likely to get.

I don’t see how the Democrats are accommodating the Republicans. They are behaving a lot like the Republicans did in 2004. That is the way politics is played and you have not heard me complain about that, since I have no dog in that fight. My only complaint is that Democrats, who hold all the cards and all the power, still want to pretend that Republicans are holding them down. This is mendacious and pathetic. The Democrats have all the power. Let them put forward their ideas and see how they work.

Posted by: Christine at July 11, 2009 1:26 AM
Comment #284329

Not wanting to seem mean I do believe that both the Conservatives and Liberals need to realize that both the Democratic and Republican Party serve “We the People” through the Debate of “We the Corporation” (i.e. Labor and Management) and that is not going to change anytime soon. And although I can understand Christines’ point of view that the Democrats hold all the cards and all the power, I do believe that President Obama has shown that he would rather hold the Middle Ground than to assume that Liberals make the same mistakes that the Republicans have by wanting to shove their personal agenda down the throats of the average American.

For example; President Obama could take the position that a balance budget is more important than given businesses tax breaks for normal operating expenses. And though some can make the case that he is trying to do exactly that by closing loopholes in the tax codes, I wonder how many on the Right would stand silent if he took the political position that a Business dooes not need to write off office supplies and travel expenses.

No, the No-Nothing Party of the 21st Century needs to learn from history and realize that no political party can stop change and still win except one way. For yesterday is not the same as today and both will be different than tomorrow. So, why I do stand by my opinion that some on the extreme Right and Left would rather follow the example of President Bush and the leaders of Iran and deny anything is wrong. I do believe that the Children of the 70’s and 21st Century need to take a page from the Know-Nothing Party of the mid-1800’s and ask themselve if they want a government ran by groups of people who believe “We the Corporation” have the Unalienable Right to keep their leaders in poverty and economic slavery or find the Political Will to use the Power of the Private and Public Sectors to create the goods and services that will move America forward in proving to the world that “We the People” can use the Limited Generational Resources to give every citizen the opportunity to become economically viable and financially independent.

Because why I am forbidden to put a dog in that fight, I do wonder what would happen if the Democratic Party in conjuction with an Independent Thrid Party would take on the No-Nothing Leaders of 2010 in a debate of what can be done by the Children of the 21st Century using the power of “We the Corporation” to build a Better World than the Old Guard of the Democratic and Republican Parties of their Parents and Grandparents who still believe that it is right for the Rich to get Richer while the Poor get Poorer.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at July 11, 2009 6:23 AM
Comment #284330

Henry said: “both the Democratic and Republican Party serve “We the People”

I strongly disagree. The Democratic and Republican Parties serve elections. That’s IT! They have no principles, no values, no ethics, no platform that supersedes this primary superordinate goal: To elect and reelect their candidates, regardless of how incompetent, ineffective, corrupt, or valueless they prove themselves to be.

The only time the Parties EVER force one of their own out, is when doing so will enhance the Party’s election advantage in the next election cycle.

If voters would mature as voters and STOP voting for party affiliation and START voting for persons of sound character, values, and commitment to the public and the nation’s future, 90% of our nation’s difficulties would evaporate in a generation.

The parties DO NOT serve the people, or the nation. They serve elections and the power those elections open the door to.

Why is Wm. Jefferson still holding office. Sen. Larry Craig refused to resign after breaking the law, and his party did not force him out. Sen. Ensign is still holding his seat. Sen. McCain is still serving after his role in the Keating 5 scandal. Rep. John Conyers singled out for his participation in the House Banking Scandal, still serves in Congress. Sen. Harry Reid’s conflict of interest in the Abramoff scandal, having taken contributions from 4 tribes AFTER they had hired Abramoff, was never taken up by the Senate Ethics Committee. He still serves.

Some, like Sen. Packwood, were expelled from office, but, only after their egregious behavior was viewed as a liability to the Party’s election odds. The Parties work very hard to keep their incompetents, corrupt, and ineffective incumbents in their political offices. That CANNOT be called serving the American people or the nation’s future.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 11, 2009 7:31 AM
Comment #284333

Aside from the equally destructive extremes of BOTH main parties …

  • Extreme #1: One extreme wants regressive taxation, unfettered capitalism, little (if any) government regulations, and freedom to explore and wallow in every manifestation of unchecked greed.

  • Extreme #2: The other extreme wants a nanny-state with citizens increasingly dependent on the government; with massive cradle-to-grave government programs (which are usually severely mismanaged) that nurture a sense of entitlement and dependency on government; wants to grow government ever larger (despite the already current nightmare proportions); rewards failure and laziness; and perpetuates the myth that we can somehow all live at the expense of everyone else.
… there’s not much difference (if any) between the two.
Hence, confused voters continue to reward Congress with 85%-to-90% re-election rates, and still wonder “what the hell happened?”

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

Posted by: d.a.n at July 11, 2009 8:06 AM
Comment #284334
David R. Remer wrote: The parties DO NOT serve the people, or the nation. They serve elections and the power those elections open the door to.
True … at least until so many abuses finally becomes too painful.

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

Posted by: d.a.n at July 11, 2009 8:10 AM
Comment #284335

Christine said it best - “Democrats are not seeking partners. What they want is accomplices.”


Stephen says as much - “So lets be serious here: the Republicans either learn to accommodate, or the Democrats learn to stop accommodating. If the second happens, I’ll admit its bad for everyone, but in some situations, it may be a much better thing than more of this paralysis.”

The Democrats have the power and the votes to get what they want, if they all want it. Is the problem that not everyone in the Democratic party has drunk the Kool Aid?

Why does the writer need the Republicans to agree with the Democrats? Is it to share blame on what can be a fait accompli without the Republican party participation?

To me, this line of reasoning just sounds like a whine.

Posted by: Mike in Tampa at July 11, 2009 9:09 AM
Comment #284336

S.D.
Now that the shoe is on the other foot and the Republicans are the minority you still complain and whine. Your party has all the aces and can pass what ever you want so quit B——ing. Yes I know that the rich pass the cost on to us, BUT WHY ADD TO IT.

Posted by: KAP at July 11, 2009 9:47 AM
Comment #284337

It is amazing to me how many folks on the right claim not to be ‘Republican’. I don’t blame them for being ashamed of their party, but they still talk the talk. It seems it’s just the label they are running from, not the failed policies and unethical obstructionism…just the name…hmmm…

How many members of the Republican Party, on this blog site, have suddenly become ‘Independent’, or ‘Libertarian’ in the last couple of years?

How many of those same folks still sound just like they did when they were “Republican’?

Posted by: Marysdude at July 11, 2009 10:51 AM
Comment #284339

Dude
I know some Democrats who are right of center and don’t agree with Democrats left of center. I don’t go into the voting booth and just pull the Democrat or Republican lever that some on this blog site seem to do which to me IMO is darn right stupid.

Posted by: KAP at July 11, 2009 11:31 AM
Comment #284343

David R. Remer-
If I were to be more evenhanded, I could say this: Democrats can’t merely be a party of Nothing, whose only purpose is to undermine Republican power and then make excuses for why it’s not doing what it’s supposed to.

Luckily, though Democrats I see understand the situation with the Republicans, they don’t accept claims by the Democrats in Congress that nothing can be done, and they don’t accept the position by the leadership that bipartisanship is the only or even the most important element of a bill that is important.

It’s the issues that matter in my mind. Yes, we should reach out. But if the other party’s going to be immature and just block things until they get what they like, they’ll get nothing.

I think Americans would like the Republicans to drop their belligerence, and find some more constructive way to dissent, like, say, putting forward actual policy that a majority of Americans could agree with, rather than the radical right-wing stuff they insist on pushing on people. (Republicans, as is their habit, will try and mirror image this complaint, asking us to do the same. The trouble for them is, on many issues, the Democrat’s position is a majority one, which means that we counter their majority in conjecture with a majority in fact.)

The Parties themselves do not automatically serve the people. Like any organization, they’ve got their own interests, which behave like the gravitational center of an object, drawing the rest of the organization towards that end. Only by introducing new gravitational centers to the equation can we draw the actions of the parties towards some useful end to the rest of us.

William Jefferson, if I’m not mistaken, is out. He lost to Ahn “Joseph” Cao. Few Democrats mourned the loss, I can tell you as an informed source.

I don’t think that its party loyalty that keeps folks in power. There’s a certain amount of give trained into us by social instincts, that allows us to forgive people, so if a politician at least acknowledges their error, many people are willing to give them a second chance.

What I believe operates is issue loyalty, and political loyalty in the broader sense of preference. People don’t necessarily identify that strongly with party, but on politics, even those who do not have strict party affiliation might not be willing to compromise on issues enough to pick the other candidate. Elections are a messy and human thing.

If you want to make efforts at increasing third party penetration into Congress, and the state governments, and eventually the presidency, be my guest. I’m not against that. I am for my party doing what it’s supposed to to make that unnecessary, though. I generally agree with my party on it’s ostentative platform, and wish for it to succeed. But I acknowledge that when and if a party doesn’t do right by the citizens, it’s going to lose power.

As a Democrat I can tell you this: it’s not simple being in the majority. But I feel things are better than they would have been had the other side won out.

What I believe the third parties must do is prove that they are more than about ideas, but also about policy. That is why I have consistently advised a grassroots effort at building a base of successful office holders at the local and state level. If Third parties prove their ability to take care of the people’s needs, that will relieve some of the anxiety people might have about making the switch. People prefer not to think that they’re making a stunt election, trading the old boss in for a new boss who’s not much better or is in fact worse.

The party’s work hard to keep their power. But this isn’t a bad thing, it’s the way things are supposed to be, actually. Elected governments are supposed to work hard to keep their power. What we have to do as voters is make sure that their hard work goes into constructive things for the voter.

That is why I’ve drawn the line I’ve drawn, in the entry above. The Republicans are trying to persuade voters to abandon the Democrats, but are they doing it by demonstrating superior wisdom, intelligence and skill in creating and carrying out policy? Or are they simply using rhetorical demagoguery and procedural obstructionism to manipulate voter sentiments?

I think the answer is obvious, given the lack of cooperation on their part, the lack of restraint, the lack of real policy formulation in their alternatives.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 11, 2009 12:04 PM
Comment #284344

Mike in Tampa-
If we were the Republicans, we would have stomped this BS flat long ago. We’re not. We actually have to represent some conservative interests, in the spread of our party. There are just about as many moderates as there are Liberals in the Democratic Party. With Republicans, though, their Conservatives outstrip their moderates by a factor of more than two to one, in fact approaching three to one.

That’s our current dilemma. We have the numbers in party terms, but we’re not so ideologically rigid as the Republicans.

Ironically, you complain about Democrats being Kool Aid Drinkers. But only forty percent of Democrats are committed liberals, where as the Republicans have approaching 70 percent conservative numbers. The Republican can only keep up this consistent obstructionism because their politicians are even more one-sided than their constituents. There are only a handful of moderate Republicans representing the roughly quarter of their numbers who are in fact moderates. If we had to measure Kool-Aid Drinking by ideological Identification, who do you think seems more committed to the partisan cause.

Hell, think about it for a second. You guys sit here crowing about how we have it all, but aren’t unified enough to take advantage of it. But if we were Kool-Aid drinkers, we wouldn’t have that problem, now would we?

Republicans don’t need to agree with Democrats on everything, but I refuse to believe that there is nothing to be agreed upon. We have a government to run. Those folks in the Senate and the House aren’t just there for the sake of the Republican Party. They’ve got other duties, in case they haven’t noticed.

This country doesn’t need several more years of inaction, of the fearful sticking of our heads in the ground, just so some people’s political Sacred Cows aren’t killed. Our current situation is not sustainable, and if the Republicans in charge are not interested in solving problems, Democrats like myself are going to tell folks up in Washington to start trying their best to solve problem without the Republicans and deal with whatever backlash comes of it later. Some things are more important than political victory.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 11, 2009 12:21 PM
Comment #284350

I find it ironic that after we suffered through 8 years of “my way or the highway” leadership the conservatives have the unmitigated gall to claim that Obama is only seeking accomplices. Obama has at least tried to include the GOP in the conversation but they are the ones who refuse to participate in a sincere way. Personally, I wouldn’t have been as generous as he has been with a party that lied us into a war that has thrown away close to a million human beings for nothing, the party whose president sent his minions to the sick bed of his own appointed official to get him to sign off on sweeping illegal surveillance programs that yielded nothing, a war on terror that has yielded nothing, continued deregulation that has yielded the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, an attitude towards global environmental crisis that borders on criminal negligence, and a complete denial of the basic tenets of science (I know this is a run on sentence but …). These ideas don’t deserve a seat at the table yet they have been offered one only to bite the hand of the person holding the chair out for them. You say the Dems did the same when they were the minority party but they helped to sign off on the illegal Iraq war, torture, deregulation, etc. for which they should be considered accomplices.

Posted by: tcsned at July 11, 2009 3:16 PM
Comment #284352

David,
Why I will stand b my point of view that the Democratic and Republican Civil, Political, and Religious Leaders serve “We the People” I did not say that the Learned and Unlearned of Society was smart enough to know how to use their power.

In fact somewhere in the pages of history I do believe you will find that the Founding Fathers reconized the problem of Ignorance and they found it best if only Landowners voted due to the paraphase “There is a Fool boe=rn every minute.” For surely in the 21st century you can find today some people who lack the Common Sense and/or Knowledge to know how to recall their own Elected Officials. For how do you explain why the Governor of South Carolina is still in office after he clearly deserted his post.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at July 11, 2009 4:47 PM
Comment #284361

Stephen, I appreciate your reply.

And I agree some things are improving under Democratic majority, but, other things are not. And of course, Democrats contributed all along to this economic malaise and recession which we are beset with. Democrats voted for the GLB Act, and Clinton signed it. I understand Democrats rhetoric about not having the power to prevent the housing bubble and its bursting. But, they contributed to it nonetheless, even after Kent Conrad blew the whistle on it back in 2006. They turned a blind eye, putting politics and elections ahead of the nation’s and people’s future.

And that is the nature of political parties. If they had any principles overriding their political election results, they would have opposed Bush’s ‘ownership society’ and Greenspans artificially low interest rates to promote that ownership society based on leveraging our real estate far, far beyond its actual sustainable value.

Democrats were aware of the dangers and holes left by the GLB Act, and did nothing to attempt to plug and shore up its weaknesses and propensities toward oligopolism and the absence of transparency it was to create in America’s financial sector. I know they were aware, because they debated these points prior to the passage of the GLB Act on the House and Senate floors.

Democrats continue to promote immigration, legal and illegal at a time when American citizen unemployment is approaching 10%.

Democrats continue to load up the unnecessary pork in their legislation bankrupting our future even further.

Your relative argument that Democrats are a smidge better on some of these issues, sidesteps the main issue. That the incumbents in Congress, Democrat and Republican, are responsible for, and oversaw, the dire circumstances Americans face today and will suffer in the future.

Our future requires political reform, election reforms, lobbyist and money influence peddling in Congress and the WH reforms. America’s future demands a balanced budget amendment, transparent and accountable environmental cost responsibility born by those doing the polluting and injury to the environment to rectify and prevent such degradation of our healthy living conditions. America’s future needs vastly MORE, not less, self-reliance in its food and health products production. America’s future demands teeth in our clean drinking water standard legislation. Billions of gallons of plastic bottled water are consumed each year containing BCP and some even arsenic without government intervention or regulation of the industry’s standards.

America’s future requires less population, not ever increasing population numbers in order for our children to have a bigger slice of the economic pie, not an ever diminishing slice. All these and more, do our nation and people need going forward.

All these issues will require an inordinate amount of political discipline, economic activity, and shared sacrifice to bring about and insure for America’s future. I don’t see it in the Democratic Party. They waste their time and energy and our resources debating entertainers like Rush Limbaugh, porking up their spending bills, dealing with GLBT issues, and promoting immigration, instead of all these other very much more important and necessary measures.

I was opposed to Blue Dogs blockading the health care insurance reforms until and unless the reforms were paid for under PayGo rules. But, they, and the actions of other Democrats on wasteful spending, have turned me around to support their objections. Democrats will fail in every possible way if they fail to justify their actions to the Independent voters. And the polls show Democrats are losing independent voter approval at a fairly rapid rate.

Our nation’s needs will not afford Democrats the luxury of politics as usual and partisan ideological directives. Our nation is wounded and Democrats have to perform emergency triage and take cost efficient and prioritized recuperative measures if our nation is to heal. So, far, that does not appear to be happening nor even the direction Democrats are trying to move toward, with the exception of the Obama administration, in part. But, as I predicted before the elections, Obama’s major hurdle in his presidency is the Democrats in Congress. If Obama is to live up to his campaign promise to the people, vetoes of Democratic measures in Congress have to be forthcoming. But, how likely is that?

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 12, 2009 2:50 AM
Comment #284362

David R. Remer-
Of course, Democrats contributed to the problem. You won’t find many nowadays who don’t resent that leadership failure. There’s a reason Obama and not Hillary is President.

Democrats are not, to the best of my knowledge, promoting illegal immigration, but we’re not taking the Republican’s xenophobic approach to it. My link indicates we’ve increased internal enforcement and that’s what we should do. We should also, however, come up with a merciful way of dealing with those who are here, who have built lives and families. They were wrong to come here the way they did, but it would take a massive and socially disruptive effort to uproot them all.

Some have suggested a Guest Worker program. I think that’s too ripe for abuse, far too likely to create enclaves of second-class citizens. I believe if we’re going to provide amnesty we should grant full amnesty.

But it should be a conditional, supervised amnesty, that will test their willingness to stay. They should be treated no differently than a person going into a half-way house, or entering probation. And it will only be after a few years of this kind of suspended sentence, so to speak, that they are allowed to apply for citizenship.

The costs of which, by the way, we should lower. We only encourage illegal immigration when we charge fees that nobody in a poor country could possibly afford. These large fees and economic requirements are a product of an age when folks were becoming increasingly xenophobic about contamination of America by foreign races, inferior strains of humanity.

A concern, I would hope, we no longer have.

I don’t dispute that the incumbents in charge are going to be resistant to change. My philosophy is that we bend them until we break them. We see what they do under our pressure, and if they’re receptive, we have less reason to go after them. It’s a lot simpler, and economical to target the few that are unwilling to change things for challenge, than to challenge everybody who doesn’t initially do things as they are told.

But of course, it will help if folks see some of the other politicians go down first. I can’t say I’m fond of most of the Representatives and Senators out there, nor would I say most Democrats are.

I don’t believe in a balanced budget amendment. I know, heresy. It’s not because I’m fond of overspending. I just recall that we had to deficit spend to both fund recovery efforts during the Great Depression and during WWII, and that we survived far deeper debt, measuring by percentage of GDP, than we face now. If we had been budget hawks in that time, what would have come of it? What did come of it, when in the deflationary period of the Depression, Hoover tightened the belt, when later FDR did the same?

Sometimes you have to deal with your troubles right in there here and now, and worry about later, later. That seems to have been lost on today’s politics, which is always looking either so short term its not even funny, or is attacking problems at such a distant remove that there’s no effective prediction of how things will turn out. Debt should not be lightly taken on, but the option is on the table for a reason.

What we need to do is get realistic about our debt, and what we have to do to pay it down. Taxes might have to be raised, as we did in the wake of WWII. Austerity will have to be enforced, when this current emergency is over.

The Blue Dogs are actually supporting the more expensive alternative, according to the CBO. Did you know that? Fact of the matter is, this tendency to decide things by the political dogma of the right misses something very important: much of the costs overruns of their programs are due to a cozy relationship with the industry. The corruption is in the way the government is forbidden to bid down exorbinantly high costs, something they don’t do.

Republicans are pushing a pennywise, pound-foolish approach, where broad fiscal gestures of limited efficacy are favored over subtle, but crucial rules that help limit the costs.

We have to take a less reactionary approach to politics. The border wall is a reaction to what is mostly an internal enforcement problem. Our problem with illegal immigrants taking our jobs is all about declining labor standards making it easier for unscrupulous business owners to profit from the plight of their employees, and put competitive pressure on the more scrupulous to do the same.

Our problem is not merely budgetary, not merely fiscal, but economic. We have to get beyond the class-warfare to understand what the crucial relationships are, and to apply the rule of law fairly.

Ultimately, the parties aren’t the problem half so much as an identification of Americas fortunes in an egotistical fashion, where the success of an election or a party is more important than the success of the country. We should not be looking to score victories in the imaginary world of political dogma, only to lose in the Real world of policy and its consequences for our rigid thinking.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 12, 2009 9:01 AM
Comment #284364

Stephen

You and other Democrats need to move on to explaining and defending Democratic programs. Leave out the “Republicans still …”

Democrats own the government and control all the instruments of power. You can argue that they do not own the origin of the problem, but they certainly own the solution and it is a perfectly valid question to ask if their solution (such as the stimulus) is working.

Did Democrats get this right? If not, what mistakes did they make and how should they correct them? Forget the Republicans for the time being. The Democrats own everything, how are we doing under their stewardship?

Posted by: Christine at July 12, 2009 9:42 AM
Comment #284366

Partisan bickering and obstructionism is having the effect of alienating voters from both the democrats and the republicans. Many will be doing as I have for several elections now, no longer casting a vote for either party.

The third party platforms don’t address any of the nations problems to the degree necessary in my opinion but the “power struggle” between reds and blues is getting rather tiresome. As DAN often reminds us if we keep voting along party lines we have the government we deserve.

Seems to me that the rise of independent voters has little to do with the third party platforms, to a certain degree. It has more to do with the fact that the two major parties are just full of poop and keep using us voters as a commode.
but that’s just my opinion… I could be wrong.

Posted by: NapaJohn at July 12, 2009 10:59 AM
Comment #284377
NapaJohn wrote: Partisan bickering and obstructionism is having the effect of alienating voters from both the democrats and the republicans.
True.

As it has also occurred in the past (e.g. 1929, 1931, 1933, and 1993).

Partisan loyalists loathe that and would prefer you don’t say it anymore, because they want so very badly to believe that THEIR party is better than the OTHER party.

But increasing pain and misery from decades of irresponsibility, incompetence, and corruption of so many FOR-SALE, incomptent, and corrupt incumbent politicians in BOTH parties continues to grow worse and worse, and will continue to do so until enough voters understand it, and finally do their job, which is pullin’ the party-lever and NOT repeatedly rewarding failure and corruption with 85%-to-90% re-election rates.

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

Posted by: d.a.n at July 12, 2009 2:52 PM
Comment #284378

CORRECTION: … which is [NOT by] pullin’ the party-lever and NOT repeatedly …

Posted by: d.a.n at July 12, 2009 3:28 PM
Comment #284380

what concerns me is the following.
Obama was elected for a change from 40 yrs where republican ideology virtually ruled the day, “Center/Right” was as left as federal governance ran, when it wasn’t leaning destructively toward “Hard stupid right”. It was an Ideology that had clearly and obviously run it’s course and proved itself to be extremely toxic.
The “Liberal Media” gave Nero Bush Jr a virtual completely free ride until after he was re-elected, and the electorate, is largely made up of ill informed people, who just believe what they are told by the media. George W Nero set the fires in his first Term and the media started reporting this long after the fire department should have been on the scene, after his re-election. Only then did a large enough majority of the electorate figure out, what they should have known.
Obama needs to take dramatic steps, and the right wing fear monger media will win the battle of “UnAmerican Socialism!” because 90% of the american Public is ignorant and believe whatever nonsense they are told by the thoroughly manipulative agenda driven televised media. A media That even intentionally and sucessfully spread a falsehood about itself - That it has a “Liberal ” biase. That was a long time ago…

I actually think our country is in deeper crap than most think, reform is absolutely neccessary and isn’t truly possible because backwards people have megaphones and the electorate is lazy and ill-informed.

Posted by: danjhag11 at July 12, 2009 3:43 PM
Comment #284384

danjhag

I remember the time before the change. You are talking about the 1970? It was not so good. Most of the things we fear might happen back then actually were the way things were back then, even the air was dirtier. We don’t want to go back to that.

Posted by: Christine at July 12, 2009 7:55 PM
Comment #284387

Christine-
Recall that this is what the Republicans fought against, for the most part, as a party.

I read something in Business Week, from not too long ago, which says that inflation is the last problem we have. Yet the Rebublicans are still treating our economic troubles as if they were those of the seventies and eighties.

If I could sum up the real problem, it’s that consumers are unable to support the consumer economy like they have been doing. And they haven’t been doing that without the help of tons and tons of financing, which the banks are either unable or unwilling to lend. Because all that capital isn’t flowing, because people are losing their jobs left and right, and because the Fed was already gone as far in as it can go with Interests rates, lending at zero, There’s a big hole in demand. And that big hole in Demand is causing many businesses to contract, which in turn is causing people to lose their jobs, lose their ability to pay for things…

…which turns into nice, vicious cycle, at least somewhat like that of the Great Depression.

Republicans are opposing stimulus and aid programs in the name of fiscal sanity. But historically, in deflationary periods, you don’t want to do that. As attractive as a balanced budget is, The greater priority is getting money back into the economy, and the creation of new jobs.

Much as we might have felt better, after the initial running around screaming “ohmygodweareallgoingtodie!”, we still have the same problem, and its lagging on our economy.

The question is, are we going to do the politically correct thing, according to years of Republican Dogma, which so far has had a lousy record of vindication, or are we going to do what has proven historically effective?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 12, 2009 8:40 PM
Comment #284391

I think the rise of Stephen Colbert as spokesman for the Republican party says it all….:)

Posted by: gergle at July 12, 2009 9:26 PM
Comment #284392

S.D.
All this talk about how the Republicans are screwing up. I think it’s time to look at the mistakes of the Democratic party. We have a growing deficit, almost double digit unemployment. Your party has control, get on their asses and quit whining about the Republicans, they are a non issue. By the way I hope someone gets some fiscal responsibility, neither party is doing to good a job right now.

Posted by: KAP at July 12, 2009 9:30 PM
Comment #284395

KAP-
The mistakes of the Democratic Party.

Let me enlighten you. Much of the current deficit comes from Bush Era programs. Six months of Obama doesn’t change the fact that we’re now counting Bush’s wars, his TARP program, and the Stimulus Package that Obama put together in order to deal with the staggering mess of an economy his predecessor left him to deal with.

And Double digit unemployment? Maybe two percent happened under Obama, and that two percent is largely the result of the economic collapse.

The Republicans are a non-issue because they got us in this mess, with years of promises and stubborn resistance to reform when previous catastrophic meltdowns of lesser scale made their effect felt. Some Democrats helped the Republicans, but this wasn’t their baby. It seems sick to me that some use Democrat’s collaboration with the Republicans on this count to try and defray the responsiblity, as if the Republicans didn’t spend most of the last thirty years advocating for their small government positions and taking the lead on the issue.

It’s time those on the right realize that they were wrong, and that it will take more than Obama’s failure for them to return to American’s good graces. Even if they gain a temporary boost from Obama’s fallen popularity, the resentment and memory of the previous failures will make advances tentative and poorly founded.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 12, 2009 11:38 PM
Comment #284396

Stephen,

We are politically diametrically opposed. I get it.

But it’s a little absurd to insist that the GOP admit everything they stand for is wrong or else you say they are … wrong? and don’t stand for anything but ‘failed policies’ It doesn’t make sense is all.

I disagree with your belief in big government and the further socialization of America. That’s not evil, it is dissent.

Anyway, I insist on your freedom to be wrong.

David,

You’re right. It did seem as if the dissent against Bush was without purpose didn’t it?

Posted by: eric at July 13, 2009 12:05 AM
Comment #284398

eric,

Without purpose?

Posted by: Marysdude at July 13, 2009 12:25 AM
Comment #284400

Stephen

Since Democrats control everything, it should really be possible to talk about the merits of the stimulus plan w/o reference to Republicans.

How is that stimulus doing? How much of the money has been usefully deployed? Is unemployment going to stay below 8%, as the Democrats promised? Were they wrong in their analysis or implementation? What changes would they have made in light of new information (or if they had read the original bill before passing it.)

The problem Democrats have is that they got used to blaming Republicans. That was their platform. Now that they have everything they said they needed to make big changes, they don’t know what to do. It is more fun just to blame than to do.

Gergle

I know you are joking re Colbert, but you actually make a point. Liberal commedians like Colbert do their impressions of conservatives and liberals mistake their own stereotype with reality.

Posted by: Christine at July 13, 2009 12:49 AM
Comment #284405

Christine, I’m glad I could actually make a point.

(This is a sarcastic impression of Stephen Colbert doing a liberal impression of a conservative impression:))

Posted by: gergle at July 13, 2009 2:24 AM
Comment #284406

Eric-
The trouble is, we’re not diametrically opposed. That’s the most serious delusion the right suffers from. Practically the whole point of my article is that the Republicans have essentially made themselves a party that is set up in negative reaction to the Democrats, with agreement and compromise dismissed because they would represent contamination with or appeasement of Liberalism.

There are so many things that Republicans were once willing to consider, or advocated themselves, that they have thrown away, because of this need to be not liberals. They used to have a nice group of liberals. But party leaders wanted what they have now: a rigid party structure that discourages members from taking individual initiative, or moderating party positions to suit their constituents.

Democrats sometimes pull their hair out over the willingness of their people to compromise, but they at least have people with enough give in them to both keep districts that aren’t purely party-oriented and to carry out the spirit of what those districts wanted.

Republicans have determined that there is this one holy platform that must be paid obeisance ans worship, and anybody who deviates from it, is damned to political hell. I don’t believe this is an overstatement. You guys threw out a Senator, more or less, for not toeing the line on the Stimulus.

You guys were wrong not so much because your policies were conservative, but because there was only one set of policies that were approved, and everybody had to back them to the hilt. You couldn’t cast off ideology to respond pragmatically, you couldn’t decide that conservative and Republican ideals could be honored just as well by some other means. You painted yourselves into a corner and now celebrate the glory and purity of that corner.

This is no way to run a government. We don’t need people whose choices are predetermined when they face a world that is not.

The Republicans are making the decision right now, at a crucial point, that they are going to let nothing be done. After all they did to bring things to this point, they are unwilling to admit that the rest of the country needs and deserves an alternative political course.

You guys blew it. Either you were wrong philosophically, had bad ideas, or you expressed your philosophy in such an impractical way that you need to reconsider how you express it in practical terms. You’re like teenagers who just crashed the family car, but expect their parents to be lenient about the grounding.

It’s time to stop seeing these things in terms of you saving everybody else from themselves. People are right now trying to save this country from the effects of your party’s policies. I wouldn’t overestimate people’s patiences with your politician’s short memories.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 13, 2009 8:07 AM
Comment #284408

S.D.
NEWS FLASH!!!! As of Jan.,2009 Democrats control the country. This whole mess we’re all in is a two party F—KUP.

Posted by: KAP at July 13, 2009 8:52 AM
Comment #284409

S.D.
LET ME ENLIGHTEN YOU. Congress has an approval rate lower than whale crap, and DEMOCRATS have had control since 2006. It’s time Stephen you come to the realization that Democrats have screwed up to. Democrats added almost 1 Trillion to the deficit in a stimulus package and talk about another stimulus to add to it and promissed that unemployment would not go above 8% which is now 9.5% and growing.

Posted by: KAP at July 13, 2009 9:52 AM
Comment #284509


Today, Senator Dodd said that the Senate health committee just passed what the American people want, mandatory health insurance. Everyone must buy health insurance either individually or through their employer and the government will help pay the premiums of those who can’t afford it. A family of four making $88,000 per year or less will be eligible for government assistance.

The healthcare insurance corporations are dancing in the streets and this is just a committee vote.

I can see those healthcare costs falling can’t you.

Posted by: jlw at July 15, 2009 12:49 PM
Comment #284523

KAP-
You have an unrealistic notion of control, the kind typically seen among those making arguments mainly from political rhetoric.

Nobody controls the economy absolutely. Our policies can only have effects. Some might blame the party in control, but while they are responsible for the economy now, that doesn’t mean the people currently in charge are at fault for the situation.

If Republicans had done but a few things differently during the last decade, we would not be in this situation. The policies were things that they enthusiastically favored.

We can’t just elect away the results. It will take hard work and wise action by those in charge. But the reason people went for the Democrats is that the Republicans made poor judgments, and have made no indication that they wish to correct those mistakes. People elected Obama and the other Democrats because they had at least the hope that those people would not continue the errors.

And let me tell you: it’s not necessary the politicians who are going to make the difference, but the voters, and Democratic voters are not going to let things lie.

Democrats aren’t doing everything right. You don’t need to tell me that. But how willing were Republicans during the Bush Administration and their Congressional Majority to confront them on their conduct?

How willing are they now? It seems there is no will among the Republicans to correct the mistakes, only the heedless need to reconquer lost territory. As such, they’ve used their power to disrupt majority control however they could, with a mind to sinking poll ratings.

But if you look at the polls, really look at them, at the breakdowns according to party, according to who’s trusted, the Republicans are not coming out on top, and they are fielding much of the blame for their sabotage of Democratic control of the government.

Polls can change. If the Democrats are able to break the Republicans at key points, then they will be able to freely express their agenda, which is popular among many voters. The Republicans will then get much less credit for any further developments than they otherwise could.

But in this entry, I go further to make a moral point, which is that the Republicans are holding our country hostage, letting serious problems get worse, in order to sink the popularity of their rivals. Rather than work with them to both regain their reputation for good policy work, and
answer the policy nees of the American people, they are intentionally forcing gridlock onto our government in order to make their opponents look bad.

That is their priority, and it is wrong. Better to let the Democrats have the chance to make things worse and then mercy kill those policies responsibly, than to pre-empt any kind of solutions whatsoever, just for appearances sake. The Republican policy is no policy, just the prevention of policy and the short circuiting of legitimate government authority.

jlw-
No more tossing people for pre-existing conditions. Doctors visits must be covered. They won’t be able to inflate premiums, because otherwise people will go running to the public option. That’s just a few examples of why they are putting such a fight up against this.

Plus, if the public option becomes popular enough, people might look into the public option becoming the main option.

Yes, they will be dancing in the streets, but as per that old Eagles’ song, some folks will dance to remember the good old days, and some dance to forget.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 15, 2009 5:33 PM
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