Friday, January 30, 2009


In a refreshing show of unity, House Republicans voted against the new stimulus bill, a bill that the Wall Street Journal calls "a political wonder that manages to spend money on just about every pent-up Democratic proposal of the last 40 years" (article here).  

All of the Republicans voted against it.  Every last one.  Impressive.

While I do not hold strictly to the ideals of either left or right, I believe that we are indeed in an economic crisis right now, one partly of our government's creation.  As such, now is the time for reasoned discussion and bridge-building (both literal and figurative).  Bi-partisanship is not simply a nice idea, it is a neccesity during these times.

To say we haven't been seeing much bipartisanship in the House would be an understatement.  As Peggy Noonan aptly noted:

Consider the moment. House Republicans had conceded that dramatic action was needed and had grown utterly supportive of the idea of federal jobs creation on a large scale. All that was needed was a sober, seriously focused piece of legislation that honestly tried to meet the need, one that everyone could tinker with a little and claim as their own. Instead, as Rep. Mike Pence is reported to have said to the president, "Know that we're praying for you. . . . But know that there has been no negotiation [with Republicans] on the bill—we had absolutely no say." The final bill was privately agreed by most and publicly conceded by many to be a big, messy, largely off-point and philosophically chaotic piece of legislation. The Congressional Budget Office says only 25% of the money will even go out in the first year. This newspaper, in its analysis, argues that only 12 cents of every dollar is for something that could plausibly be called stimulus.

What was needed? Not pork, not payoffs, not eccentric base-pleasing, group-greasing forays into birth control as stimulus, as the speaker of the House dizzily put it before being told to remove it.

Read the entire post here.

Right she is.  It is ironic that House Democrats, upon gaining ascendency, promptly used their newfound power to shut down fairness rules that had been instituted for their benefit, and put together the only piece of legislation that could manage to unite every last splintered Republican into a single, angry body.  Well done, Nancy.

I mean, they just went nuts.  And, even though the bill passed, the Republicans sent a clear message: throwing a "we're in the majority" party is inappropriate right now.  We've got a sick nation to mend.

If Obama ever wants bipartisanship and change, he's going to have to see his House majority for what it is: a bloated good-ol'-boys network intent on solidifying their hold and pleasing their motley collection of interest-groups.    

Current attitudes must change.  The House should not be the playground of the current ruling party.  We're involved in serious times.  We should take this situtation seriously.  Obama must recognize that change in Washington often involves stomping members of his own party.  He's the president, it's his prerogative. 

So here's my advice.  Stomp Nancy Pelosi.  Threaten to veto any legislation that reeks of pork, no matter who came up with it.

But then again, this is Obama.  Chicago politics is the name of his game.  To that, I say: watch out, my pragmatic Mr. President.  Enjoy your majority while you can, because at this rate, it won't last.

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