Dec 16, 2010

Republican stubbornness wins again

For g-d's sake. Harry Reid just announced that he's ending the Democrats' effort to pass an omnibus spending bill that would keep the government up-and-running until the end of September. Why? Oh, you don't even have to ask: it's because the Republicans are being intransigent, stubborn blowhards (to borrow a phrase from David Letterman). They refuse to vote on the bill because they want to wait and pass a spending bill when they have more power in January. Of course, they're claiming that it's because Reid's bill is too filled with earmarks and would take too long to read and understand. Instead they want to pass a one-page bill that'll keep the government in operation until mid-February, by which time they will have taken control of the House.

Never mind that a number of Republicans - McConnell, Thune, Cornyn - who say they oppose the bill because it has earmarks have had to face questions about why they included earmarks for their own districts. Shockingly, they couldn't quite come up with answers. More shockingly, this was somehow not blasted all over every newspaper front page today. Instead, it has come to this (from the Times):

Mr. Reid in floor remarks on Thursday night said that he had spoken with Republican senators who had previously expressed a willingness to support the spending bill and concluded they would not vote for it.

“They’re not going to support this legislation,” Mr. Reid said. “We now have a simple choice. Are we going to help people in America?” He added, “The answer appear that it’s going to be no.”
As depressing as it is to say this, at this point I think that all we can hope for is that next year the Democrats show some of the same backbone the Republicans have for the past two years. I'm not usually a fan of behaving like a child, especially in politics, but it's clear that for far too long the Republicans have been stubborn enough to get what they want, even when they're in the minority, and it's time that the Democrats start wielding that kind of power too. 
This whole thing also reminds me why we need a more powerful, progressive media in this country. If Democrats had said some of the nonsense that Republican earmark-requesters said yesterday about how bad earmarks are, you can bet executives at Fox News would have sent out talking points to all their reporters and commentators, and by this morning all we would have been hearing about would be the hypocrisy of the senators. Instead, here's what we got on the front page of the New York Times: "Democrats Yield as Senate Passes Tax Package." Sound familiar? And the earmarks story was on p. 27.

But you know who I wouldn't want to be right now? Harry Reid. If I was him I would go home at night and throw things at the wall out of frustration. And maybe, when I say "things," I mean "really sharp darts," and when I say "the wall" I mean "the picture on my wall of Mitch McConnell."

No comments:

Post a Comment