Monday, November 26, 2007

The Truth about the "Do Nothing Congress"

Obstructionism as a strategy is working for the Republicans.  They are making it look like the Congress is doing nothing.  Of course Congress is getting an approval rating in the teens!  Republicans are putting up walls, blocking legislation, and threatening to filibuster anything that moves and President Bush does his part by vetoing any bill that gets through the Senate's gauntlet. 

Republicans want to tear down the temple in the hope that both parties will be equally discredited in the rubble. This is akin to someone mugging the postman and then complaining that the mail isn’t delivered on time.

and from Robert Borosage in Campaign for America's Future 

Their strategy is clear – and very likely to work. The public expects the party in charge to get things done. Excuses are largely dismissed as political bickering. The Republican minority blocks popular reforms and then charges Democrats with running a “do-nothing Congress.” For scandal-stained Republican legislators yoked to an unpopular president pursing an unpopular debacle in Iraq, this may be their best hope for survival.

It works, of course, only if the public doesn’t learn of it.

The second half of the strategy is to then blame Democrats for not getting anything done! Bush will veto a bill (See SCHIP, or the supplementary funding bill for the Iraq war) because it doesn't suit his rigid ideology and then blame Congress for not passing a bill that he can sign.

Shine a light on this behavior!  Help point out every obstructionist policy that is being used to thwart the actions of Congress and the American people.  Trent Lott said it best, "Sometimes the obstructionist strategy can work for us or it can work against us." If we learn about this behavior and report it when it occurs, the strategy will fail.  Evidence of the success of pointing out the egregious behavior of our radical republican obstructionists can be found in Australia  where Conservative Prime Minister, John Howard, was defeated handily. Not only was he defeated but he was denied even a seat in the Aussie parliament, the first such ignominy suffered by a party leader in 78 YEARS!    

Mr. Howard has now joined the

COALITION OF THE DEFEATED: Like Britain's Tony Blair, Italy's Silvio Berlusconi, and Spain's Jose Maria Aznar before him, John Howard suffered greatly from his decision to participate in Bush's "coalition of the willing." His full-throated support for the Iraq war hurt him domestically. More than 60 percent of Australians want forces out of Iraq within a year, and Rudd pledged that Australian troops would leave by mid-2008 after consultations with the United States and the United Kingdom. Analysts noted that Bush "was a little more isolated in the world Sunday" after the loss of his close Australian ally.

Be vigilant.  Point out the failing strategy of the radical republicans wherever it occurs. Here's a start: Republican filibusters have been used to

block efforts to bring the troops home from Iraq, to frustrate passage of clean energy legislation, to block giving Medicare the power to negotiate lower prices for prescription drugs, and much more.
and just recently,
the resolution offered by Sen. James Webb, D-Va., and Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., to guarantee the soldiers fighting in Iraq adequate home rotations.

Keep watch. Keep close watch.

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