DEMOCRAT Obstructionism

President Barack Obama branded Republicans last week as ‘electoral opportunists’ more concerned about their own interests than the people’s, taking a political risk by escalating criticism of the very lawmakers he’s urging to work with him.

Are you kidding me?

This is a man that ran for President after serving 180 days as junior Senator from Illinois.   He barely got used to his Senate office before he headed off to New Hampshire and Iowa.  This is President who ignored the minority party for one year, because he had the majority and didn’t care.  He loafed around Washington as a virtual king, declaring his policy as dictates.

Now, he is crticizing the Republicans for political opportunism?

The irony of all this is the opportunity, as Obama describes it, comes directly from Democrat incompetence.

I am sick and tired of leftist blaming Republicans for their inadequacies.  Democrats had a filibuster proof majority in the Senate, and a 79 vote majority in the House.  Let us face facts:  Republicans were IRRELEVANT for much of 2009.  That is why Barack Obama and the Congressional leadership didn’t worry about bipartisanship…they didn’t need any to get their agenda passed.  They were more than happy to go on a down the line party vote every time, and ignore the ineffectual minority.

And now, they want to blame Republicans for obstructionism?  That doesn’t meet the sniff test.

The final nail in the coffin of the mirage of Republican obstructionism was Evan Bayh’s retirement yesterday.  In his farewell address, Bayh basically blamed Republicans for the lack of legislative successes in Washington.

“There is too much partisanship and…too much narrow ideology” in Washington, Bayh said. “Even at a time of enormous national challenge, the people’s business is not getting done.”

Yes.  And whose fault is that?  Not the Republicans.  I wholly admit that the Republicans, with no other path open to them, chose to be as obstructionist as possible.  What choice was there?  Obama didn’t want to talk to them, and there was no hope of bipartisanship from this Congress.  They were forced to choose the only road open to them.

And even at that…the truth is they had no power to achieve their goal of obstruction.

That role fell to moderate Democrats, such as Bayh himself.  The seven or so true moderate Democrats in the Senate were the true obstructionists.  If they wanted, they could have voted for Nancy Pelosi’s grand takeover of health care.  They could have voted for cap-and-trade.  And many could have, and did, vote for Obama’s Stimulus debacle.

But they didn’t.  Why?  Because they were worried about their political futures.  Simply put, they were political opportunists, just like Obama himself was accusing Republicans of being.  If they truly believed in the cause, they could have stopped any filibuster and moved forward.  But they didn’t.

Obama and Democrats will try to lay the do-nothing label on Republicans.  But the public, for all their ambivalence toward either party, understands a simple fact:  the failure to do anything ultimately lies at the feet of the incompetent Democrat Party.

3 thoughts on “DEMOCRAT Obstructionism

  • February 16, 2010 at 10:18 pm
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    “Barack Obama and the Congressional leadership didn’t worry about bipartisanship…they didn’t need any to get their agenda passed. They were more than happy to go on a down the line party vote every time, and ignore the ineffectual minority.”

    Yeah, right. Let’s be honest about things, OK?

    It’s been too easy to chronicle the many instances in which congressional Republicans have announced their opposition to ideas they also support. From a deficit commission to PAYGO, cap-and-trade to a financial industry bailout, civilian trials for terrorist suspects to stimulus aid for their districts, it’s become routine for Republicans to embrace and reject the same proposals, almost at the same time. Let’s start with the health reform debate.

    On an individual mandate as part of health care reform, Republicans oppose their own idea. For Republicans, the idea of requiring every American to have health insurance is one of the most abhorrent provisions of the Democrats’ health overhaul bills.

    “Congress has never crossed the line between regulating what people choose to do and ordering them to do it,” says Orrin Hatch (R-UT). “The difference between regulating and requiring is liberty.”

    But Hatch’s opposition is politically motivated. The last time Congress debated a health overhaul, when Bill Clinton was president, Hatch and several other senators who now oppose the so-called individual mandate supported a bill that would have required it.

    In fact, the individual mandate was originally a Republican idea, invented by Mark Pauly to give to George Bush Sr. as a competition to the employer mandate focus of the Democrats at the time.

    If we could expect consistency and intellectual seriousness from GOP lawmakers, it would be almost bewildering.

    Over the summer, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) told Fox News, “I believe that there is a bipartisan consensus to have individual mandates…. There isn’t anything wrong with it.” A few months later, he used individual mandates as an excuse to oppose reform, and voted for a resolution characterizing mandates as unconstitutional.

    Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Bob Bennett (R-Utah), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), and Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) all declared their opposition to an individual mandate in December. All five of them are on record co-sponsoring a reform measure that included an individual mandate.

    The point here is not just to highlight the bizarre inconsistencies of Republican opponents of health care reform. This is also important in realizing why bipartisanship on health care has been quite literally impossible — Republicans are willing to reject measures they’ve already embraced, and ideas they themselves came up with.

    All the Democratic outreach and compromise options in the world can’t overcome the fundamental lack of honesty that comes with a party that opposes and supports the same ideas at the same time.

  • February 17, 2010 at 6:22 am
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    Agreed…but there are some things they can compromise on, and others that they won’t. Democrats are also drawing a line where they won’t compromise…take the individual mandate. As soon as you draw lines like that, it is very hard to compromise, isn’t it?

  • February 17, 2010 at 4:58 pm
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    Neo… Republicans were FOR individual mandates… until Democrat legislators agreed with them. Now they are against them? How can anyone expect to work with a minority party that can’t even say yes to things they support?

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