There are days where I think that the Republicans in Congress are a group of extremely clever, smart and politically astute group of people, who I simply disagree with, and then there are days like today.
This little clip from Talking Points Memo speaks volumes on why the Republicans lost, and will continue to lose in the long run:
From a statement this morning by Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO), on his election as House minority whip:
“For twelve years, the Democrats have gotten away without leading, without offering an agenda, and without saying what they’re actually for. Now they will be forced to govern.
“Under this Republican leadership, the job of the Minority Whip will no longer be to go to the House floor every day and lose. Instead, each time we hold our team together and force the Democrats to vote like Democrats, we’ll be taking one more step toward recapturing our majority in 2008.
“One-hundred-forty-nine Democrats demonstrated yesterday that they are willing to buck Nancy Pelosi. We’ll work each day to give those Democrats a viable alternative to her liberal, San Francisco agenda."
Why do I think that Trends Negative for the Republicans? Frankly because the things that the Republican leadership thinks are hurting the Dems are what I see as helping them.
Blunt has already forgotten that it was not the case the Dems chose to do nothing, chose to offer nothing, or chose to place the burden of governance on the shoulders of those poor Republicans. Republicans completely locked Democrats out of all legislative processes for six years. (again, see Worst Congress Ever) After that, Democrats fought tooth and nail to take back congress and this country, and he calls that being, "forced to govern"? Frankly the Republicans forced the electorate to evict them, because of Republicans’ incapability to govern.
But with the prevailing attitude of today’s, "government doesn’t work, let us prove it" brand of Republican, that comes as no surprise.
Some Democrats think that Government is the cure for all problems in the world, Some think that Government needs to take a fill the basics approach, but overall, virtually every Democrat looks towards Government as something that is intended to be a force for good. A force to serve the majority and protect the minority. All Democrats think, within varying degrees, Government can work, and serve the electorate.
But the current crop of Republicans in charge of today’s Republican congress, almost without exception, tell us that Government is BAD. It cannot work. We hear this in every speech, in the platform, and in the behavior of the representatives themselves. And it should come as no surprise that the Republicans wanted no debate, worked the fewest hours in US Congressional history, produced terrible legislation, and viewed Government as their own personal Piggy Bank. They hated their jobs.
But now, if Blunt wants to offer alternatives that are better than those offered by the Democrats? Great! I want to see it. After all, if they bring forward legislation that improves the country, who do you think will get credit? The Dems. The Republicans proved that in the House, no legislation goes forward without the Majority explicitly approving it. Blunt will not have any opportunity to press radical legislation forward, but sane, compromise legislation should see the light of day, and that won’t placate the remaining Republican voting base, now will it?
Blunt seems to think that the Dems are looking to be as radical as Republicans have been, but that has never been the case. Dems aren’t unified enough to be that way. We argue. We bicker. We (gasp!) DEBATE. It’s called Democracy. His input strengthens our position, not weakens it. And after all, we want Republicans to participate, for two main reasons.
- The more voices in the debate, the better the final result. This is the positive reinforcement for including the minority, after all, some of their ideas will be better than ours, and we should not bypass the opportunity to adopt them.
- If everyone participates, then it’s harder to point fingers when things go wrong. This is the negative reinforcement for including the minority. If Republicans included the Democrats more, then they would not have shouldered so much of the blame for bad policy and scandal.
For the Republicans to come around now and tell us what a burden the governance of this country will be, and how we will regret it, speaks much more on how they felt with that burden, as a group who hated Government in the abstract, and failed running it in Reality. If they hated it so much, I am glad that we can be of assistance by removing that burden from their shoulders.
I have to agree with the final comment from Talking Points memo on that one:
Bring it on.