President Obama prepares to
face 112th Congress
I thought I had heard it all. Chris Matthews and Lawrence O'Donnell haranguing members of Congress for wanting to fight Obama's conciliation on tax cuts for the wealthy. When I heard that Bernie Sanders, independent Senator from Vermont and my hero, and Jim Demint were fighting on the same side on this issue, and in fact received emails encouraging me to write Demint supporting his position, I thought my head would explode.
Time to step back. It was not that long ago that we had a republic congress, a congress that would not even approve an increase in the minimum wage from $5.15 an hour, not even when gas prices went to $3.00 and over. The party of no was in power, and why were we surprised when they lost power that they only yelled louder.
The problem back in 2009 was that the most powerful Democratic Congress in my lifetime refused to use that power to its advantage. Instead, each individual considered its own little piece of power, and assisted the republic party in blocking important legislation, in order to demand ridiculous concessions. The health care bill was the epitome of self-defeating behavior. Bart Stupak insisting on anti-abortion legislation, while allowing people to continue to die without coverage. Ben Nelson's "cornhusker kickback" which was more egregious for not including Medicaid funds for all states than for the insistence on funds for Nebraska in return for his support of the bill. Blanche Lincoln, blue dog to the end, which came for her on November 2, when she lost to a real republican, insisted on gutting the public option from the bill.
These narcissists did not just vote against the bill, they voted to prevent the bill from being brought up to the floor for debate.
Makes a person proud to be a Democrat, yes?
And at the helm was a new young president who truly believed that if you treated Congress like adults they would act like adults.
So who is to blame for this current mess of a deal? The republic party appears to be the only group that is showing consistency. They may be in the pockets of the corporations, but they can be relied on.
Which is what the voters seemed to have wanted all along.