They're Taking Slash-and-Burn to ExtremesFuture retribution? Damned straight. Like next election, you freaking creeps...if the election's not rendered crippled by your voting machines.
Congress's minority parties have suffered indignities for decades, but few could top the insult that Republicans dealt to Democrats this fall. When House-Senate negotiators began a series of closed-door sessions to craft an ambitious Medicare overhaul, GOP Rep. Bill Thomas summarily announced that he would allow not a single House Democrat -- and only two Senate Democrats -- in. His edict was a jaw-dropper, given Congress's long history of letting each party appoint its own representatives to these all-important "conference committees." To add injury to insult, the banned lawmakers included the Senate's Democratic leader, Tom Daschle.
What's taking place is more than bare-knuckled partisanship, though there's plenty of that. A potent confluence of events and personalities is changing Congress. Will that matter beyond the Beltway, or even Capitol Hill? Republicans say the Medicare bill would have come out the same even with a semblance of greater Democratic input. But some congressional scholars see tactics that, while perhaps ruthlessly expedient in the short run, seem destined to generate future animosity and retribution. "I honestly believe that policy suffers when enacted in this way," says Thomas Mann, who monitors Congress for the Brookings Institution. "There really is something to be said for a more open, deliberative process where you give full airing to issues and you try to build a larger majority. I don't believe major social changes are sustainable with margins like this."
Saturday, December 20
If We Don't Hand These Guys Their Asses Next November...
...we can only blame ourselves when this crap continues. From tomorrow's WaPo:
Posted by Howard Hoffman at 5:30 PM