February 17, 2009
Genuine bipartisanship, assumes an honest process of give-and-take, and that the quality of the compromise is measured by how well it serves some agreed-upon goal, whether better schools or lower deficits. This in turn assumes that the majority will be constrained — by an exacting press corps and ultimately an informed electorate — to negotiate in good faith.
If these conditions do not hold — if nobody outside Washington is really paying attention to the substance of the bill, if the true costs . . . are buried in phony accounting and understated by a trillion dollars or so — the majority party can begin every negotiation by asking for 100% of what it wants, go on to concede 10%, and then accuse any member of the minority party who fails to support this 'compromise' of being 'obstructionist.'
President Barack Obama, The Audacity of Hope, 2006
Oddly enough, Congress didn't seem to get this memo. Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid railroaded through a wish-list of social welfare programs [including rolling back the Clinton-era welfare reforms] in a hastily-drafted, pork-laden monstrosity calling itself "stimulus." House Republicans were not invited in the drafting, nor were they permitted to amend it in any significant way. Senate Republicans were similary frozen out once three votes could be bought to prevent a filibuster.
"But it's an emergency!" we have been told. Whenever I hear a salesman start telling me I have to act now, this special won't last--that's called high-pressure. He's lying to me. This is such a big emergency that as soon as the "compromise" bill went through on the same party-line vote as the original pieces, the President promptly took a long weekend off before today's signing ceremony/photo-op.
This bill isn't about "stimulus" or "the economy." It's about pork, political payoffs, and increasing the control of the State over businesses. Especially health--but that's a topic for another post.
Posted by: Ben Ostrowsky at February 17, 2009 02:13 PM (m2neM)
Posted by: Kevin Pettway at February 28, 2010 07:34 PM (80DX0)
Comments are disabled. Post is locked.
44 queries taking 0.0357 seconds, 67 records returned.
Powered by Minx 1.1.6c-pink.