Cynical and Obvious
by Jason Williams, Wed Dec 01, 2010 at 01:24:23 PM EST
Senate Republicans to Reid: We'll hold our breath!
[W]e write to inform you that we will not agree to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to any legislative item until the Senate has acted to fund the government and we have prevented the tax increase that is currently awaiting all American taxpayers," the letter reads. "With little time left in this Congressional session, legislative scheduling should be focused on these critical priorities. While there are other items that mig ht ultimately be worthy of the Senate's attention, we cannot agree to prioritize any matters above the critical issues of funding the government and preventing a job-killing tax hike.
Unemployment benefits, DADT, the DREAM Act. Republicans are willing to block all major Dem initiatives unless they get their way on continued tax breaks for millionaires.
With this letter, they have simply put in writing the political strategy that the Republicans pursued this entire Congress: Namely, obstruct, delay action on critical matters, and then blame the Democrats for not addressing the needs of American people. Very cynical, but very obvious.
The obvious lesson to learn here is that Democrats just need to give in one more time, and the President needs to legitimize a few more Republican talking points. More "good faith" meetings with the 42 Senate Republicans who just agreed privately to block everything will surely do the trick. Stick hand out in concession, get bitten, repeat:
An extension, reform or expiration could've been pushed long ago. The White House, too, has kept asking for meetings and processes rather than simply using its leverage -- the veto pen -- to set a clear line in the sand and let Republicans decide how to respond. Despite controlling all branches of government and having the more popular position on the tax cuts, the Democrats have acted like a minority party in disarray.
Meanwhile, the Catfood Commission, in their "Moment of Truth," will recommend a stomp on the middle-class once they figure out exactly which pair of boots to wear to the party, and Republicans in the House prepare for a 112th Congress that will make Democrats long for the days when Republicans forced lengthy discussions over Bill Clinton's Christmas card list.
Dysfunctional is too mild a word.