The airwaves and blogrolls and editorial pages and lecterns are filled with acrimony decrying the "partisanship" in Congress, but only by Republicans. Those making most noise are either ignorant, hypocritical or stupid, and by the way it it possible to be all three.
From January 2008 well into January 2010 the Democrats have had super-majorities in the House of Representatives and Senate plus the King Democrat in the White House. For twelve months the Democrats have needed not one Republican vote to pass any legislation, but they did need every Democratic vote in the Senate. Despite this incredible legislative advantage Democrats were unable to rush through any health care legislation, evidently because of Republican partisanship.
While the votes are there to pass any legislation, the Democrats have had difficulties because the legislation they have wanted passed that has run into difficulties has been bad legislation. The problems President Obama, Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid have had has not been Republican partisanship, but rather lack of partisanship within their own party. Democrats who have recognized the ruinous bills put forth by Pelosi and Reid for health care reform has either balked considerably to pass the bills, or as is the case with many Democrats in the House, have voted against the legislation.
So Obama decrying the partisanship in Congress, despite being extremely hypocritical, is right. His problem is partisanship, or rather lack of it as members of his party have rejected the hard swing left in policy taken by party leadership. Representing their constituents and not the ideals of a San Francisco liberal or a Chicago party loyalist, so called Blue Dog Democrats have refused to toe the party line. But their not being partisan has become a rallying cry and issue for attacking Republicans.
How ignorant is this form of attack? The elitist mentality that has driven the legislative agenda and pursuit of massive health care reform and full government control of the health care industry in American is one that presumes we are dumb and cannot do the math for ourselves. The arrogance of power and position has enabled Obama, Pelosi, Reid and their allies in the press to lambaste Republicans for blocking health care reform thinking you and I, and Uncle Joe in Oshkosh and Aunt Marie in Albuquerque are too dumb to know it is not Republicans that are preventing them from waltzing legislation through Congress but their own party members.
Fortunately, despite that fact that half of America is below average in intelligence, it does not take much intelligence to figure this one out. Are Republicans being partisan? You betcha! (And thank goodness.) But aren't they supposed to be? John Boehner won a Republican primary in his district in Ohio and then won the general election running, get this, as a Republican! He told the citizens of his district the values he held, the issues as he saw them and the solutions he would have. He was very clear with his positions and that he is a Republican. And he won the election. So did almost two hundred other members of the House who won Republican primaries and then general elections with (R) next to their name.
It is evidently the position of Obama, and Reid, and Pelosi, and liberal media pundits and editors, that now that they are in Congress they are to come under the messianic spell that dumbfounded the majority of American voters in 2008 and cast aside their party affiliations and vote the way our President desires. For Obama and the Democratic leadership their ideological objectives are more important than representation of the people of the United States. The majority of constituents in Pelosi's district in San Francisco are thrilled with her health care proposal, the majority of Rep. Hal Rogers' (R-KY) district however is against it. As are the majority of residents in Rep. Heath Shuler's (D-NC) district.
What is really either upsetting or hilarious is the gall of Obama to try to play the partisan card on Republicans. When he did vote, Obama voted straight down Democratic party lines during his stint in the Illinois legislature and his few years in the Senate. He voted against President Bush nominees for the Supreme Court (twice) against appointments to the U.N. and cabinet positions. Where was he when the Gang of 14 was established? Hiding in the Democratic cloakroom. Obama was a Democratic party hack while representing the people of Illinois, and now he expects the Republican members of Congress to betray their constituents and follow his extremely liberal agenda. His agenda is more important than their integrity. Talk about arrogance, my ideas are more important than your ideals--or those of the people you represent.
Maybe to get around the partisanship he is suddenly so concerned with Obama should scrap the Democrats agenda and listen to the Republican agenda. Put tort reform in any health care bill, allow insurance companies to offer health insurance nationwide to expand competition and opportunities, make permanent the Bush tax cuts. Try those positions on Mr. President and then talk to the American people about partisan politics.
When creating our government the framers of the Constitution put in roadblocks to prevent legislative abuse of power. They established a system of government based upon checks and balances with equal powers granted to the Legislative, Judicial and Executive branches. Within the Legislative branch further checks and balances were created with a bicameral legislature. For over two centuries this form of government has been better than any in the history of man in representing the people being governed and preventing run-away abuse of powers by a small cadre of leaders.
Today, because their own bad ideas, their own pushing of policy that is far beyond the desires of members of their own party Obama and Democratic leadership are failing to push through legislation that forever alters the American landscape. Being true partisans they do not put the blame for their failures where they belong, on themselves and members of their own party who are needed to pass any legislation, but instead blame their political opposition for being partisan. I ask again, ignorant, hypocritical or stupid?
When President Bush was unable to get judicial nominees through Senate confirmation because of the cloture rules (filibuster) and needing sixty votes to get to an up or down vote, being blocked by Senate Democrats like Harry Reid and Barack Obama, many Republicans wanted the Senate Majority leadership (then Republican) to engage in the "nuclear" option and change the rules so that judicial confirmations needed only a majority vote and not be subject to filibuster. Led by John McCain on the Republican side, fourteen Senators came together and agreed to a set of judicial nominees and guidelines to enable some Bush appointees, but not all, to be confirmed and seated. Today the same rules apply in the Senate because level heads prevailed.
Now to get around the rules in Congress the troika of Obama, Pelosi and Reid are cooking up schemes to push their health care legislation through Congress, avoiding their own party members and forever changing how legislation is done in Congress. A word of warning to the Democrats: you will not be in the majority forever, at some point Republicans will have control of one or both the House and the Senate and may follow any precedents you sent.