Thursday, July 17, 2008
Is it wise for Nancy Pelosi, who has accomplished essentially nothing since she has become Speaker of the House and notched the lowest approval ratings for any Congress since the invention of public opinion polling, to call George W. Bush a "total failure"? Whether or not it is true, does it not beg an obvious question: If Bush is such a failure, why haven't the Democrats been able to enact any significant plank in their platform over his objection in the 19 months since they have been in control of the Congress? It is hard to imagine any fact more damning of Pelosi's tenure as Speaker.
Well, it's all so simple:
Nancy Pelosi is actually living in an alternate space-time continuum in which Bush really is a failure!
Therefore, Nancy Pelosi make her observations without irony and sense of shame since, as George Costanza of "Seinfeld" once put it:
"It's not really a lie...if you believe it."
Hard to improve on that one, Mark.
Besides, the President has accomplished a few things since he was elected, so if Pelosi had any credibility at all we would only be able to conclude that she is a liar.
"Nancy Pelosi is actually living in an alternate space-time continuum in which Bush really is a failure!"
Well, duh. She lives in San Francisco. It's been in an alternate space-time continuum since at least 1968.
Dubya has had some serious weaknesses as President, but he's been a rock on the war. Sadly, the best I think he can hope for is a Truman-style rehabilitation in about 20 years (around when presidential papers start getting declassified).
The failure here is McCain. It puzzles me to no end that McCain has Congress to run against, and he hasn't, and Energy Independence to use as a campaign theme par excellence, and he hasn't.
It's just strange; does he even want to win? Is he even awake?
The current state of our politics is ridiculous. This is the exact reason why so many voters have become disillusioned with the system. Bush is not justified in his comments, but Pelosi needs to take the high road, along with realizing her own shortcomings. Heres is my take on it... http://www.semipolitico.com
I suspect (and also hope) that the McCain campaign is holding its collective fire until closer to the big day, when more regular folks (as opposed to political junkies) are paying attention. They are merely sparring now, in order to save their biggest shots for when they will have their strongest effect. I imagine it'll be a shock for many people to hear clips of Jeremiah Wright's 'sermons' around late September.
Maybe this congress got little done due to a record-setting filibuster count by the minority that tried to ban them when in power because they were deemed abusive.
The Republicans considered changing the rules to bar filibusters of judicial appointments, which are arguably unconstitutional. They never tried to ban the filibuster of legislation. You're on firmer ground if you say that Harry REid was regularly outmaneuvered by Mitch McConnell, which I count as a good thing.
I would hardly call stagnating the process with pointless procedure "outmaneuvering." Republicans wouldn't have gotten a whole lot done either under similar conditions, where everything is held to a 60% vote and more than 40% of the legislature refuses to work with you. This impact percolates into the House when one considers the incentive scheme; why try hard for something that will die a slow death in the Senate anyway?
I'll give you that the monumental number of filibusters is impressive, but I don't consider that a mark against the Democrats. It's this kind of ridiculousness (in addition to the Foley, Craig and Vitter stuffm for example) that feeds the party-over-policy image that Republicans have acquired in some circles, (no, not 'librul, San-Francisco-values' circles,) and you can wear that badge with pride if you want; I wouldn't.
I am not arguing that the procedure is bad, merely that the procedure can be abused. In a metaphor, carrots are a good thing to give your kid, but force-feeding your child bags and bags carrots at once is a bad thing. This is a common and obvious distinction between problems of presence and problems of degree. To defend against accusations of abuse by responding as if they were accusations as to the method is a wee bit misleading.
It's tough to be the party of the "up-or-down vote" with a record count of filibusters this Congressional session. Further, the frequent threat of filibuster when McConnell has proven that he will marshal the follow-through stagnates legislation even further. Holding all initiatives to a supermajority standard is petty and counterproductive, or in the words of former minority whip Trent Lott (R-MS), "obstructionist." Don't make sure nothing happens and then complain that nothing got done.
This Congress has discussed: re-instituting the draft, ending funding for the military, impeaching the sitting President because they don't like his policies, and, most recently, raising taxes on gasoline.
Not to disagree that it can be abused (of course, humans abuse everything!) but that kind of hare-brained stupidity deserves to be filibustered and obstructed.
But if it doesn't, and it is a legitimate abuse, the bums responsible should be tossed out in the next elections. But there is a lot of room for legitimate disagreement here. Just because you (for example, I've no idea of your actual political leanings) feel that something is a good idea and should be discussed and voted upon does not mean that others don't feel that it's an abomination to be stopped at any cost. *shrugs* Such is representative government.
Besides, in my experience the less Congress does, the better it is for everyone. The idea that 'the government needs to do something' for every little crisis is a relatively recent invention and, as elderly or astute observers may notice, never works right because they always fuck it up.
Bush is the worst president in American history. Bush facilitated the 9/11 attacks. Subsequently, Bush lied to Congress and the American people relative to the reasons for invading Iraq. Bush purposefully misled Congress and the American people. Then, Bush murdered more than 4,000 United States service members. And Bush wounded more than 30,000 United States service members. In torturing prisoners of war, Bush patently violated the Geneva Convention. Bush unlawfully wiretapped United States citizens. In using “signing statements” to challenge hundreds of laws passed by Congress, Bush violated the Constitution. Bush has ignored global warming. Bush is guilty of criminal negligence relative to the response to Hurricane Katrina. Bush disobeys our democratic values and Constitution. Bush is a disgrace to the United States.
Pelosi is right: Bush is indeed a total failure.
Submitted by Andrew Yu-Jen Wang
B.S., Summa Cum Laude, 1996
Messiah College, Grantham, PA