March 27, 2010
Can the Republican Party’s Audacity of “Nope” strategy succeed? At what point will the American people, a vast majority of whom – including myself – would prefer bipartisan cooperation, hold the Republican Party accountable for adopting their just say “no” tactical approach? As the Republican Party drifts further to the right, inexorably drawn in that direction by the most vocal elements in their base, will Republican moderates survive the Party’s primary culling process? If they don’t, can the hard-right winners prevail over Democrats in November?
The Democrats have primary litmus tests of their own, wielded by their most vocal activists, progressives sorely disappointed by the lack of a public option in the health care bill. If hard left candidates run against hard right candidates in the fall, what will moderate and independent voters do? Stay tuned . . .the answer to this question may determine the future of our republic. However, patience, length of memory and depth of understanding are all characteristics for the possession of which voters as a group are not generally renowned.
From a hope-diminishing morass of opposition party obstructionism and majority party lack of discipline, plus procedural maneuvering aimed at exploiting both, President Obama and Democratic House and Senate leaders rescued the Senate health care bill, and eliminated the worst amendments added to secure 60 votes. As the many benefits of health care reform roll out over the next two election cycles, they must help strengthen the economy first and foremost. Here’s hoping . . .
Ed Byrne, firstname.lastname@example.org
As a member of the “obstructionist, hope diminishing morass of opposition party” I would like to respond to Ed Byrne (Editorial Advisory Board, March 27). Reasonable people of opposing points of view can, and should, agree that the manner in which Obama Care became law was appalling. It is true that the legislation does not have bipartisan support — despite the fact that the president`s platform of hope and change promised us “an end to partisan politics as usual in Washington.”
People could use some help in understanding how the president might get bipartisan agreement on a piece of legislation that bitterly divides the country. Let me start with examples of how not to gain bipartisan support:
1. Exclude members of the minority party from committees drafting the legislation. 2) Write legislation that guarantees no minority party support. 3) Have a nationally televised summit to hammer out differences between the two parties, including the president, speaker of the house, senate majority leader and vice president and make sure that their facial expressions convey their disdain, contempt and boredom for the minority party`s ideas. 4) Remind the minority party that their vote is not necessary to passing the legislation. 5) When the filibuster-proof majority is lost in the Senate, threaten to use the reconciliation process to pass the legislation anyway. 6) Vote down each and every amendment offered by the minority party to eliminate the need to send the bill back to the House. 7) Have the speaker of the house say on national television that the bill will have to be signed so that people can read it. 8) Have the president fill a budgetary shortfall of $38 billion in the legislation by seizing control of the student loan program. 9) Have the legislation be extremely unpopular with half the country and vilify the opposing half with derision. 10) Have the legislation be unconstitutional.
One final point, economic literacy is very useful when reordering one-sixth of the economy. Passing this legislation the same week that, shocking, the Social Security program announced that it is now distributing more money in benefits than it receives in contributions, should give everyone who supports this legislation pause when trusting the government to compute anything accurately. According to Ed Byrne, my lack of understanding and bad memory will guide my vote in the fall. Well — we shall see what we shall see.
trappist99 65p · 7 hours ago
“an end to partisan politics as usual in Washington.”
The development of the health care bill was left to the Congress& Senate of a full year.
Republicans were so intent on winning their self declared war (they claimed it would be Obama’s
Waterloo) and the Democrats were so weak, compromising and selfserving the entire year was
It was only when Obama gave in and personally steered the compromised legislation thru, using rules
which previous Republican regimes had also used, that any progress was made at all.
Republicans have no intention of breaking their own model of partisan politics, they have stated they will not participate in governing the country till the election. Democrats must understand they cant reach agreement with a party that has explicitly stated it wont cooperate. Olive branches, such as the recent relaxation of drilling regulations, will be ignored.
To Katie Lehr and the Teabag Republicans…… stop whining and grow up, you are gaining nothing but the contempt of the overwhelming majority of moderates.
Lincoln Republicans! are you happy being associated with these nuts? Say something!