March 19, 2011

UPDATED: Crisis Averted!

Exit polling after the 2010 midterm elections revealed a very consistent story: Voters felt that Democrats had not done enough to repair the devastation caused by the financial meltdown in the closing days of George W. Bush's presidency, and their number one concern - by far - was job creation and the economic health of the country.  The ballot box confirmed that sentiment, returning the House of Representatives to Republican control, diminishing the Democratic majority in the Senate, and leading President Obama to admit his party had endured a "shellacking," for which he took responsibility.

Instead of taking their direction from this clear tide of voter frustration, however, the GOP has concentrated on - literally - pretty much anything but job creation and the economy, and so far, the 112th Congress has been the same old pandering, hypocrisy and legislated morality that has been the hallmark of modern movement conservatism for the past three decades.  Republican priorities since reclaiming the House have not been aimed at putting people back to work, but at rewarding their hardcore base and wallowing in social wedge issues.

Here is what Speaker of the House John Boehner and his team have been working on with their mandate to  kick-start the economy and foster job creation:
In short, Republican leadership is apparently operating under the impression that they made such significant gains in the last ballot because the public was unsatisfied with Democratic efforts to forge ahead with empty legislative gestures, draconian social policies, several flavors of bigotry and discimination, and the expenditure of federal dollars on defense no matter the cost to employment.  To be blunt, they are wrong.

A recent Ipsos/Reuters poll found that 51% of Americans would prefer to cut spending for defense before taking the ax to either Medicare/Medicaid or Social Security, compared to 28% who would exclusively target Medicare/Medicaid and just 18% who would focus on Social Security.  Likewise, a new ABC News/Washington Post survey determined that 64% of Americans prefer a combination of tax increases and expenditure reductions to reduce the deficit to spending cuts alone.

At this rate, it's no wonder the approval rating for Congress took only two months to plunge back below 20%, where it was when the Republicans took back the House of Representatives.  While there was a certain inevitability that people like John Boehner, Eric Cantor and Michele Bachmann would work dilligently to display the trademark incompetence they've exhibited for some time now, any pleasure that might be derived from watching their foolishness at full boil is vastly outweighed by the stark human costs of their legislative masturbation and ridiculous posturing.

There are twenty months between now and the 2012 elections.  It looks like they're going to be very long ones.

Congressman Anthony Weiner of New York provides some much-needed perspective on the priority attached to defunding NPR:

UPDATE: The "New Rules" segment from last night's Real Time with Bill Maher lampooned the propensity of the GOP to focus on fantasy problems rather than real issues (language not safe for work):


lokywoky said...

All I can say is "Mr. Boehner, WHERE ARE THE JOBS?"

over and over and over and over and over .........

Of course the Rethugs don't believe that public sector jobs are "real" jobs, or that people who earn less than $250,000 actually work hard (or even exist for that matter).

I guess the only thing I can hope for is that this ridiculous bill doesn't make it past the Senate. Or that Obama vetoes it. Hope???

Or am I just being naive or stupid again?

PBI said...

Sad to say, but it's hard to know where some of this stuff will end up. Obama's propensity to start negotiating from the middle rather than finish them there has meant he's given away far more than he should have in any number of cases. The pressure to keep the government running is what worries me...