Angry and frustrated, American voters went to the polls in November 2010 to “take back” their country. Just as they had done in 2008. And 2006. And repeatedly for decades, whether it was Republicans or Democrats from whom they were taking the country back. No matter who was put in charge, things didn’t get better. They won’t this time, either; spending levels may go down, taxes may go up, budgets will change, but American government will go on the way it has, not as a collective enterprise but as a battle between warring tribes.
If we are truly a democracy—if voters get to size up candidates for a public office and choose the one they want—why don’t the elections seem to change anything? Because we elect our leaders, and they then govern, in a system that makes cooperation almost impossible and incivility nearly inevitable, a system in which the campaign season never ends and the struggle for party advantage trumps all other considerations.
Last week, Congressional Republican wrote a new chapter in government reform, convening a meeting in Washington with 16 newly elected GOP governors. To some, the confab looked like just another photo-op celebrating the party’s historic gains in last month’s midterm elections. Continue reading →
On the campaign trail, one of President Obama’s favorite speech lines has been about Republicans driving the economy into the ditch. He claims to have spent two years trying to get us back out of that ditch, but makes certain that his audience understands that the Democrats did not put us there.
The Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration last month turned an official hearing on a serious issue—migrant farm labor—into a 3-ring circus starring comedian Stephen Colbert. Colbert didn’t even testify, he performed a comedy routine as a character from his television show, mocking farm workers, immigrants and the U.S. Congress.
The Colbert comedy performance left absolutely no doubt why the American people are disgusted with Congress and some of those who serve there.
While everything else has been going on, two senior Democratic Members of Congress, Maxine Waters (DEMOCRAT-Calif) and Charles Rangel (DEMOCRAT- New York ) have been, essentially, indicted by the House Ethics Committee for violation of House rules.
Both of those findings came well in advance of the House resuming its back-breaking schedule of a two-week work period between the August-September recess and the October-November pre-election recess.
When the Ethics Committee reported its findings, the expectation was that both Waters and Rangel would have their hearings/trials prior to the pre-election break.
WASHINGTON — JMU News Service reports that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is considering a variety of different procedural and intimidation tactics in order to win passage of the president’s healthcare bill later this week. The tactics, according to well-informed sources, include hiring a voodoo specialist, jerry-rigging the voting machines on the Democratic side to give off an electric shock when the “nay” button is pushed and employing never-used parliamentary maneuvers, including one called the “olde three-card monte” and another being dubbed the “close enough for government work” rule.