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January 03, 2009



In brief, your portrait of the Republican minority in Congress, and its motives in seeking a thorough debate on a mere $1 trillion expenditure, is superficial at best and intellectually dishonest at worst.

The very nature of congressional government is "obstructionist." The Democrats now have big majorities--let them pass their program. The idea that Mitch McConnell and the Senate Republicans should just shut up and get out of the way of the Big Fix sounds more like the PRC Congress than the US Congress. I hope that's not what you mean by "progressive."

Buck Naked Politics

HI Robert,

Yes, the Dems seem to have big majority in the House, but when I think of a "big" majority in the senate, I think of a filibuster-proof majority. The Dems don't, at this point, have such a majority.

As for debating and obstructionism, where were the Senate Republicans when the $350-$700 billion bailout was up for a vote?

I didn't see them filibustering. In fact, Mitch McConnell was all for it. (I know, so were a bunch of Dems -- I'm not happy with how they handled the legislation, either).


Thanks for your reply. I would just say, in general, that having legislation of this magnitude take a little while to go through the usual processes is the best idea. With the new "Pelosi rules" in place it should take about one day for the stimulus to pass the House; three weeks instead of three days in the Senate won't make much difference for the economy, in the longer term.

Except in a true life-or-death situation, I think the legislators should always have time to at least read and understand a bill before voting on it. Remember the PATRIOT act?

It sounds like Obama's trip to the Hill yesterday already produced enough goodwill and feelings of inclusion and compromise that something will go through smoothly.

If this keeps up Congress's approval ratings might even break 20 percent!

Buck Naked Politics

Hi Robert,

I've heard that Pelosi promulgated new rules, but I'm not familiar with them.

Given the rider process -- which is so often used for pork -- I don't think you'll have to worry about Congress getting into the habit of passing bills quickly. I could be wrong, though.

Last year, I looked at polls going back some years: Congress always had a significantly lower approval rating than the President.

To me, this makes sense: there are 535 members of Congress that make tons of decisions: a survey participant who is angry at one Congressman or one decision would likely give Congress the thumbs down.

I have no clue how things will look in six months. I look forward to seeing.

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