Sunday, October 03, 2010

David Broder, Disappointed

David Broder has been writing a column for The Washington Post for decades and with the benefit of hindsight, apparently believes that all would be well, members of Congress would hold hands and sing "we are the world" if only Democrats would be a little more congenial. In Sunday's column, he wrote

If the margins of control shrink in January, as I think they will, it might well be time to negotiate a truce.

I'd like to see Pelosi and the rest of the Democratic leaders take Boehner up on the challenge he has raised, not try to demean it. He said, for example, that rather than stifling debate through the manipulation of rules, "we should open things up and let the battle of ideas help break down the scar tissue between the parties. . . . Let's let legislators legislate again."

It would be great if the leaders could engage each other seriously at the start of the next Congress on rules and procedures for doing the nation's business. There's no excuse for the House failing to pass a budget resolution, as happened for the first time this year. As Boehner said, it boggles the mind that spending bills for major government departments are lumped together in an indigestible mass.

When large majorities of the nation's voters voice disdain and distrust for a Congress that is supposed to represent them in writing the laws, it is not just a problem for one party or the other. It is a threat to our system of government.

Boehner was a serious legislator for five years at the start of this decade as chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, before he became a floor leader for his party. His diagnosis of the problems in Congress offers a starting point for a cure. Let's hope the Democrats respond.

Digby notesWe are actually supposed to believe that the people who called for "Obama's Waterloo", filibustered more than any congress in history and obstructed the majority in every possible way are acting in good faith when they say they want to "end gridlock."

And those were, or were led by, grizzled old veterans who remembered consensus building and compromise and did not consider themselves in a death match with the opposition. While reporting on Nevada's GOP nominee for the U.S. Senate, the Mesquite Local News observed
When asked how she could repeal Obamacare while Obama holds the veto pen, Angle said the first step was to defeat Harry Reid and stop his policies. She went on to say that the shockwaves that would come with a dramatic swing from a Democratic majority in the House and Senate to a Republican majority in both houses would convince people that it was the right thing to do.

"They can either get on board the train or get run over by it," Angle said.

No one, evidently, asked Mrs. Angle whether she was speaking rhetorically or literally. She is, after all, the candidate who has called for applying those "Second Amendment remedies" to "take out" her Democratic opponent.

Sunday night, CNN correspondent Mark Preston reported that GOP Senator Jon Thune of South Dakota has said that if Republicans assume control of the House and the Senate and don't quickly move to enact much of the Tea Party agenda, his party would rapidly be confronted with the formation of a third party. And it would not escape notice of Republican leaders that the GOP will have ascended to majority status in Congress only with the election of the likes of Angle, Rand Paul, Joe Miller, Ken Buck, and Ron Johnson.

That would lead Congress further to the right than it already is and marching down the path of extremism. But at least David Broder and those of like mind in the mainstream media wouldn't have to cry about the "cycle of gridlock" anymore.

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