Friday, August 6, 2010

Don't You Dare Legislate!

Digby notes that the GOP's latest barbaric yawp is to scream bloody murder about the Democrats trying to do anything in the lame duck session in November and December because it will be "agaisnt the will of the American people" and if the Democrats try, they'll be punished or something.

As Dave Weigel reminds us, those of us who remember our history realize that Bill Clinton was impeached in a lame duck session in 1998 by Newtie and the GOP.
Rep. Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., won his last election on Nov. 3, 1998. Not enough of his fellow Republicans came with him. Gingrich's party lost five seats in the House of Representatives after a year exploring impeachment charges against President Bill Clinton. Gingrich, who was House speaker, acknowledged the unexpected setback by announcing his resignation. His final act of power was to call a lame-duck session of Congress to deal with the impeachment.

Democrats were horrified and helpless. As far as they were concerned, the election had been a referendum on impeachment, and the Republicans had lost it. Republicans who were retiring or being replaced by Democrats were going to provide votes for impeachment that wouldn't be there when the new, Gingrich-free Congress took over in January. "Listen to the American people," said Democratic investigative counsel Abbe Lowell, one of many members of his party who spent weeks wringing hands, pointing at polls, and watching the impeachment train chug along.

One week before Christmas the majority party held votes on four articles of impeachment, passing two of them. Gingrich cast his final votes in the House for all four articles. Two weeks later, he departed.
You know, if Democrats can't pass legislation now, why would they be able to magically pass anything in November?  Answer:  they can't:  they still would need Republican support in the Senate to defeat the inevitable filibuster.  But the GOP doesn't even want the Dems to dare try to call the session into order.

The minority party is so confident they are threatening the majority party to do nothing or else, and the majority party is cringing like a bunch of beaten stray dogs in the rain.

It's depressing.  After all, the man leading the charge to flog Nancy Pelosi until she stops?

Newt Gingrich.

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