Saturday, January 3, 2015

Back In Re-Session

Tuesday marks the beginning of the All-New Even Worse GOP Congress, and the first order of business is repealing the last six years of President Obama's agenda.

The new Republican-run Congress convenes Tuesday eager to pursue a dream the party’s been chasing for six years: Dilute, dismantle or defang key Obama administration policies on immigration, environment, health care and more.

First up this month will be approving the Keystone XL pipeline that Obama’s been reluctant to back. Next on the agenda: Trying to overturn his November action easing deportation policies for millions of undocumented immigrants.

There’s lots more. Many Republicans plan to grill and possibly stall Obama’s defense secretary and attorney general nominees, try to block the president’s new Cuba policy and chip away at the 2010 health care law.

Republicans start the year with a lot of muscle. The party will control 247 of the 435 House of Representatives seats, the biggest Republican bloc in 84 years. The party will have 54 of the Senate’s 100 seats.

That means they'll control every aspect of congressional activity: topics for committee hearings, the Senate and House floor schedules and who can amend bills.

Democrats have three avenues of influence. Senate legislation usually needs 60 votes to stay afloat, meaning Republicans would need some Democratic votes. An Obama veto still would need two-thirds majorities in each chamber to be overturned. And Republicans are still prone to intraparty warfare between conservatives and more pragmatic lawmakers.

So the best case scenario for America over the next two years is that Republicans block themselves in Congress.  But this is what you voted for America.

Or didn't vote for.

Read more here:


Martin Pollard said...

"But this is what you voted for America. Or didn't vote for."

And yet, I'm still encountering idiots who are actually PROUD that they didn't vote for "corpra-Dems," as they call them. Stupid, short-sighted, jaded, cynical, fucked-in-the-head morons with severe cases of Both Siderism™.

Scopedog said...

Exactly. Crooks and Liars is the one of the worst; they were cheering that they "finally got rid of the Blue Dogs!" as a result of the 2014 election. They cut their own noses off to spite their faces, but they simply do not care, because of purity and "both sides".

mellowjohn said...

i still think the first order of business in the new senate will be the stripping of minority rights by eliminating the 60 vote threshold on filibusters, either by lowering to to say... 54, just to pick a number at random, or by outright abolition. ironic, i know, after the Rs were so butthurt by harry reid's tinkering with the filibuster on confirmations.

RepubAnon said...

Yeah, but they'll market it as "payback" - there's nothing the Republicans like more than quoting Oliver Hardy's catchphrase to Stan Laurel: "Now look what you made me do" when implementing their planned agenda. For all their talk about "personal responsibility" for other people, it's fairly typical for the Republicans to refuse to take personal responsibility for their own actions.

RepubAnon said...

I actually agree with the "get rid of the Blue Dog Democrats" philosophy: look at how well the "get rid of the RINOs" policy worked long-term for the far right. Remember, the reason we don't have single-payer health care is that the Blue Dog Democrats opposed it.

However. the way to get rid of Republicans marketing themselves as Democrats is with primary challenges, not by sitting out elections. Sitting out an election after losing a primary merely sends the message that that particular voting block can safely be ignored.

dkxkee said...

I have a nephew-in-law who is a pie in the sky far left radical that's always posting stuff about how Obama has betrayed the left, vote for a third party, blah, blah blah. I can't seem to convince him that whatever Obama CAN accomplish despite Republican obstruction is better than throwing your vote away on a third party and doing nothing but getting whackadoodle Republicans elected.

RepubAnon said...

Ask your nephew-in-law to look at how successful Ralph Nader's 2000 presidential campaign was at strengthening environmental laws. Nader's role in helping Dubya and Dick Cheney get control of the government sure did help empower the left, didn't it?

dkxkee said...

My point exactly. He can't seem to figure that out.

RepubAnon said...

Try this line from Tom Lehrer's "Folk Song Army", criticizing similar attitudes in the late 1950s and early 1960s:

Remember the war against Franco! That's the kind where each of us belongs. Though they may have won all the battles - we had all the good songs!

Scopedog said...

Yeah, but bring that up and watch the unrepentant Naderite switch to the "but Gore would have been worse!" line.

If they really do get the point that Nader's run in 2000 ended up setting back the Progressive agenda for decades, I'm afraid they'll go mad.

Horace Boothroyd III said...

That's what is so frustrating. Because of structural factors in the makeup of American politics, progressive advances are ground out an inch at a time in the face of ferocious opposition. The Republicans are in the sweeter position of merely cutting loose the dark forces and letting them run free, as Bush and Cheney so blithely did with war and torture and financial bubbles. The upshot is, as you observe, that after a Republican era the Democrats are forced to spend years cleaning up the mess before they can even begin with the long frustrating grind. Thus we are today worse off than we were before the Naderites sabotaged the election in 2000 and it will still take a while to get back.

And there is no way in Hell that Gore would have been as bad as the Smirking Chimp, not even the most gullible simpleton of a Naderite actually believes that crap.

Horace Boothroyd III said...

They taught me a lesson that I will never forget, that is certain.

Horace Boothroyd III said...

I am all for rabbit punching Blue Dogs, on the condition that we replace them with leftists.

Horace Boothroyd III said...

The hysterical ninnies of the Daily Kos were all excited on election night, but they have started to sober up and settle down as the day creeps closer when The Turtle picks up the gavel and actually runs the Senate. What a disaster those people are, flattering themselves as The Base of the party while simultaneously threatening to sit out the election or vote for Jill Stein or hold their little breaths until they all turn blue or Liz Warren runs for president. I like Warren as much as the next elwior, but I respect her enough to take at her word and look for some other progressive warrior to mount a challenge. Smitty Pignatelli of Massachusetts is a great guy, maybe we could draft him.

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