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December 13, 2007

Democrats Blaming Each Other For Their Miserable Failures

Delicious.

What a bunch of... let's say "Nice Guys."

When Democrats took control of Congress in January, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) pledged to jointly push an ambitious agenda to counter 12 years of Republican control.

Now, as Congress struggles to adjourn for Christmas, relations between House Democrats and their colleagues in the Senate have devolved into finger-pointing.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.) accuses Senate Democratic leaders of developing "Stockholm syndrome," showing sympathy to their Republican captors by caving in on legislation to provide middle-class tax cuts paid for with tax increases on the super-rich, tying war funding to troop withdrawal timelines, and mandating renewable energy quotas. If Republicans want to filibuster a bill, Rangel said, Reid should keep the bill on the Senate floor and force the Republicans to talk it to death.

Reid, in turn, has taken to the Senate floor to criticize what he called the speaker's "iron hand" style of governance.

Democrats in each chamber are now blaming their colleagues in the other for the mess in which they find themselves. The predicament caused the majority party yesterday surrender to President Bush on domestic spending levels, drop a cherished renewable-energy mandate and move toward leaving a raft of high-profile legislation, from addressing the mortgage crisis to providing middle-class tax relief, undone or incomplete.

...

Officially, House Democrats blame Senate Republicans, who have used parliamentary tactics to block even uncontroversial measures. But they are increasingly expressing public frustration with Reid and Senate Democrats for not putting up a better fight.

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) called it a "hold and fold" strategy: Senate Republicans put a "hold" on Democratic bills, and Senate Democratic leaders promptly fold their tents.

Asked about his decision on government funding, House Appropriations Committee Chairman David R. Obey (D-Wis.) groused to the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call: "I'll tell you how soon I will make a decision when I know how soon the Senate sells us out." Senate Democrats have fired back, accusing Pelosi and her liberal allies of sending over legislation that they know cannot pass in the Senate, and of making demands that will not gain any GOP votes. Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) noted that, this summer, Reid employed just the kind of theatrics Rangel and other House Democrats are demanding, holding the Senate open all night, pulling out cots and forcing a dusk-till-dawn debate on an Iraq war withdrawal measure before a vote on war funding. Democrats gained not a single vote after the all-night antics.

"I understand the frustration; we're frustrated, too," Bayh said. "But holding a bunch of Kabuki theater doesn't get anything done."

Pelosi is of course perplexed.

"They like this war. They want this war to continue," Pelosi, D- Calif., told reporters. She expressed frustration over Republicans' ability to force majority Democrats to yield ground on taxes, spending, energy, war spending and other matters.

"We thought that they shared the view of so many people in our country that we needed a new direction in Iraq," Pelosi said at her weekly news conference in the Capitol. "But the Republicans have made it very clear that this is not just George Bush's war. This is the war of the Republicans in Congress."

Asked to clarify her remarks, Pelosi backed off a bit.

"I shouldn't say they like the war," she said. "They support the war, the course of action that the president is on."

"And that was a revelation to me," she said, "because I thought the American people's voices were so—and still are—so strong in this regard."

Nancy, dear, if you wanted a true popular mandate for surrender you should have actually run on that platform. Instead, you mealy-mouthed on it and, significantly, put forward many candidates in swing or red states or red districts who were significantly more hawkish that the netroots' Surrender Caucus.

And now you whine that the Republican minority isn't respecting the hypothetical mandate you refused to seek, seeking instead only power without any clear statement of your intentions as regards the war.


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posted by Ace at 08:33 PM

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