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Word! Ornstein & Mann's take on the 112th Congress
01-05-2013, 06:33 PM
Post: #1
Word! Ornstein & Mann's take on the 112th Congress
WaPo: Five myths about the 112th Congress
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/f...ingtonpost

My favorite part:

Quote:Myth #2 -- President Obama wasn’t adept at working with Congress.

....Throughout and after the fiscal cliff negotiations, commentators bemoaned a lack of presidential leadership in speaking honestly to the public about our fiscal imbalance and presenting a plan for controlling entitlements and raising revenue. This is nonsense.

Leadership is contextual. LBJ, thrust into today’s congressional environment, would be bewildered and frustrated; Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is no Everett Dirksen, and Boehner is no Gerald Ford. Throughout his first term, Obama faced uncompromising opposition. Bold public pronouncements and sweet private talk had no chance of winning GOP votes in 2011 and 2012. Republicans acted like radical insurgents determined to make the president a one-termer.

It is so good to see that these "revered centrists" are as disgusted with today's Congressional GOP as are the rest of us. Noting the extremism of the GOP is not just a "partisan take" -- when will MSM commentators finally acknowledge that.
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01-06-2013, 07:39 AM
Post: #2
RE: Word! Ornstein & Mann's take on the 112th Congress
Norm has been disgusted with them for a while now. I don't know Mann personally, but I have to assume he feels likewise, or he wouldn't be co-authoring these things with Norm.

"Believe those who seek the truth. Doubt those who find it."--André Gide
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01-06-2013, 01:09 PM
Post: #3
Overall an honest assessment
But I take some exception to the following:

Quote: 3. Boehner was the big loser.

A constant refrain throughout the 112th Congress was that Boehner was a weak speaker. His 2010 warning to his party colleagues against using the debt limit to force spending cuts went unheeded. Backbenchers routinely objected to leadership compromises and denied the speaker a majority on the House floor — most recently on his “Plan B” legislation during the fiscal cliff negotiations. His leadership team was more of a threat than a source of support.

But Boehner’s problem was a lack of followership, not leadership. His party conference was filled with zealots who had an animus toward Obama. Many of his colleagues were far more worried about primary challenges from the right than about pressure from their leaders in Congress. Under these conditions, Boehner’s success in getting the Senate’s fiscal cliff deal to the House floor for an up-or-down vote, in spite of the opposition of a majority of Republicans,was an example of effective leadership in the face of severe adversity.

It was Boehner's adherence to not allowing bills to get to the floor that did not have a "majority of the majority" approval that gave this relatively small group of zealots their power. He finally went against that rule in the last days of the 112th to get the fiscal cliff deal passed. In effect this "majority of the majority" does two very bad things that impede governing by the House. First it gives the House a sort of reverse filibuster where a small minority within the majority can prevent votes that go against their strict ideology. Second it discourages bipartisan cooperating on legislation.

Boehner also viewed his role as leader of the majority Republicans in the House and not as the Speaker for all on the House. As Speaker he should be mindful of the concerns of the minority party and try to resolve conflicts between the majority and the minority. Instead Boehner seemed to do everything he could to appease the minority of his majority at the expense of legislating for the country.

GOTV in 2014
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01-07-2013, 11:43 AM
Post: #4
RE: Word! Ornstein & Mann's take on the 112th Congress
Soooooooooo tired of the "President Obama doesn't lead" meme!
Facepalm
What's worse is that the Repubs are able to push this talking point virtually unchallenged and in full on defiance of the facts. Nobody seems to care that President Obama can't pass legislation, that no matter what he submits to Congress the Republicans will oppose, or that President Obama has been open to compromises that include Social Security and Medicare that the Republicans have repeatedly rejected. What the hell are House and Senate Republicans doing? Waiting for President Obama to hold their hands to propose these spending cuts? Or, as I suspect, basically wanting President Obama to do their dirty work for them so that they can turn around and blame him (and Dems) for cutting Social Security and Medicare (like what they did in 2010)? They think it's the most important thing to cut Social Security and Medicare? Well, fine. THEY need to LEAD by proposing the legislation making all of these spending cuts and work to get it passed first before screaming about President Obama.

"You never know how strong you are until being strong is your only choice"
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01-07-2013, 12:00 PM
Post: #5
RE: Word! Ornstein & Mann's take on the 112th Congress
Quote:What the hell are House and Senate Republicans doing? Waiting for President Obama to hold their hands to propose these spending cuts? Or, as I suspect, basically wanting President Obama to do their dirty work for them so that they can turn around and blame him (and Dems) for cutting Social Security and Medicare (like what they did in 2010)?

Ding, ding, ding! -- we have a winner.

Exactly right.
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01-07-2013, 12:14 PM
Post: #6
RE: Word! Ornstein & Mann's take on the 112th Congress
(01-07-2013 12:00 PM)janedrake Wrote:  
Quote:What the hell are House and Senate Republicans doing? Waiting for President Obama to hold their hands to propose these spending cuts? Or, as I suspect, basically wanting President Obama to do their dirty work for them so that they can turn around and blame him (and Dems) for cutting Social Security and Medicare (like what they did in 2010)?

Ding, ding, ding! -- we have a winner.

Exactly right.

What is really weird is that they think that they have a chance to get a Democrat to gut Social Security and Medicare when, of course, it was Democrats whom passed them in the first place.

"You never know how strong you are until being strong is your only choice"
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