Thursday, January 28, 2010

It's back to stalemate on Capitol Hill :

ON THE DAY AFTER President Obama's State of the Union speech, I decided not to watch the Project Runway politicians step up to the TV cameras for their 3 minutes of spin. But having seen some of the comments on the Internet, I've concluded that the Republicans are not seriously opposed to some of the recovery programs, but they are deliberately out to destroy Obama, no matter what he proposes. It's personal, and ugly. The vote today on Obama's call for pay-as-you-go programs passed the Senate by, yep, a straight 60-40 party line vote. Some Republicans who had supported PAYGO voted against it. Among them , Ohio's Sen. George Voinovich. "Moderate" George, who will be retiring from the Senate this year, once defended PAYGO as the necessary defense against deficit spending, saying: "I don't understand how we can continue to go this way. We're living in a dream world. This deficit continues to grow." (As quoted from Think Progress.) That was then. This is now. Dream world be damned.

And how about John McCain's chest-pounding dismissal of Obama's proposals? McCain, who is in a primary fight as his popularity among Arizonans is ambling in the low 40s, boasted to his constituents that he would fearlessly "stand up and speak out against Democratic leadership". As McCain was passing the responsibility to the other side, the city manager of Phoenix, David Cavazos, announced plans to cut 500 police and fire positions , six library branches and five senior centers to balance the budget. The city council will act on it March 2. Meantime, the state's unemployment rate rose above 9.1 pct. According to the Arizona Republic, the city will be eliminating 1,385 jobs. A friend who covers Capitol Hill says seasoned reporters are astonished by the changes that have taken place in McCain since his loss to Obama. He remains a bitter man these days with no desire to follow his one pledge to reach across the aisle. Some courage, I'd say.

Other Republican senators immediately had meltdowns, with Oklahoma's James Inhofe, who seldom lends confidence of his mental agility, suggesting that Obama was nothing more than a liar. During the speech, he and the other GOPers with fixed stares resembled the figures in Madame Toussoud's wax museum.

What all of this says is that there will be no truce in the months leading to this year's election. None. In the meantime, the nation watches and waits as its economy drifts into oblivion. As for health reform, shouldn't we ask the pols to give up a half-year of their own health coverage for every month that they delay passage? Of course it's fair.



Anonymous said...

The item that really catches my eye is the people on my team who are so quick to point the finger across the isle to lay blame when they have three pointing back at themselves. My opinion Abe is no one will ever "Man-up" and say I/we are at fault let's do what is necessary to get the people's work done. So goes the Roman Empire.

Grumpy Abe said...

Ah, a cynic after my own heart! One doesn't have to defend the Democrats' behavior in congress to note that the Republicans have lost even more ground with the public as nay-saying obstructionists. As matters now stand, I don't see any way out of this swamp. Why do we continue to pay them as they refuse to do the "people's work"?