- Hard starboard! No, make that port! No, starboard! No, wait…: That crashing sound you heard around 2:30 CT Friday was the GOP’s chances of holding both houses of congress in 2018 running upon the shoals of Obamacare. Unlike the Democrats in Congress, Republicans have always had a very hard time goose-stepping in lockstep on any piece of legislation – unless it is simply a repeal bill they know will fail in the senate – and the party’s pitiful congressional leadership couldn’t hold the caucus together. Thus, as is so often the case with a Republican congress, it proves yet again incapable of governing the country in a positive manner. Some things never change.
- Actually doing stuff is risky, so…: The Senate is no better. Presented this year with a grand opportunity to make use of the Congressional Review Act to rescind a raft of horrible last-minute Obama regulatory actions, the House has actually acted on more than a dozen items. But the Senate, using the excuse of the confirmation process, has only managed to act on a handful. With the timetable governing use of the CRA set to run out in late May, and the congressional schedule littered with days off and a two-week vacation between now and then, the GOP senate is going to end up leaving millions of disappointed constituents in the wake of its failure to act. Again, some things never change.
- I got this Tweedle-dee here, or this Tweedle-dum – take your pick.: In the end, American voters are left with a choice between one ruling class party (the Democrats) that actively hates the majority of the country, and a second ruling class party (the Republicans) that at least pretends to love the country but cannot summon the political courage needed to do anything positive to help it.
- Nothing says “ruling class” like an unearned two-week vacation.: As mentioned above, Congress will be taking the 2nd and 3rd week in April off. Many members of both parties will be holding public townhall meetings during those weeks. What are the Republicans going to say to their no-doubt hostile audiences about Obamacare? Remember, over the last 7 years, these people have said, “just give us a majority in the House, and we’ll repeal Obamacare.” They got the House, and failed. Then they said, “just give us a majority in the Senate, and we’ll repeal Obamacare.” They got the Senate, and failed. Then they said, “just give us the presidency, and we’ll repeal Obamacare.” They got the Presidency, and even holding every lever of power in the nation’s capitol, they still failed to do a damn thing.
- Paul Ryan’s new book: The Seven Habits of Highly-Ineffective Speakers.: Here’s a thought: A Speaker who is a real leader would cancel this two-week vacation and hold the House in session until his party’s caucus produces a “repeal and replace” bill that it can pass. There is nothing sacrosanct about the published congressional schedule, and no reason why a congress that has thus far produced basically nothing of note in three months deserves two weeks off. Warning: holding your breath waiting for this to happen could be hazardous to your health.
- This better be good.: In other news, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes has called bi-polar FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Mike Rogers back to testify before his committee next week in a closed session, so that the witnesses might actually answer dozens of questions that they claimed they could not answer in last Monday’s public hearing. Naturally, the ranking Democrat on the Committee, the bug-eyed Adam Schiff, virulently opposed this opportunity for the committee to have access to full information on the question of whether the Obama Administration spied on the Trump Transition Team and campaign. We should not be surprised if Schiff and his fellow Democrats boycott the hearing, or pull some other public stunt to distract attention away from the real legal issue at play in this matter.
Just another week in the un-drained swamp of Washington DC.
That is all.
Photo credit: CNN.com