Meta-Blog

SEARCH QandO

Email:
Jon Henke
Bruce "McQ" McQuain
Dale Franks
Bryan Pick
Billy Hollis
Lance Paddock
MichaelW

BLOGROLL QandO

 
 
Recent Posts
The Ayers Resurrection Tour
Special Friends Get Special Breaks
One Hour
The Hope and Change Express - stalled in the slow lane
Michael Steele New RNC Chairman
Things that make you go "hmmmm"...
Oh yeah, that "rule of law" thing ...
Putting Dollar Signs in Front Of The AGW Hoax
Moving toward a 60 vote majority?
Do As I Say ....
 
 
QandO Newsroom

Newsroom Home Page

US News

US National News
Politics
Business
Science
Technology
Health
Entertainment
Sports
Opinion/Editorial

International News

Top World New
Iraq News
Mideast Conflict

Blogging

Blogpulse Daily Highlights
Daypop Top 40 Links

Regional

Regional News

Publications

News Publications

 
The Dems first appeal to bipartisanship
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, January 02, 2007

After making a huge point about the American people "speaking" in the last election and saying they were tired of the partisanship and bickering, the Democrats promised a new era of bipartisan cooperation. As with many of their campaign promises, it appears they weren't really serious:
As they prepare to take control of Congress this week and face up to campaign pledges to restore bipartisanship and openness, Democrats are planning to largely sideline Republicans from the first burst of lawmaking.

House Democrats intend to pass a raft of popular measures as part of their well-publicized plan for the first 100 hours. They include tightening ethics rules for lawmakers, raising the minimum wage, allowing more research on stem cells and cutting interest rates on student loans.

But instead of allowing Republicans to fully participate in deliberations, as promised after the Democratic victory in the Nov. 7 midterm elections, Democrats now say they will use House rules to prevent the opposition from offering alternative measures, assuring speedy passage of the bills and allowing their party to trumpet early victories.
Promise them anything but give them 'business as usual'. That could become the new Democratic slogan, replacing the "we can do better" claptrap of the campaign.
The episode illustrates the dilemma facing the new party in power. The Democrats must demonstrate that they can break legislative gridlock and govern after 12 years in the minority, while honoring their pledge to make the 110th Congress a civil era in which Democrats and Republicans work together to solve the nation's problems. Yet in attempting to pass laws key to their prospects for winning reelection and expanding their majority, the Democrats may have to resort to some of the same tough tactics Republicans used the past several years.

Democratic leaders say they are torn between giving Republicans a say in legislation and shutting them out to prevent them from derailing Democratic bills.

"There is a going to be a tension there," said Rep. Chris Van Hollen (Md.), the new chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. "My sense is there's going to be a testing period to gauge to what extent the Republicans want to join us in a constructive effort or whether they intend to be disruptive. It's going to be a work in progress."
Convening a new congress by using rules to shut out your opposition sets the tone of extreme partisanship and Republicans can rightfully complain that the Democrats lied about their desire to put it aside and cooperate with them in crafting compromise legislation. They'll also be quite within their rights to reject any further appeals to bipartisanship and go directly to a mode of opposing all legislation proposed by Democrats.

With the perfect opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to bipartisanship, the Democrats instead opt for power politics and adopt precisely the same tactics they whined about for years.

There's a word for that you know?

UPDATE: A reminder of Nancy Pelosi's proposed "Minority Bill of Rights for the House":
The legislative process in the House should return to a more regular democratic order at every level.

- Bills should be developed following full hearings, open subcommittee and committee markups, with appropriate referrals to other committees. Members should have at least 24 hours to examine a bill prior to consideration at the subcommittee level.

- Bills should generally come to the floor under a procedure that allows open, full, and fair debate consisting of a full amendment process that grants the minority the right to offer its alternatives, including a substitute.

- Members should have at least 24 hours to examine bill and conference report text prior to floor consideration. Rules governing floor debate must be reported before 10 p.m. for a bill to be considered the following day.

- Floor votes should be completed within 15 minutes, with the customary 2-minute extension to accommodate Members’ ability to get to the House Chamber to cast their vote. No vote shall be held open in order to manipulate the outcome.

- House-Senate conference committees should hold regular meetings (at least weekly) of all conference committee Members. All duly-appointed conferees shall be informed of the schedule of conference committee activities in a timely manner, and given ample opportunity for input and debate as decisions are made toward final bill language.

- The Suspension Calendar should be restricted to non-controversial legislation, with minority-authored legislation scheduled in relation to the party ratio in the House.
Now that she has the chance to implement her proposal, it suddenly doesn't seem as important, does it?
 
TrackBacks
Return to Main Blog Page
 
 

Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
Yeah, well, as I think I mentioned during the arguments about ’blanaced’ government... the only time the Democrats are EVER concerned about ’bipartisanship’ is when they’re on the losing end.

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://
While I think it’s important to keep the pressure on the Democratic leadership to live up to the promises they made during the midterms, (for their own good as much as anything else) I think they are well within their rights as the majority party in this case. The legislation that they are putting up for votes are issues that they specifically ran on in 2006 and that were made highlighted again and again. Most of these issues were already passed out of committee in the last Congress but were sabotaged or ignored by the GOP leadership. Since none of these issues are particularly complicated or requiring much tweaking, I think the Democrats are entitled to force a fast-tracked, up or down vote on these issues. GOPers can scream about their oppresion like Monty Python serfs all they like, but Pelosi, Hoyer and Reid have a long way to go before being in the same league of mean-spirited cynicism as Hastert, Delay and Frist.
 
Written By: Badger
URL: http://
With the perfect opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to bipartisanship, the Democrats instead opt for power politics and adopt precisely the same tactics they whined about for years.

There’s a word for that you know?
Republicanism?

;-)
 
Written By: Kav
URL: http://livingrealworld.blogspot.com
In politics "Cooperation" means you cooperate with me.
 
Written By: Phil Underwood
URL: http://
While I think it’s important to keep the pressure on the Democratic leadership to live up to the promises they made during the midterms, (for their own good as much as anything else) I think they are well within their rights as the majority party in this case.
But Badger, that was precisely the argument the Republicans used when they were in the majority and to which the Democrats objected (and claimed they wouldn’t do).

They can’t have it both ways. Either it is wrong and no way to do business in Congress or it is an acceptable practice as far as Dems are concerned and they should be upfront about it (and, btw, it wasn’t much different when the Dems had Congress previous to the Republicans this last time).

Either way, it runs directly contrary to their election claim of "hearing" what the people wanted and promising to heed that. In fact, given this plan, it isn’t too far fetched to say they lied.
The legislation that they are putting up for votes are issues that they specifically ran on in 2006 and that were made highlighted again and again. Most of these issues were already passed out of committee in the last Congress but were sabotaged or ignored by the GOP leadership. Since none of these issues are particularly complicated or requiring much tweaking, I think the Democrats are entitled to force a fast-tracked, up or down vote on these issues.
Again, that’s the Republican argument from the majority.

And, of course, Republicans also argue, rightfully so, that changes have been made in the proposed legislation (true) and those changes should be debated. That used to be the Democrat’s mantra, remember?
GOPers can scream about their oppresion like Monty Python serfs all they like, but Pelosi, Hoyer and Reid have a long way to go before being in the same league of mean-spirited cynicism as Hastert, Delay and Frist.
Ever hear of Tip O’Neill and Jim Wright?

Anyway, this is a very good start toward joining that league very quickly. And if I know the Republicans, they’ll ensure that the voting public is well aware of this broken promise.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
I myself was persuaded by Dennis Hastert’s response to Pelosi’s suggestion. It appears Pelosi was too.

Honestly, the plight of House Republicans is about the least weighty factor in voters’ minds. And it’s not like Democrats don’t know exactly how Republicans would ’repay’ such an act of kindness and reconciliation.

The Democrats in the House will negotiate with Bush, and the Senate Republicans still need to be treated as near co-equals in that body. That’s more than enough bi-partisanship for me.
 
Written By: Geek, Esq.
URL: http://
"And if I know the Republicans, they’ll ensure that the voting public is well aware of this broken promise."

Snort.

Are you serious, McQ? This bunch of spineless, feckless time-servers? Oh, they’ll whine and stamp their tiny little feet, but in the end, they’ll be so overwhelmed by the MSM love-fest for Feisty Grandma Nancy that they’ll just roll over and let themselves be beaten like red-headed stepchildren.

Dick Armey was right - "bipartisanship" is date rape.
 
Written By: Christopher
URL: http://
frustrating, isn’t it?
 
Written By: Rick Day
URL: http://goplobby.org
Bravo - pity you all had to keep your true colors down before the action so as to lull the voting middle into a sense of security.

Let’s see, that’s the behavior of, um, pirates.

Because you know, we all wanted continued partisan behavior as a result of the election.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
frustrating, isn’t it?

Not in the least. I’m going to enjoy the turned tables for awhile- them being able to snark and snipe and b*tch and complain without needing to offer any plan or alternatives.

In fact Ricky old scout, I’m going to enjoy any GOP obstructionism immensely. Then you’ll be the frustrated one (as usual!)

Besides....when we allow Dems to be Dems- we win.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
DEMOCRATS LIED AND BIPARTISANSHIP DIED!


 
Written By: kyle N
URL: http://impudent.blognation.us/blog
frustrating, isn’t it?
Nah.

Instead, typical.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
... And sadly, predictably so.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://
"And if I know the Republicans, they’ll ensure that the voting public is well aware of this broken promise."

I don’t think the public pays much attention to the squabbling of politicians over procedure anymore. I know I don’t. Speaking of broken promises, I think the public might still remember a few made by Republicans.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
I don’t think the public pays much attention to the squabbling of politicians over procedure anymore.
Didn’t say they did, Tim ... said the Republicans would be glad to make them aware of it.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Because you know, we all wanted continued partisan behavior as a result of the election.
Well obviously you did, which is why you voted "more of the same" ie: GOP.

I don’t recall either you or McQ complaining about the tactics over the past 6 years. Yet oddly, McQ finds the democrats to be hypocrits for announcing they would keep essentially the same House/Senate rules you guys had no problem supporting for a lousy 100 days.

Now if, after 100 days, the Dems continue the rules implemented by the GOP, then you’ll have a chance to call them hypocrits. You still won’t have a legitimate complaint about the rules themselves, but you can show hypocrisy.

But seeing as how McQ and others here have been deriding the non actions of the Democrats for weeks even though they had no power yet, this isn’t at all suprising.


 
Written By: Davebo
URL: http://
" said the Republicans would be glad to make them aware of it."

What makes you so sure the public isn’t already aware of it? Some of us just say "So, what’s new?". and go on about our business. It’s not like the public hasn’t heard this whining before, from both sides. They would be better off trying to promote substantive issues, assuming they have any.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
I don’t recall either you or McQ complaining about the tactics over the past 6 years ...
I’m not complaining about it now. I don’t want to see them compromise on anything. It’s called gridlock.

All I’m noting is the party which claimed they would open a new era of bipartisanship lied.

Kind of like I noted last week that "we can do it better" was a lie.

Frustrating, isn’t it?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog

 
Add Your Comment
  NOTICE: While we don't wish to censor your thoughts, we do blacklist certain terms of profanity or obscenity. This is not to muzzle you, but to ensure that the blog remains work-safe for our readers. If you wish to use profanity, simply insert asterisks (*) where the vowels usually go. Your meaning will still be clear, but our readers will be able to view the blog without worrying that content monitoring will get them in trouble when reading it.
Comments for this entry are closed.
Name:
Email:
URL:
HTML Tools:
Bold Italic Blockquote Hyperlink
Comment:
   
 
Vicious Capitalism

Divider

Buy Dale's Book!
Slackernomics by Dale Franks

Divider

Divider