Posts Tagged ‘Editorial, Opinion’

A Mandate? With approval ratings like they are?

November 14, 2008

At the bottom of this piece from the Patriot Post is the gist of what really matters in this well written work. Americans are not happy with foggy bottom, not at all. Read on…

News from the Swamp: Committee assignments take shape on Capitol Hill

House and Senate Democrats are currently picking the committee leaders for the 111th Congress — leaders who will wreak havoc on capitalism, liberty and common sense. Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) will remain as head of the Senate Banking Committee to maintain continuity during the financial crisis. After all, it only makes sense to keep Dodd there since he was such a large beneficiary of Fannie Mae’s political contributions.

Russ Feingold (D-WI), the only senator to vote against the Patriot Act and an original opponent of the liberation of Iraq, is in line to become the head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; the current chairman, Joe Biden, is heading to the White House. If Feingold does get the position, he could force Barack Obama’s hand on withdrawing American troops from Iraq. He is also likely to spill a number of secret programs out into the open via attention-grabbing investigations into our nation’s rendition and surveillance efforts.

In the House, it appears there will be a coup attempt by California Democrat Henry Waxman, who seeks to wrest control of the Energy and Commerce Committee from John Dingell (D-MI). Dingell, who was first elected to Congress in 1955, will become in February the longest-serving member in that body’s history. He is a moderate on climate change, however, and some of his fellow liberals have accused him of being too cozy with Detroit when he should be putting the squeeze on the industry for the sake of the tree huggers. But Dingell’s supporters believe they have the votes to hold off Waxman, an environmental extremist. Many see Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s fingerprints on the effort to oust Dingell. She is close to Waxman, and she is a vocal proponent of all so-called “green” legislation.

It looks as though Joe Lieberman (I-CT) will remain chairman of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee for the time being. He created enemies among his former fellow Democrats with his public support of John McCain. He met privately with Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) this week, and both men would say only that they would talk further and weigh options before making final decisions. The Democrats must win all three remaining contested Senate seats to reach a supermajority of 60 votes. Regardless of the outcome, however, they will need Lieberman, whose apostasy can apparently be overlooked if it helps the Democrats tighten their grip on power.

Republicans stand to lose some committee seats as well, thanks to the gains Democrats made last week. Reid is likely to follow the model for committee apportionment used during the 103rd Congress when the Democrats similarly held 57 seats in the Senate. The GOP is likely to incur its biggest losses in Appropriations, Budget, and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

Meanwhile, any hopes Hillary Clinton had to lead the renewed effort for health care reform were effectively dashed by Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA), chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. Kennedy considers himself a champion of health care, and he has no intention of ceding the issue to Clinton. She currently ranks eighth in seniority on the committee, and others on the committee are not keen on the idea of her leapfrogging senior colleagues to lead some special subcommittee or task force. Beyond all that, Obama is likely to run any health care reform drive from the White House, meaning that Clinton may be involved in the crafting of legislation, but she will not have the chance to lead, and likely fumble, a plan as she did in 1993. Hillary might take comfort, though, in the current Beltway buzz that Obama is considering her for the secretary of state post.

However Congress shapes up in the coming weeks, the denizens of the Swamp will have a long way to go before earning the respect of the American public. In a Rasmussen Reports survey taken after Election Day, 55 percent of those polled rated the job performance of Congress as poor. Only 11 percent said Congress was doing a good or excellent job. Republicans were more unsatisfied than Democrats — 74 percent to 37 percent. A separate survey indicated an unfavorable rating of 42 for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and another 27 percent didn’t even know who he is. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) earned a 53 percent unfavorable rating.

Ratings like those are well deserved. Those in power, and coming into power should note that there is no mandate. The continuation of failed ideology, by both the President AND Congress … only point out just how disgusted the people that are laird over in fact really are.

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