26
Feb
09

It’s so nice to see divided government

(Previously.)

Somewhere around the time that Pelosi’s Congress and Reid’s Senate caved in to the Bush 43 executive on an overenthusiastic FISA domestic-espionage bill, I made a few snarky comments* about how a Democratic “sweep” of the executive and legislative branches would be closer to true divided government than what we had at the time.

I thought I was joking.

Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), the longest-serving Democratic senator, is criticizing President Obama’s appointment of White House “czars” to oversee federal policy, saying these executive positions amount to a power grab by the executive branch.

Not that power grabs by the executive branch are anything new, mind.  Still, it’s a little odd to see Democratic senators complaining about Obama’s power grabs after eight years of doing nothing substantial about Bush’s.

This isn’t an isolated incident, either.  According to this next piece, Obama’s been keen on appointing a “task force” to reëxamine** Social Security and do something about its “looming shortfall” (which is a rather nice way of saying that post-Boomer generations are gonna get screwed).  But, y’see, we can’t have that:

And on the subject of Presidential initiatives running into trouble from Congressional Democrats, the “mortgage relief” plan isn’t doing so well either:

The measure, backed by President Barack Obama, is the most controversial part of a broader housing package that had been expected to pass the House this week.  It hit a snag after a group of moderates expressed concerns in a closed-door meeting of House Democrats about how the bill would affect homeowners who are still struggling to make their mortgage payments.

[...]

“There’s an equity question here,” said Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Colo., another member of the [business-minded New Democrat***] coalition. “The discussion has got to be, what’s the benefit to the guy next door who is struggling to pay the bills, is paying the bills and isn’t filing for bankruptcy?”

Funny, that’s what a lot of us have been wondering since Bush 43 started the bailout bonanza last fall.  Glad you finally caught up with us, Rep. Perlmutter.

Not everyone’s being so diplomatic — or sticking to such small targets:

Mississippi Democratic Rep. Gene Taylor blasted the budget outline President Obama submitted to Capitol Hill today, saying “I don’t like it…change is not running up even bigger deficits that George Bush did.”

I’m compelled to point out that adopting the Republican “borrow and spend” model is a bit of a change for modern Democrats, who usually operate on the “tax and spend” model, but Rep. Taylor’s point stands.

I saved the best for last (it’s a traditional thing to do for a reason).  As most of the blogosphere has already mentioned, Obama’s AG — one Eric Holder — has recently floated the idea of reinstating the astoundingly ineffectual Assault Weapons Ban.  This has not been met with unanimous approval, even among Democratic politicians.  One such politician took an unexpectedly hard line against the idea:

Nancy Pelosi — N a n c y.  P e l o s i. — went on:

“On that score, I think we need to enforce the laws we have right now,” Pelosi said at her weekly news conference. “I think it’s clear the Bush administration didn’t do that.”

It’s been almost two years since I last agreed this strongly with the Speaker.

Update: Looks like Harry Reid’s not too happy with a reinstated AWB either:

Mataconis points out that this is a matter of politics rather than principle, but neither one of us finds that surprising.

This sort of internecine bickering almost never happens in Canada, where lockstep party loyalty is ruthlessly enforced, and that’s a damn shame.

——

* Though not on this blog

** Like that?  I’m getting pretentious with my grammar geekery

*** From a Canadian political perspective, the idea of “business-minded New Democrats” is rather a mindfuck


1 Response to “It’s so nice to see divided government”


  1. February 27, 2009 at 13:27

    It’s only borrow-and-spend AT FIRST. It gets tax and spend pretty damn quick.


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