Judging by what they’ve done, Pelosi and Dubya agree on (at least) two things:
- It’s better for the war in Iraq to continue than for the Republicans to win in 2008.
- Farm subsidies are a bad idea.
Now, you’d think that — with the Speaker of the House and the President against them — farm subsidies would be on the way out, right? We all remember Pelosi’s hundred hours, right? Breaking the link between lobbyists and legislation, get stuff done, that sort of thing. Sounds like the farm bill’s already in the shitcan, doesn’t it?
- Why Politics As Usual Will Always Be Politics As Usual (The Liberty Papers)
Once again, protecting the party’s chances in 2008 win out over actually, you know, doing good:
But as the latest farm bill heads to the House floor on Thursday, farm-state lawmakers seem likely to prevail in keeping the old subsidies largely in place, drawing a veto threat on Wednesday from the White House.
Faced with fierce opposition from the House Agriculture Committee, Ms. Pelosi and other Democratic leaders lowered their sights and are now backing the committee’s bill, in part to protect rural freshmen lawmakers who may be vulnerable in the 2008 elections.
Doug Mataconis at TLP attributes this shift to farm lobbyists (see “lobbyists and legislation”, above), and in a sense I agree, but there’s a bigger problem here: the first priority of the majority party is staying in power. We’ve seen it with the Republicans, and now we’re seeing it with the Democrats. They came to power on an anti-war, anti-Bush platform — but they’ve passed up every realistic chance they’ve had to end the war (setting timetables that guarantee a veto is not a realistic chance; refusing to fund the war is a realistic chance) and “impeachment is off the table”.
One can’t claim to be surprised when politicians game the system. When a dog shits on your yard, it’s not because he hates you: it’s because he’s a dog. So it is with politicians and politics.