Oh, boy. I thought that I’d be transitioning to a bash-the-democrats milieu once they took power, but I’m still laughing at the hypocrisy of the Republicans.
Now that Nancy Pelosi has decided — contrary to her promise — to effectively shut the Republicans out of legislative tinkering in order to get major legislation through the system in the first 100 hours, the Republicans are whining.
For the last dozen years, the Republicans have completely ignored the minority party, marginalizing them and subverting or changing the rules of the House in order to keep them from having a voice for their constituents. Their complete lock on power was perhaps the most galling aspect of their heavy-handed rule. These tactics subvert the way Congress was conceived by the founders by taking away any voice the minority has.
Well, they can dish it out, but they can’t take it. Whiny babies.
The decision opens Pelosi to attack from Republicans who say she is beginning her speakership by reneging on a campaign promise to restore the rights of the minority party.
The ranking Republicans on two committees complained to the incoming Democratic chairmen Tuesday that the plans for the first 100 hours restrict their ability to participate. Several more Republicans are planning a news conference today to introduce a “minority bill of rights” they say is based directly on a plan that Pelosi proposed in 2004 while Democratic minority leader.
… Republicans say that starting off this way is a sign they will be marginalized in the new Congress.
… During their 12 years in the majority, GOP leaders were castigated for refusing to consider Democratic amendments, keeping votes open for hours to pass controversial measures and, on occasion, not even telling minority members where joint Senate-House conference committees were being held.
The Republicans a few weeks ago said flat out that they will be launching a strategy to win back Congress in two years that involves this sort of thing, this ability they have to be powerful and yet claim that they are being persecuted. In other words, we did it to you for more than a decade, but it’s not fair for you to do it to us. I’m disgusted by the Republicans even more now, if that is possible.
That said, I’m disappointed in this turn of events. While I understand the temptation to push through the legislation without yet another round of nonsense, it doesn’t reflect well on Nancy Pelosi and the new era of ethics and integrity I was hoping she’d bring. Simply taking power and then punishing your enemy with the same tactics is quite satisfying, I’ll admit… but it doesn’t make you any better than them. In fact, it makes you worse because you already know how it feels.
Yes, I’m a touchy-feely liberal on this; I know that if the Democrats were to roll back all the Republican changes to the rules and return to a civil and fair Congress, they’d be steam-rolled and flattened by the Republican machine. The good guys always get shot in the back when they play by the rules. Still, when that happens, we all know who the good guys are, right?
Perhaps our political system has finally reached a point where there are no more good guys, where the system is so broken that it can’t be fixed.