Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Democrat Agenda.

One of the most common things we hear from Republicans is "Sure it seems like the public is very angry with Republican leadership and they want to toss us out on our well padded hieneys... Why just the other day I had to call in the local sheriff to disperse a mob of the lower class citizenry that had gathered up pitchforks and torches and were marching towards the local Republican spa. So sure the mood of the nation seemingly has turned against the current leadership. That whole unfortunate burning of the elephant effigy on mainstream the other night was a wake up call. And whats this business of having to have an armed escort whenever..."

Wait a minute... I've digressed. Actually the original point I was trying to make was this. Republicans are fond of pointing out there is no agenda being put forth by Democrats so we really are not presenting ourselves as a viable alternative to their failure.

Lets just take a look at some recent initiatives undertaken by Democrats and exactly what happened to these examples of Democratic leadership. One recent -initiative- voted down by straight party votes in committee would have forced the disclosure of any Whitehouse documents regarding the fixing of intelligence to justify war with Iraq as described by the Downing Street Memos. Another initiative pertained to calls on the administration to disclose any documentation that may shed light on the outing of undercover CIA agent Valerie Plame in retaliation for her husbands public exposure of falsehoods by the administration in the lead up to the Iraq war. Both of these imminently reasonable initiatives regarding details of how we have arrived at the state we are in with the Iraq war, and the possible treasonous activity of Whitehouse officials for political gain were not allowed to be even brought to a vote on the house floor due to the lack of Democratic power in their respective committees. To be sure, if the shoe were on the other foot, it probably would be the case that Democrats would not be responsive to Republican requests that may land a Democratic president in hot water. But the point here is that Democrats simply do not have the ability to move their issues.

Consider -this story- for an example of Democratic initiative snuffed out of hand by the head of the house Judiciary Committee chaired by Republican James Sensenbrenner. This is an example of what seems to be a perfectly reasonable response for relief from the new bankruptcy law by victims of hurricane Katrina. There is no political damage that could be given by allowing this relief unless you are a shill for the credit card industry. Yet even here Democrats are powerless to do anything but express their dismay as the Republican juggernaut crushes them. And we are supposed to be giving out our leadership of the country talking points?

My final example of Democratic initiative that is hopelessly ground under the partisan heels of the Republican machine is the -Senate floor vote- strictly along partisan lines to establish an independent non-partisan commission to investigate governmental response to Hurricane Katrina. The Republicans want to have an openly partisan bi-cameral congressional commission that reflects the GOP control of Congress. Seriously! To them this investigation is all about partisanship whereas the Democrats want an independent investigation. Yet even in a call for non partisanship in an issue as seemingly non partisan as what happened with the hurricane relief, Democrats are stymied.

Lets get this straight. As soon as the Democrats have the ability to breathe without Republican oversight of the air they are using, then we can start demanding the Democratic plan for action. Indeed we see the Democratic mindset each day in action in the hallowed halls of Congress. The problem is those halls are over run with power hungry Bush administration and corporate lap dogs. So lets look at Republican leadership performance before we start baying at the Democrats for their lack thereof.

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