November 30, 2003
Pity the poor Republicans

You know, nobody really appreciates how hard it is to govern when one party controls every branch of the government.


As Republican lawmakers wrapped up the first year in a half-century in which they controlled the Senate, House and White House, they discovered, as Democrats had before them, how hard it is to govern even with possession of the White House and slim majorities in Congress.

Congress left town last week with one major Republican-driven accomplishment -- a Medicare prescription drug bill -- and one big disappointment for GOP leaders, dead energy legislation. Lawmakers also delivered a long-promised ban on certain types of abortion procedures and further cut taxes.

But they were unable to finish work on an array of other priorities, including seven spending bills, a rewrite of the Head Start program, an Internet tax moratorium, a class-action lawsuit overhaul, a corporate tax measure and medical malpractice reform. Other tax, trade and pension items also remain unfinished.

GOP leaders failed to accomplish those things despite shutting out Democrats from much of the legislative process. Their narrow majorities -- 51-48 in the Senate and 229-205 in the House, with one Democratic-leaning independent in each chamber -- still presented challenges.

The Republicans blamed what they called the obstructionism of the Democratic minority. "We could have been more successful if we'd had bipartisan cooperation," said Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho.


Oh, Larry. You're breaking my heart. I think I feel a song coming on.

Henry:
Would you be slighted if I didnít speak for hours?

Pickering:
Of course not.

Henry:
Would you be livid if I had a drink or two?

Pickering:
Nonsense.

Henry:
Would you be wounded if I never sent you flowers?

Pickering:
Never.

Henry:
Why canít a woman be like you?


If only those Democrats could be more like Republicans. I'll get on the horn and have Daschle send you a bouquet, Larry. That oughta help dry those tears.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on November 30, 2003 to Show Business for Ugly People | TrackBack
Comments

Grins. You could also explain the willingness of voters to return obviously-inept Congressfolk to office (like Strom Thurmond) with another song from the show: "I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face."

Posted by: Linkmeister on November 30, 2003 12:04 PM

This could just as easily apply to California pre-Arnold. While Gray Davis held the governorship, the Democrats had everything. In my opinion, complete one-party rule is a very scary thing, as more often than not legislation is bad legislation, and without a credible opposition too much of it gets passed.

That's why I had much stronger Republican leanings in California than I do in Texas. Some people call it "gridlock"; I call it "checks and balances" as were intended.

Posted by: Tim on December 1, 2003 8:40 AM

Careful, Kuff! That song is egregiously politically incorrect (but wonderfully funny). A good Democrat ought not quote Henry Higgins without immediately disavowing him, whereas a good Republican (or perhaps a Clintonista considering the End of Welfare As We Know It) can find much to agree with in his original deal with Eliza:

Eliza, you are to stay here for the next six months learning to speak beautifully, like a lady in a florist's shop. At the end of six months you will be taken to an embassy ball in a carriage, beautifully dressed. If the king finds out you are not a lady, you will be taken to the Tower of London, where your head will be cut off as a warning to other presumptuous flower girls!
Posted by: Beldar on December 2, 2003 2:49 PM