Tag: Democratic Party
When the issue of Democratic Party strategy comes up, one of the biggest questions often is: does the Democratic Party finally dig its trench and swollen the bitter pill of sequestration in order to force the GOP into an unshakable political hole? Of course, there are as many opinions and answers as there are individuals answering this question. But two of the main answers are as follows.
One is that refusing to cave to Republican Party pressure to cut a raw deal on the sequester is an essential policy move that will make Republicans think twice about waiting the Democratic Party out to give in to GOP demands. And there's a lot of truth to this. If the Democratic Party continuously 'caves' during the worst effects of poor policy decisions (like the sequester), then the Democratic Party has no real leverage to extract any significant policy demands from the Republican Party, like Ezra Klein points out. Yes, the Democratic Party may be saving their constituents pain in the short run, but when you give in to the demands of a mad man holding hostages, you better make sure you've neutralized the mad man (i.e., the Republican Party) in the process. Otherwise, the mad man will keep holding hostages!
In the paradoxical world many call Virginia, there are a group of legislators who claim to strongly dislike government spending while spending large amounts of government money on their own favorite programs. Saturday's 'deal' on the commonwealth's new transportation package offered more of the same big spending reality that doesn't appear to phase legislators in the Republican Party or their fans.
As was pointed out in an earlier post by Lowell Feld, the Democratic Party came out a winner in the negotiations over the soon-to-be-signed-into-law transportation bill (although it never quite seems like a victory to me...). Democrats not only kept the gas tax, they also cajoled Old McDonnell out of his no Medicaid expansion farmhouse. E-I, E-I, O. These two victories in and of themselves are quite remarkable, but they were just two out of many.
For Republicans in the General Assembly, the transportation bill may become the next whipping boy after the smoke has settled and constituents get a whiff of the tax increases that will be going into effect as a result. I can hear it now, 'You see, those Democrats just want to tax Virginians to death. To death, I say!" Of course, the same legislator saying this will be one of the same legislators who voted in favor of the bill.
And here we have the paradox surrounding many, if not most, political conversations with conservatives (and many liberals): conservatives are the non-government spending party, right? No!!
The myth, this gigantic lie, has seemingly shaded the rational process of millions of otherwise intelligent and knowledgeable Americans. It is a testament to how effective the conservative propaganda machine is that so many Americans can truly believe that Republicans from across the country do not spend government money. There is hardly a day that goes by that I don't hear some form of this argument made.
To change, or not to change, that is the paramount question facing the Grand Old Party. As the November 6th election recedes further into the past, however, the chances that the GOP will make substantive changes to their party platform appear to be receding as well. Some members of the Republican Party have decided to face the results of the November 6th election with humility and a reconsideration of policy positions.
As Congress faces negotiations about averting the "fiscal cliff," Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) told WMAZ-TV that he's not willing to be bound by the anti-tax pledge he once signed.
Said Chambliss: "I care more about my country than I do about a 20-year-old pledge."
However, a vocal crowd of GOP'ers have actually dug in their heels and turned their fingers away from themselves, towards a host of external factors. One argument apparently gaining traction is the "Romney wasn't an effective spokesman" argument. According to this line of thought, the conservative policy platform is sound; Mitt Romney just couldn't sell it to the American people properly.
These villains are not the antagonists you'll find in any of the most recent Batman films, but the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Action Fund's (along with Environment America) naming of 193 U.S. House members and 39 U.S. Senators as "Dirty Air Villains" are no less dangerous to the health of American's than the evil characters Bane or the Joker.
Not surprisingly, but no less disturbingly, the NRDC Action Fund analysis "found that on average, House members who took more than $100,000 in career polluter campaign contributions voted against clean air laws nearly twice as many times as those who accepted less than $100,000 from dirty industries." Similar conclusions were found for members of the U.S. Senate.
What a revelation! Money influences the votes of the U.S. Congress!
If you'd like to view more of the disturbing findings, go to http://whovotesdirty.com/, just make sure you wear a gas-mask (it really stinks!).