S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Republicans make their choices, for better and worse.

This kind of behavior makes me angry -- Reported by Jonathan Allen of CQ Politics, last Thursday in Congress the clerk of the House was forced to read much of a 54 page motion aloud to an almost empty chamber while House Republican members attended a "beach party" hosted by Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio). Self-centered and petulant, Republicans like this refuse to deal with the realities of their loss of elections.

This kind of behavior makes me proud of Republicans -- Every now and then Republicans come to their senses and refuse to go along with the plan of block everything at any cost. Some good examples follow.
  • In a fine story by Manu Raju at (7/24/09), Republican Senator Lindsey Graham announced that he would be supporting Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the Supreme Court. He promptly took an enormous amount of heat for his stance. Republican pundits called him "unreliable, lacking courage and understanding." Graham responded, "Enjoy life in the minority," according to the author. To quote Senator Graham,
    . . . the South Carolina Republican defended his decision to back Sotomayor by laying out a broad critique of conservative activists who push “ideological purity” and refuse to cooperate with a Democratic Congress and White House.

    “If we chase this attitude … that you have to say ‘no’ to every Democratic proposal, you can’t help the president ever, you can’t ever reach across the aisle, then I don’t want to be part of the movement because it’s a dead-end movement,” Graham said.

    “I have no desire to be up here in an irrelevant status. I’m smart enough to know that this country doesn’t have a problem with conservatives. It has a problem with blind ideology. And those who are ideological-driven to a fault are never going to be able to take this party back into relevancy.”

  • Raj wrote an interesting piece the previous day citing subtle criticism by several Republican Senators of their colleague, Senator Jim DeMint's threat that "if Republicans are able to stop Barack Obama on health care, 'it will be his Waterloo, it will be his Waterloo, it will break him." Though certainly not cooperating with Democrats toward a common goal, Senators Lamar Alexander, Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn avoided the harshness of DeMint's childish vengefulness with their comments:
    Alexander and McConnell: Asked Wednesday if he saw things the same way, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said: “Of course not.”

    “Every senator is entitled to his own view, but that’s not the view of our caucus,” said Alexander, who, as the Senate Republican Conference chairman, is the Senate GOP’s message man. “I prefer what Sen. [Mitch] McConnell said. This is not about winning or losing; this is about getting health care right. That’s certainly my view.”

    Cornyn: “It’s a distraction,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), who, as head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, is gauging the politics of the debate. “If they’d rather get into a food fight, rather than actually solve problems, I guess [DeMint’s comment] gives them an excuse to do that.”
This kind of behavior is smart -- Democratic strategists, with a good deal of political acumen, are using Senator DeMint's comment as a reallying cry for more support for health care reform. What we are beginning to see is that health care reform will not pass without at least some bipartisan support. We had all better hope that more statesmanship happens, rather than the behavior characterizing too many of the current Republican choices -- ones made because of fear and anxiety.

[Post date - July 27, 2009]

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