Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Republican Death Spiral (538 Article)

The Republican Death Spiral

Hat tip 538

It's not just the goose egg that the House Republicans laid on the Democratic stimulus package yesterday: Boehner's Boys have been equally uncooperative on other matters. Case in point: a bill yesterday to delay the transition to digital TV. This measure was approved unanimously by the Senate; every Senate Republican gave it the green light. But 155 out of 178 House Republicans voted against it, which resulted in the measure's defeat since a two-thirds majority would have been required for passage under the House's suspension of the rules.

Or, take the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, a seemingly fairly popular/populist (if not inscrutable) piece of legislation on gender-based pay discrepancies. This was something that Barack Obama whacked John McCain on on the campaign trail, with McCain offering little rebuttal. In the Senate, five Republicans -- out of 41 -- voted with the Administration on Ledbetter, including all four Republican women. In the House, just three Republicans did -- out of 178.

Boenher and Eric Cantor have obviously done an impressive job of rallying their troops -- and Cantor, in particular, seems proud of his efforts. But what grander purpose does this strategy serve? The House Republicans are opposing popular legislation from a very popular President, and doing so in ways that stick a needle in the eye of the popular (if quixotic) concept of bipartisanship. They would seem to have little chance of actually blocking this legislation, since they are far short of a majority, and since the Senate Republicans, who can filibuster, have thus far shown little inclination to go along with them -- with moderates like Susan Collins of Maine and Judd Gregg of New Hampshire voting routinely with the Administration.

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Outstanding article. The Republicans by voting unanimously against Obama's bills just to vote against Obama are killing themselves.

1 comment:

et said...

Blocking any delay in the Digital TV transition is a shameless pander to Big Business - all the companies who are poised to scoop up that newly-freed spectrum once it's vacated by analog TV transmission bandwidth. The GOP apologists who say that delaying the transition would "confuse" consumers are full of it.

Consumers are confused enough already. Who do you know that really understands what is happening to general broadcasting in the U.S., or can explain it with anything remotely coherent? The GOP are all about making that spectrum available to their corporate overlords as swiftly as possible, never mind consumers left perplexed and disenfranchised from broadcast information.

Because, you know, if you can't access normal broadcast information about what is happening in Congress, what you F-ing don't know won't F-ing hurt you...

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