Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Blind partisanship: It's not new, but the current version is worse

Posted By on Tue, Feb 19, 2013 at 9:58 AM

Ernie Dumas this week provides a little historical perspective on the rigid partisanship that defines debate in Washington and Little Rock. It's not new by any means.

But Dumas goes on to make the case that the motives today make the outcome worse. In Washington, it's no longer so much a philosophical debate about what's best for the country but how the Republicans in Congress can ensure that President Obama fails.

The voting rules as dictated by Republicans now prevent a vote in either house on any matter that the party’s extremists do not want a vote on. Sixty percent of the Senate must consent to any important vote. The operative rule in the House of Representatives is that no vote will occur unless a bare majority of Republicans — 118 Republicans in a membership of 435—wants it to. Never has the House been so undemocratic. Thus another year will pass without Congress making it possible for millions of underwater homeowners to refinance their mortgages and rejoin the economic mainstream, which would be a huge shot for the languid economy.

No part of the president’s program will get a vote. In his state of the union address, the president begged Congress just to vote. Vote no and defeat the bills and nominations if you please, but just vote, he said. But that would suggest that the country was on a glide path to safety. Mustn’t happen.

The Affordable Care Act and any of its parts must not succeed. The worst of all possible outcomes is that a large majority will come to see it as a very good thing. What if they should begin to say, “I still hate the dusky fellow with the Middle Eastern name, but who misled us about his health- care thing?”

Thus, a minority in the Arkansas legislature who were elected on campaigns to oppose Obama and Obamacare will prevent more than 215,000 poor working families from getting health insurance and stop billions of dollars in health-care assistance at the state line.

Routine cabinet appointments, including a conservative Republican war hero as defense secretary, are blocked or delayed so that the administration seems in perpetual disarray. A fiscal cliff, such as the prospect of the country not paying the bills run up by prior Republican governments, must always lie ahead so that uncertainty hangs over the
economy and the financial sector.

If the economy is growing robustly, the deficit coming down, medical inflation plunging and the government running smoothly, people might get the wrong idea about Obama.

In the end you have to frame in a word they love but hate in this context. Is this really patriotic?

Tags: , , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • More defense for the Duggars from Arkansas legislators Hester and Woods

    A couple of Arkansas Republican legislators rise to the defense of the Duggars. It's a family matter, they say. We beg to differ.
    • May 22, 2015
  • Arkansas: Land of .......

    Welcome to Arkansas: Land of cowardly politicians, discriminatory laws, inhumane turkey drops and lots and lots of Trump voters.
    • Oct 8, 2016
  • Mike Huckabee, meet James Madison

    Not that it will do much good, but Times columnist Ernest Dumas this week provides some useful Founding Father history, plus a little bit of Bible, for how wrong-headed Mike Huckabee, Asa Hutchinson, the Republican legislature and others are in using government to enforce their religious views.
    • May 26, 2015

Most Shared

  • Department of Arkansas Heritage archeologist resigns

    Bob Scoggin, 50, the Department of Arkansas Heritage archeologist whose job it was to review the work of agencies, including DAH and the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department, for possible impacts on historic properties, resigned from the agency on Monday. Multiple sources say Scoggin, whom they describe as an "exemplary" employee who the week before had completed an archeological project on DAH property, was told he would be fired if he did not resign.
  • Labor department director inappropriately expensed out-of-state trips, audit finds

    Jones was "Minority Outreach Coordinator" for Hutchinson's 2014 gubernatorial campaign. The governor first named him as policy director before placing him over the labor department instead in Jan. 2015, soon after taking office.
  • Lawsuit filed against ADC officials, prison chaplain convicted of sexual assault at McPherson

    A former inmate who claims she was sexually assaulted over 70 times by former McPherson Womens' Unit chaplain Kenneth Dewitt has filed a federal lawsuit against Dewitt, several staff members at the prison, and officials with the Arkansas Department of Corrections, including former director Ray Hobbs.
  • Rapert compares Bill Clinton to Orval Faubus

    Sen. Jason Rapert (R-Conway)  was on "Capitol View" on KARK, Channel 4, this morning, and among other things that will likely inspire you to yell at your computer screen, he said he expects someone in the legislature to file a bill to do ... something about changing the name of the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport.

Visit Arkansas

Arkansas remembers Pearl Harbor

Arkansas remembers Pearl Harbor

Central Arkansas venues have a full week of commemorative events planned

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation