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: , , ,


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

  • Thursday's open line and the daily video

    Here's the open line and the daily video.
    • Oct 27, 2016
  • UPDATE: Ted Suhl gets seven years, $200,000 fine for bribery

    Ted Suhl was sentenced this morning by federal Judge Billy Roy Wilson on four counts of attempting to bribe a state official to help his mental health business supported by Medicaid money. He received 84 months and a $200,000 fine and is to report to prison in early January. He will appeal.
    • Oct 27, 2016
  • Question raised on Dallas Cowboy gift to NLR cops

    Blogger Russ Racop raises an interesting question, as he sometimes does, about Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones' gift of free tickets for North Little Rock cops to attend a Dallas Cowboy football game.
    • Oct 27, 2016
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • War. What is it good for? Tom Cotton has an idea

    Twenty-four hours after meddling in President Obama's talks with Iran, hawkish Sen. Tom Cotton scheduled an off-the-record meeting with defense contractors, who'd be happy to supply goods for U.S. armed incursions in the Middle East.
    • Mar 9, 2015
  • Beyond rehoming: crowdfunding an investigative project

    The Times has just launched a crowdfunding campaign to support a large-scale investigative project into Arkansas's child welfare system. We're raising money through ioby.org, a platform that supports do-good projects. Donations are tax deductible.
    • Mar 13, 2015
  • A charter school advocate reverses course

    David Hornbeck was a charter school advocate as superintendent of Maryland schools and as Philadelphia school superintendent. No more. He says their results are mixed and they do harm to conventional public schools. He's opposing an expansion plan in Maryland.
    • Mar 9, 2015

Most Shared

  • Issue 3: blank check

    Who could object to a constitutional amendment "concerning job creation, job expansion and economic development," which is the condensed title for Issue 3 for Arkansas voters on Nov. 8?
  • Little Rock police kill man downtown

    Little Rock police responding to a disturbance call near Eighth and Sherman Streets about 12:40 a.m. killed a man with a long gun, Police Chief Kenton Buckner said in an early morning meeting with reporters.
  • From the mind of Sol LeWitt: Crystal Bridges 'Loopy Doopy': A correction

    Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is installing Sol Lewitt's 70-foot eye-crosser "Wall Drawing 880: Loopy Doopy," waves of complementary orange and green, on the outside of the Twentieth Century Gallery bridge. You can glimpse painters working on it from Eleven, the museum's restaurant, museum spokeswoman Beth Bobbitt said
  • Ted Suhl loses another bid for new trial; faces stiff sentencing recommendation

    Ted Suhl, the former operator of residential and out-patient mental health services, has lost a second bid to get a new trial on his conviction for paying bribes to influence state Human Services Department policies. Set for sentencing Thursday, Suhl faces a government request for a sentence up to almost 20 years. He argues for no more than 33 months.
  • Football and foster kids

    It took a football stadium to lay bare Republican budget hypocrisy in Arkansas.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments



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