Back in 2006, at the same time the Democrats won both Houses in Congress, they also swept to power here in New Hampshire. Not only did they keep the governorship they had won two years prior, they also gained majorities in our House, Senate, and Executive Council. For the first time in a very, very long time (I don’t recall precisely how long, but at least decades), the Democrats had control of New Hampshire and could push their agenda.
So, what were the first notable things they did? Astonishingly enough, the two biggest ones were ones that didn’t get a lot of airplay during their campaign: they immediately passed a civil unions bill and jacked up the state budget over 16% in a single year.
The phrase “bait and switch” comes to mind, and I’m sure will be tossed around a LOT come this November.
On the national front, I see a similar thing going on. The Democrats won both houses of Congress, on a host of promises and pledges and positions — pretty much all of which have gone precisely nowhere. Instead, we have seen a scattershot of stupidity, a whole host of ideas and initiatives and trial balloons and whatnot that seem to have one common thread: demonstrating that the Democrats running Congress are dumber than a box of rocks.
You want proof, you say? Here you go:
House and Senate committees held hearings on the high price of gasoline. They called the CEOs of the big oil companies and asked them such probing questions as “why do you get paid every year a significant fraction of what one of us spends to get elected?” and can you tell us why we shouldn’t just take over your companies and run them as incompetently as we run the government?” The executives answered calmly and rationally, saying “the price of gas keeps going up because we make it out of oil, and the price we pay for oil keeps going up and up, partly because the people who sell us the oil are a lot like you.”
Karl Rove has been subpoenaed to talk about how the president has “meddled” with the Department of Justice. Here’s hoping that Rove opens with a reading from this letter he wrote to MSNBC’s Dan Abrams, when he simply, concisely, and logically points out all the logical holes in the theory that “Karl Rove framed Alabama governor Don Siegelman,” then segues into the United States Constitution, where it clearly spells out that the Department of Justice is part of the Executive Branch, and therefore answerable to the Chief Executive.
And let’s not forget the recent attempt by Congress to rewrite the Constitution, where they only sent part of a bill to President Bush. This has led to some interesting speculation among Congressional Democrats that they don’t need to send entire bills to the White House — they can only send part of it, and when the president signs it, all the parts — even the parts the president didn’t sign — come into law.
I’m just an amateur Constitutional scholar, but it’s always been my understanding (largely based on this) that the way a law is made is that it starts in one House, goes to the other, and then the president has to sign it. And one key part of that is that it has to be the same exact bill — there’s even a process where the two Houses can reconcile the differences before they send it off to the White House.
As others have noted, this puts the president’s “signing statements” to shame. In those, Bush is just laying groundwork for a potential future challenge to a law; here, Congress is saying that, in effect, it can pass laws entirely on its own, with no presidential involvement whatsoever — in direct violation with the “checks and balances” provisions of the Constitution.
Next, I suppose, they will work on limiting or eliminating the Judiciary’s ability to declare laws unconstitutional, to give them absolute, unfettered power. it is the next logical step, after all…
Congress has also decided that other matters are major national crises, needing their direct investigation and intervention. Matters such as whether or not the New England Patriots cheated last season or if some baseball players misused certain drugs.
There’s an old saying that, in democracies, people tend to get the government they deserve.
I have to wonder just what the hell we did to deserve this current Congress.
And then I remember: we voted for them. I didn’t, personally, but we, the American people did.
So let’s blame them, but let’s never forget that they couldn’t have done a damned thing without our consent, or at least our tacit approval.
And let’s especially not forget it come next November, folks.