Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Republican Congress Working As Promised: Which Is, They're NOT DOING A DAMN THING

We're here again, railing against the real source of our national woe: the broken dysfunctional Congress led by Republican factions that refuse to do their damn jobs.

Which recess session are we in now? The one that lasts two weeks or the one that lasts two months? I've lost track, our Congressional officials have SO MANY WEEKS OFF ANYMORE.

Sigh, okay, let's go to someone else's current observation of how messed up our Legislative Branch is at the moment. To Norm Ornstein at the Atlantic, take it away:

...The truly cringe-worthy failures started when both the House and Senate refused to even acknowledge the president’s budget, an unprecedented step, and the House and Senate Budget Committees followed by refusing to hold the usual annual hearing when the president’s top economic advisor comes to the Hill to discuss the budget and the economy. It was a sign of disrespect that was simply shocking...
...What about the congressional budget? Remember, back when Democrats controlled the Senate, Republican congressional leaders used to laud passing a budget as the single most significant action government could take? This time, the April 15 deadline passed without a murmur, much less an actual budget plan, from either house...
...Now add the embarrassment of the unprecedented failure of fundamental fiduciary responsibility by the Senate to even acknowledge the right of a president to nominate an individual to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court with eleven months to go in his term... The awful lapse on the Supreme Court nomination was part of a larger outrage, the failure to confirm a much larger number of nominees to both judicial and executive branch posts, a record for this Congress far more dismal than its comparable predecessors...
There are very legitimate arguments about the appropriate role and scope of the federal government. But few except nihilists and the most extreme libertarians would argue that protecting public safety in the face of catastrophe or epidemic should be off the government’s books or sharply constrained in scope. And right now, there are three such examples: the horrible Flint water debacle, a man-made (mostly state government-made) disaster; the Zika crisis, a classic disease epidemic; and the Opioid crisis...

Ornstein also fails to mention another crisis, slightly tied into the Zika health crisis, and that's Puerto Rico. As a territory, it's in the legal gray area of being supported by the federal but also running its own affairs, but a series of financial crisis over the decades have led to this point where Puerto Rico is billions in debt and requiring massive financial aid.

Financial aid that this Congress would likely choke on because it would mean A) giving social aid and B) the likelihood they'd have to raise taxes to pay for it. It could also mean that our federal government would have to finally get off its collective butt and fast-track the process of bringing Puerto Rico in as a full-fledged state in order to merge the debts into the federal government's.

So as you can see, the Republicans are treating these problems as the priorities they are... completely ignoring them and focusing on crap issues. Like denying people who look transgender from ever using public bathrooms again. Even when there's no damn evidence that there's an epidemic of transgender people attacking anybody in bathrooms, this is now suddenly a SCANDAL / HORROR beyond all reckoning. Alongside the usual fearmongering over illegal immigrants, gay sex, abortions, Muslim pool halls, and Hillary's Death List.


This is what drives me up a goddamn wall. That elected officials from one party - Republicans - are so obsessively destructive and yet nearly everybody else watching this are just "oh well, it is what it is."

We're going to be stuck like this until the crises all explode, one at a time or altogether, and in ways so catastrophic that lives will be lost. I'm worried we're facing another Katrina moment, only instead of the mismanagement coming from an inept Bush administration it'll be coming from an inept Republican Congress.

How many times do we have to go through this dance of death before Americans figure out the real threat are these anti-government buffoons intentionally wrecking their own institutions all for their dead-ender zealotry?

1 comment:

dinthebeast said...

Lives already have been lost to Republican obstruction, just at the state level with the denial of medicaid expansion. Still are being lost every day.
I'm kind of with Driftglass on this one, in that when problems become crises, the media reports it as failures of government, not failures of Republican controlled branches of government, so people who are not really paying much attention to it are likely to fall for the both-siderist narrative they are selling to protect their access to "newsmakers" in government. The Democrats do have their faults, but still mostly try to do the damn job we are paying them so generously to do.

-Doug in Oakland