What The "Do Nothing" GOP Congress Has In Mind After The Recess
In the wake of yesterday’s Pew poll which showed growing public dissatisfaction with a “do nothing” GOP-controlled Congress, the Post runs a story this morning outlining how the House and Senate GOP leadership plan to address such concerns in order to save their jobs this November.
It isn’t pretty. Nor is it likely to work.
In the House, Jonathan Weisman reports, John Boehner plans to have the returning representatives focus on an agenda that features the following:
-Work on a stalled budget, for which the GOP’s own caucus cannot agree to spend more or cut more;
-Reauthorizing the law that governs an increasingly dysfunctional intelligence bureaucracy under John Negroponte;
-Approving worthless, timid tweaks to lobbying rules;
-Working on energy legislation that once again will give Big Oil more tax breaks instead of demanding that these companies account for their actions to reduce refining capacity over the last decade, while fending off Democratic attacks that will draw blood;
-Extend Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthy and the Paris Hilton tax cut;
-Pursue health care legislation that will do nothing to extend coverage to the uninsured, yet will make more tax breaks for the wealthy.
For Bill Frist’s part, his plan to save the GOP Senate between now and November includes the following agenda:
-Approve another $106 billion for Iraq and Afghanistan without requiring any administration accountability or benchmarks for success;
-Pursue health care fixes that will grant tax breaks and malpractice caps but do nothing to extend health coverage to the uninsured;
-Extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and the Paris Hilton tax cut;
-And to throw more red meat to the base prior to the election, Frist wants to revisit the immigration bill, ram through two more wingnut judges for the appeals courts, push a constitutional ban on same-sex marriages, and push for an elimination of the Paris Hilton tax at a time of rising deficits and a $10 billion a month tab for Iraq.
See how the GOP leadership is so tuned in to the concerns of everyday voters? I’m sure that after a united GOP caucus in both houses quickly acts on this agenda, with the active leadership of the White House political operation, independent voters will rally around such a string of accomplishments this fall and vote for GOP incumbents. And to ensure their victory, the White House roll out its “October Surprise”, and thereby help Iran fulfill its long-held aim of cementing its leadership as head of Islamic fundamentalism.
Look, the GOP will run aground this summer on the rocks of rising gasoline prices, especially in Bush red states; seniors who run into the Medicare Part D donut hole and higher premiums next year; Iraq, which won’t be getting any better anytime soon; and detached-from-reality Bush rhetoric on Iran. Talking about extending tax cuts for the wealthy at a time of huge budget deficits, bashing immigrants and gays, and war drumming for Iran may work with your base, but won’t help vulnerable GOP incumbents bring aboard independent voters this fall.
The GOP has had total control for years now, and still hasn't done anything about our reliance upon vulnerable fossil fuel sources, health care, trade and budget deficits, tax inequities, homeland security infrastructure improvements, or dealing with real terror threats instead of Iraq. Bashing immigrants, gays, and Democrats while larding more tax cuts on the wealthy and Big Oil won't work any more.