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Posted by on Dec 15, 2006 in At TMV | 22 comments


Congressman Tom Price of Georgia writes on The Hill Blog:
“>Democrats Have a Difficult Time With the Truth

Hypocrisy reigns in the legislative process. The 110th Congress has yet to begin, but Democrats are putting in place plans to deny Republicans the opportunity to fully participate in the legislative process. Their claims of having the “most open and honest government in history� appear to be nothing more than election year rhetoric.
During the Democrats’ 100-Hour Plan Speaker-Elect Nancy Pelosi will skip the normal legislative process of having bills go through committee. Instead, she will bring the bills straight to the House floor for a vote, without full debate or a full amendment process.
This contradicts multiple statements made by Pelosi, including one on June 25, 2006, “Bills should generally come to the floor under a procedure that allows open, full, and fair debate consisting of a full amendment process that grants the minority the right to offer its alternatives, including a substitute.�
Not even in control yet, Democrats are backpedaling and breaking promises. Speaker-Elect Pelosi’s comments are an indication that she intends to unfairly run the House with an iron fist. While not a shock, it’s hypocritical for them to say they’re interested in full debate before the election, and now killing any pretense of honesty in legislation. The American public wants openness and real debate – not a charade. They voted for change in November – just not this change.

It seems to me that the supporters of Mr. Price may automatically agree with him, and liberals automatically disagree with him. But as an Independent Moderate who feels betrayed by the GOP failure to make government more efficient or extend even remedial bi-partisan welcome, I feel that the Dems have an enormous amount of room for error before they even come close to the hypocrisy of the last six years.

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  • I feel that the Dems have an enormous amount of room for error before they even come close to the hypocrisy of the last six years.

    Perhaps, but is this something that we really want to justify just because “the other guys were worse”?

    It seems that on issues ranging from earmarks to campaign finance to the organization of the House, Democrats are determined from the very beginning to compile a record of corruption, self-service, vengefulness and pettiness. These were the same things that Pelosi promised would be different under the Democrats and she can’t even get to her first day with the gavel before breaking all her high-sounding promises.

  • Paul in Austin

    Compared to the War, eliminating paygo,waiving ethics rules for leaders, setting new highs for earmark excesses, cutting taxes while increasing the debt…your list seems modest and exaggerated.

  • I guess I don’t give Democrats a pass on the failures of the war either, mainly because of their conscious refusal to even try to present any suggestions for alternatives. Just being satisfied to sit on the sidelines and throw rhetorical pot-shots at Bush doesn’t strike me as a high ethical pose, given the nature of the crisis.

  • Gary

    There were all kinds of alternatives to going to war. It was totally unnecessary Jason, what are you talking about?

  • Slamfu

    Um yea. Lets start already criticizing the Dems who arent due to take office for another month. Of COURSE they are going to ram a few proposals down the GOP’s throat. Lets not kid ourselves here, the GOP has it coming. At least a few of the issues being proposed are something other than tax breaks, oil subsidies, and repeals of civil rights. By skipping the ammendment process I also believe something can actually be passed in the first 100 hours that doesn’t have billions of pork $’s stuck to it.

  • There were all kinds of alternatives to going to war. It was totally unnecessary Jason, what are you talking about?

    I am talking about the fact that in 2003, critics of the war offered no alternatives about how to deal with the failing sanctions regime. Sure, they said the war was unnecessary, but they offered no specific policy options.

    Since then, it has only gotten worse. Anti-war critics are big on pointing out the many defects with Bush policies, but when it comes time for them to offer their own plan, they say, “not my job”. I find that to be an ethically questionable strategy, especially when it is elevated to the centerpiece of their whole consciously-thought-out strategy as it was in the last round of elections.

    Um yea. Lets start already criticizing the Dems who arent due to take office for another month.

    I think it is ok to hold people accountable for their actions at ALL times. I don’t think that the fact that the Republicans have been a disaster lately gives the Democrats a pass to do whatever they want in the name of “revenge” (Dingel’s own word). I also don’t think that the hunger so many people have for the blood of Republicans means that only Republicans are to be held accountable.

    At least a few of the issues being proposed are something other than tax breaks, oil subsidies, and repeals of civil rights.

    Actually since they are skipping the committee process, you can’t be sure of that. Just taking their word for it, are you?

  • Paul in Austin

    Bush has been driving the car. There is only so much one can do from the back seat, without compromising the welfare of the troops.

    It seems to be that the Dems have asked for:
    More inclusion in intelligence briefing
    Increase troops early in the invasion
    more ally support,
    talk with the stakeholders,
    partitioning the country,
    forcing Maliki to blow off Sadr,
    Push for an Israel/Hamas resolution,
    use professionals rather than cronies
    require bids on conracts
    require auditing of contracts
    tell the Country the truth about progress…

    I am fine with being prudently skeptical of Democratic actions, but I have a hard time respecting indignation from the GOP.

  • No new group ever comes in saying they are going to be anything other than the best administration/congress/roatary club/den mother/etc. EVER. They are lying. The republicans were lying back in 1994, the Dems are lying now. Its not the point. We get to judge them after they get their run and by the things they actually do.

    To me it just isn’t news that the Democrats are going to do exactly the things they complained about Republicans doing, AND vice versa. If you think the Republicans wont try to be obstructionist (when they think they can get away with it), you’re nuts.

    I think I might have a problem in the Pelosi plan in that it hardly seems like the deliberative approach to craft good public policy. The only way you can think it is a good idea is if you are a committed idealogue. Good moderate aren’t supposed to be such creatures (at least by any definition of moderate that has meaning.)

    Who here can really buy the notion of the Democrats bestowing their “program” on us all like Moses coming down the mountain with stone tablets, “Hey folks, I just had a chat with God and HE said….”??

  • Gary

    In 2003, most of us were concerned about terrorism and Afghanistan/Taliban/Osama–not so much about tired old Saddam.

    Somehow it got made an issue. How did that happen? And what happened to the war against our enemies???

  • Gary

    How come the Taliban are re-conquering Afghanistan and we are sending all our troops and credit cards to Iraq, of all places.

  • Paul in Austin

    The GOP leaders (O’Connell, Blunt and Thomas) have said repeatedly that they will try to scuttle all Dem legislation to keep them from building credibility with the public.

    Pelosi is taking them at their word and using her powers accordingly. And so she will start the term by packing a series of successes into the pipeline.

    It seems to me that the GOP could have taken a different tact by not taking such a belligerent and obstructionist stand. Before the election it made sense to stand tough, but after the election such posturing becomes counter productive.

    I have a conservative streak and hope that all of the Dem initiatives are optimized for market forces. But the GOP seems to be squandering its influence.

  • I never saw the statements you attribute to the Republicans “repeatedly”. I definitely do not recall them saying that their stated purpose was to “keep them from building all credibility with the public”.

    What I do clearly recall hearing was Pelosi saying that she wanted bipartisanship and consensus. It now seems she was straight-out lying with those statements. It also seems that some of the same people who are so VERY concerned with honesty and ethics when it comes to Republicans are not interested at all when it comes to Democrats. (Not you, Paul, but certainly some of the other commenters. Look, for example, on how quickly they change the subject to “but the Republicans are WORSE” every time any criticism, no matter how slight, is directed towards the Democrats now coming to power.)

  • Christopher Everett

    Heh, the Republicans didn’t run Congress with a fist of iron for 20 years?

  • No, especially since they have only controlled it for 12.

    And even if the Republicans did something, does that justify Democrats doing the same? If so, what is the point in electing Democrats?

  • Paul in Austin

    The Hill

    In the strategy memo, entitled “24 Months to a New Republican Majority — A Plan for Victory,� Blunt outlined 60 Democratic seats carried by President Bush in 2004 where Republican leaders will apply pressure either to flip Democrats on the floor or punish them in campaign materials for voting with party leaders.

    “We must hold our Conference together to deny [presumptive House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) victory and force vulnerable Democrats to take tough votes,� Blunt wrote. “This won’t be as simple as going to the floor every day and simply voting ‘no.’ We will have to offer well-crafted alternatives that allow some of our Members to vote ‘yes’ on a better plan before voting on the Pelosi plan.�

    Blunt outlines amendments he would offer to projected votes implementing pay-go rules in the budget process, raising the minimum wage and allowing the federal government to negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies, each of which is expected to be part of package offered by Democrats in the first 100 hours of their majority.

    There was a rant by Rep Bill Thomas about defeating the Dems at every opportunity. There was a article with Mitch O’Connell using more diplomatic tones saying the GOP would assert itself in every way to block progress.

    This was discussed for several days of on the political talk shows, which is where GOP pundits opined that the GOP can’t be allowed to look bad. I expect that they thought their audience for these comments were their demoralized colleagues. But they put it out there big and bright and unmistakeable- Democrats can not be allowed to look successful correcting the shortcomings of the GOP.

  • Krous

    Friggen Hypocrits.

    Last year I watched the republicans on the appropriations committee completely ignor Democrats day after day on C-Span. It was disgusting and Humiliating.

    I say shove it right back down their throats. The neocons started this BS, now the nation knows what utter fools they are. Make them pay!

  • Jim S

    Jason shows a complete ignorance of our system of government. He seems to be asking why didn’t the Democrats do anything while the Republicans controlled every branch of government. Because they couldn’t? He says they should have made suggestions. Why? It’s not like it would have accomplished one single thing.

    He never heard what the “new” Republican leadership promised? Then there’s this one. For 6 years the Democrats might as well have been non-existent because they were purposefully eliminated from everything except the voting process by the Republicans. They were completely unable to bring anything to the floor. What Pelosi and the rest of the Democratic leadership has promised is that they won’t follow that same pattern, not that they won’t bring bills to the floor on their own now that they can bring something to a vote. The proof of the pudding will be in the long term, not in the first 100 hours.

  • Kim Ritter

    Its amazing how much condemnation the Dems have received in the media, before they have even taken over. Pelosi’s every move has been dissected ad nauseum and put under a microscope. Maybe we could at least reserve judgement until January.

    The congressional GOP has enjoyed the perks of leadership without actually providing any to the country or performing their oversight function. The verdict on their time in power is in, and it ain’t pretty. Until they find a better reason to stay in power than power for its own sake, I’ll be voting a straight Democrat ticket. If they disgust me as much as the GOP has, I’ll rethink my vote. But they have a long way to go to become as corrupt and dysfunctional as the Republicans.

    Jason, I believe after 9/11 Democrats did try to work in a bipartisan way with Bush, but he rebuffed their efforts once the Republicans had a majority in both houses, and has made little effort until the recent turnover to consider any of their input. Many of the conclusions of the ISG were already known to us, because John Murtha had the guts to tell the truth about Iraq. He did his country a great service, and earned the JFK Profiles in Courage award that he received.

  • Krous

    Jim S

    He knows, he just spews lies. The damn neocons have been doing this since Rush Limpballs began his hate propaganda campaign in the early ’90s. They do it just to irritate people and start fights because the facts are completely against them.

  • I am most amused by the idea that the Democrats believe they have not been heard, and that Republicans have instituted some new method of keeping them down over the last twelve years. (I believe the Senate Majority stayed with the Dems until 2003.) The idea may be related to the believe that a narrow majority by one party means they have “control” of a branch of government. That seems a bit fevered to me.

    Bush and the Republicans kept Clinton-nominated judges on the slate and approved many of them. That is extremely rare. The diminished funding of Democrats on committees was still higher than what they had allowed the Republicans when they held the reins.

    Now as to the pork, I agree with the sentiments here.

  • Jim S

    Let me guess. AVI was hoping that post would get him a promotion.

  • Upinsmoke

    Someone criticized me for making the statement that the “NEW MODERATES” are just liberals repackaged.

    Well this is the types of things I’ve seen leaking out of DC that leads me to believe that they are about to take off their sheepskin to reveal the wolves in hiding.

    Pelosi and company know that they have to get their damage done in the first few weeks before they are trully exposed by the truth of who they are and the entire process once again screeches to a halt as the Republicans do to them what the democrats have done for the last 6 years. STop and block everything from happening. So much so that this congress was labeled the worst do nothing congress in the History of the United States.

    I hope Im wrong…….but if history is any precedent then Im right and it does not take anyone of extraordinary ability to see thru the rhetoric of this past election to know that MORE OF THE SAME is ahead.

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