Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Republicans claim "meaningful amendments" crown!

We're all of three months into the 110th Congress, so of course it's time to grade the Republicans. At least, that's what House Republicans seem to think.

This is a special sort of report card, in which they choose the categories and introduce them with a self-serving blurb. But what the heck. Here's what they have to say for themselves:

House Republicans have successfully passed more meaningful amendments in the first three months on 2007, than the Democrats were able to pass in the past 12 years. One prominent analyst remarked that House Republicans are creating "a series of substantaive wins" through effective use of procedural rights on the floor.

Wow. "More meaningful amendments." Anyone else impressed? The "prominent analyst," by the way, is lobbyist and conservative Washington Times op-ed contributor Gary Andres.

The ironic thing is that their relative success in this small-bore world can be ascribed to the Democrats not using the hardball tactics employed by Republicans when they were in the majority. Indeed, Andres speculates with apparent glee that the raging GOP success with "meaningful amendments" may lead Democrats to clamp down on that openness. I'm not sure why he considers that a good thing.

Next up: Online communication.

House Republicans are reaching out to the online community more aggressively than ever before; Rep. Cantor is proud to be a part of this effort. In the past three months, House Republicans have held a successful blog row, produced several online web ads, been in constant communication with the blogs, among other ideas. How successful do you feel these efforts have been?

Double wow. I thought we were supposed to be ranking their job performance, not their PR efforts.

Lastly, defining the stakes (or, as the secondary label puts it, "Showing that Democrats are wrong for America"):

House Democrats are making a lot of legislative mistakes; in just their first three months of holding power, they have passed the largest tax hike in American history, failed to fund America’s troops, and increased the federal budget by billions with pork projects. How effective do you feel House Republicans have been in highlighting these errors?

Nah, no spin there. And once again, why are we grading PR efforts?

That, by the way, is it. The entire report card you are encouraged to fill out.

I could tut-tut about this, but really it's the political equivalent of mind candy. And for people with any perspective at all, it would be all in good fun. I'm just not sure the designers of this report card actually have perspective, because they seem so serious about it. It's almost as if they don't realize how ridiculously blinkered they sound.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

So----what successes has the new Democrat leadership had in the first 3 months? Would you care to list them and analyze them with the SAME judgemental manner in which you graded the Republicans?


4/12/2007 10:06 AM  
Blogger Douglas said...

It struck me as a push poll...

4/12/2007 11:18 AM  
Blogger Sean Aqui said...

JP5: Hey, this was the Republicans grading themselves. I'm just making fun of them. If the Democrats do something similar, I'll see if they deserve ridicule as well.

Douglas: Exactly.

4/12/2007 11:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well---here ya go. Here's an article about the Dems "boasting" about themselves. Let's see how you treat this one:

"Boasts, barbs as Democrats approach their first 100 days in the majority"

By Richard Simon, Times Staff Writer
April 7, 2007

WASHINGTON — As congressional Democrats prepare to celebrate their first 100 days in the majority, they boast that they have worked more hours, passed more bills and held more oversight hearings than Republicans did when they were in charge.

But when it comes to how many of their top legislative priorities have become law, a different number stands out: 0. None of the six bills that House Democrats passed in their initial legislative juggernaut have made it to the president's desk.",1,5797253.story

"Democrats have successfully passed 16 bills into law — 10 of which name a federal building, post office, courthouse, or national recreation area," Rep. Patrick T. McHenry (R-N.C.) noted. "Zero make any legislative impact on fighting the war against Islamic extremists, balancing the federal budget, creating jobs, cutting pork-barrel spending, or saving Social Security. So far the only Americans experiencing 'a new direction' are postal workers adjusting to the new nameplates on the front of their offices."

Senate Minority Whip Trent Lott (R-Miss.) added: "There's been a lot of sound and fury but not much production."


4/12/2007 1:18 PM  
Blogger Sean Aqui said...

JP5: This isn't the Dems doing something cheesy like an interactive push-poll report card.

The Dems took power promising to do certain things, and by and large they're doing them: ethics reform, minimum wage, oversight, critical questioning of the Iraq war.

So far none of the bills have reached Bush's desk, but the article notes that the legislative roadblock is the Senate, where Republicans are holding up most of the initiatives. So the GOP saying Congress has "done nothing" is like a thug shooting someone in the knee and then blaming the victim for being unable to walk.

Crowing over the 16 bills that did pass, however, is pretty stupid. Renaming buildings isn't anything to be proud of.

Still and all, they're not sitting on their hands. Legislation takes time. There are plenty of bills currently working their way through committees, that will hit the floor in the weeks and months ahead. Expecting a lot of major legislation to pass in the first 100 days is a bit much.

4/12/2007 1:29 PM  

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