"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

Dems Still Prioritizing Liberal Wish Lists & Political Show Votes

December 2nd, 2010 by mopns · No Comments

The New York Times writes today, “Republicans threatened to block any legislation until a deal is reached to extend the expiring Bush-era tax cuts, potentially derailing the Democrats’ busy end-of-year agenda. The blunt threat was made in a letter to the majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, and signed by all 42 Senate Republicans. And it was reiterated by the Republican leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, in a speech in which he accused Democratic leaders and Mr. Obama of ignoring the midterm election results.”

The Times notes that “[t]he move put Democrats in a vise” and Politico reports, “Senate Republicans’ aggressive move to block virtually all business in the chamber has created a fresh round of partisan anger, threatening to derail or delay the rest of the Democratic agenda in an already gridlocked lame-duck session of Congress.”

The NYT reports that the “announcement drew howls of anger from Democrats who said it was just the latest evidence of Republican obstructionism. To emphasize their point, Democrats went to the floor and attempted to bring up numerous bills, including a measure to extend jobless benefits and a measure to promote clean energy. On behalf of his colleagues, Senator John Barrasso, Republican of Wyoming, repeatedly voiced objections, blocking the bills and prompting a furious speech by Senator Claire McCaskill, Democrat of Missouri.”

Yet Democrats’ anger was all about the liberal wish list of bills they want to move forward on, with little recognition of the message voters sent a month ago about their priorities: addressing the struggling economy and the size of government.

Democrats’ continued inability to listen to what the American people are saying is on stark display with the political show vote on raising some taxes House Democrats plan to hold today. Even The New York Times described Democrats’ strategy as “scrambl[ing] to hold a series of symbolic votes aimed at showing Republicans defending lower taxes for millionaires.”

ABC News reported on the frustration Democrats’ move has generated with Republicans. “Republican leaders in Congress [Wednesday] ripped House Democrats for holding a politically-charged vote Thursday on extending the Bush tax cuts for middle-class Americans but letting them expire for the wealthy at year’s end. ‘I think it’s wrong,’ said House Speaker-to be John Boehner. “It does undercut the conversations we had just yesterday to continue to play political games. The American people said on election day, “Stop the games. Stop the spending. Stop the looming tax hikes.”’ That argument was echoed by the Senate’s top Republican Mitch McConnell. ‘Regardless of what the majority tries to force House Republicans to do, it’s not going to go anywhere,’ McConnell said. ‘We are going to extend the current tax rates. We’re not going to raise taxes on anybody. The only thing we’re discussing now is just how long that extension will be.’”

Democrats should drop the political games and their liberal wish list and simply focus on the urgent priorities of Americans. As Sen. McConnell said today, “The Dream Act doesn’t create jobs. Filibuster rules don’t create jobs. Wasting time on votes to raise taxes won’t create jobs.” Giving business owners some certainty and preventing a massive tax hike on all Americans is what people are looking for and the right thing to do for the economy. How is it that so many Democrats still can’t understand that the American people have told them to focus on their priorities and not those at the top of the liberal Christmas list?

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