Regarding that much-needed housecleaning in the Congress...

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by DC_DEEP, Jan 18, 2007.

  1. DC_DEEP

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    It happened sooner than I thought. The Crooks on the Hill are back to business as usual. There are some token claims of housecleaning in Washington, but as I predicted before, the mops and dustrags will not come out of the closet any time soon.

    washingtonpost.com - nation, world, technology and Washington area news and headlines

    This article in today's Washington Post describes the death of an ethics reform bill. Yet another reason I think pork-barrelling and similar tactics should be forbidden by law.

    After the legislation was proposed, an amendment was tacked on, which would grant line-item veto power to the president. This power has been previously stricken down by the Supreme Court.

    From the article:

    Senate Republicans scuttled broad legislation last night to curtail lobbyists' influence and tighten congressional ethics rules, refusing to let the bill pass without a vote on an unrelated measure that would give President Bush virtual line-item-veto power.

    The bill could be brought back up later this year. Indeed, Democrats will try one last time today to break the impasse. But its unexpected collapse last night infuriated Democrats and the government watchdog groups that had been pushing it since the lobbying scandals that rocked the last Congress. Proponents charged that Republicans had used the spending-control measure as a ruse to thwart ethics rules they dared not defeat in a straight vote.
    <...>
    Opponents of the provision waged a backroom campaign against the bill, but ultimately its undoing came on an unrelated measure. Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) demanded a vote on a measure long-sought by Bush that would allow the president to submit to Congress a list of spending items the White House wishes to strike from congressionally passed spending bills. Congress would then be forced to vote on whether to sustain or accept those rescissions.

    Democrats argued that the measure had nothing to do with ethics and lobbying reform, but Republicans said their efforts were no different from the gambit that Democrats took last year, temporarily derailing a weaker ethics bill by demanding a vote against the takeover of U.S. port management by a Dubai-owned shipping company.


    By Jonathan Weisman
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Thursday, January 18, 2007; Page A06

    And so it goes on...
     
  2. B_NineInchCock_160IQ

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  3. D_Sheffield Thongbynder

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  4. Pecker

    Pecker Retired Moderator
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    Yet, the next time they run for office we'll collectively say, "Oh, okay!"

    ...and so it goes.
     
  5. fratpack

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    The more things change, the more they stay the same. Honestly, I don't think the situation in Washington will ever change. They are all out for their own good and that ain't good. And so it goes on and on and on.........
     
  6. DC_DEEP

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    Right, Pecker, that is the problem. Well, part of it, anyway.

    Nancy may have meant well, bless her heart, and she made some good noise right after the swearing-in; but it would appear that regardless of the good intentions of a few in Washington, their hands CAN effectively be tied. The voters need to DEMAND better, and it would start with the national political parties being held 100% accountable. As voters, we only get what they present to us. We need to tell them "your best is not good enough. Do better or else."
     
  7. mindseye

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    DC_Deep spoke of "token claims of housecleaning" in Washington, and I object to the characterization of those claims as "token":

    Transition in the Senate takes longer than transitions in the House, due to the fact that only 33 of the 100 senators were up for election in 2006. Neither Mitch McConnell nor Judd Gregg, the Republican senators mentioned in the Washington Post article were among those who had to defend their seat this election cycle.

    I believe that the ethics bill was introduced by the new majority leadership in good faith, and that it's unfair to call their efforts "token" because they were obstructed by incumbent senators who haven't had to face their voters recently.
     
  8. DC_DEEP

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    I am a little confused here, mindseye. Did the republicans not make the same claims when they took the majority some couple of election cycles back? They were going to clean up the "corruption of our previously democratic majority" or something to that fabulous effect. So we see how well they did. Both sides have been claiming, for at least 30 years, that they will eliminate the "culture of corruption" so pervasive in their opposition party. Some of those claims may indeed be in good faith.

    Are these democrats naive enough to think that they can step on the toes of the republicans and magically make reform happen? Is that why they make the claims, even in good faith?

    As long as they have the ability to point the finger at the other party, nothing is going to change. They will make the effort (which they must know is futile), then give up and give in. Meanwhile, the citizens will continue to blindly accept whatever their own party hands them (after all, my corrupt politician is not nearly as corrupt as your corrupt politician, so I'll keep him there.)

    Sorry if it chaps your ass for me to say it, my friend, but I will eat crow when I see both sides working for real, tangible, positive change. Until then, they should not make claims and campaign promises that they KNOW they can't keep.
     
  9. Onslow

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    If they did that then what would happen to politics and politicking as we know it? There's no place for honesty in politics--at least not for people who want to be elected. People--the voters--like hearing the lies even when it's known theat they are lies--something about it makes us feel good.
     
  10. mindseye

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    I object to the mischaracterization of Senator Reid's efforts as "token", and you come back with words like "naive" and "magical"?

    Some of the newly-proposed changes went through on the first try, and others didn't. The ones that didn't go through this time will be postponed until the next session of Congress. In the intervening time, though, public awareness of those proposals will grow, and some of the senators who opposed them this time may be pressured by their constituents into supporting them next time. That's not "stepping on toes", it's not "naive", and it's not "magical".

    You lifted a single example of a proposed change that will probably have to be postponed until the next session of Congress, and are using that to defend your nihilistic misperceptions.
     
  11. tripod

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    Is it healthy for Americans to have such a cynical nihilistic mindset when it comes to our democracy? Everyone just fucking LOVES to be like... "All politicians are crooks, you can count on anything getting done, and that the fleecing will continue." I find it is like one of those ink blot tests, it just shows that most of you have a need to be cynical. How about this... the longer us as Americans walk around like fucking materialistic nihilists we will have a fucking materialistic cynical government that reflects the people. THE GOVERNMENT IS A MIRROR TO SOCIETY, if you we all want a better government, we should strive to be better, and that means not having a knee-jerk cynical outlook that clouds our judgements and actions.
     
  12. DC_DEEP

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    tripod and mindseye, believe it or not, I am actually hopeful. I won't deny a small amount of cynicism - but I am not taking a nihilistic view, I'm trying to encourage people to be less accepting of bad government. Tripod and Onlsow both nailed it with their comments - the people DO want to hear rosy reports, even if they know it's lies... and the government DOES mirror society. That's the part that makes me so sad and frustrated.

    We see all kinds of unacceptable behavior going on, on both sides, in Washington. But instead of the people, en masse, saying "that's completely unacceptable", they divide up along partisan lines, and say "the other side did it first" or "at least my party is not as corrupt as the other party." They don't actually DO anything to make things better. See, the republican supporters (instead of a little tantrum) should recognize that their guys are out of line; they should write to their reps and say "suck it up and work to make it better." The same when the dems misbehave. This is a filthy little game the repubs are playing, and both sides should (won't, but should) call them on it.

    As a nation, we have got to INSIST that both sides work on the cleanup, not apologize for "our side" when they don't go along with the cleanup.
     
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