Thursday, January 21, 2010

A very sad day

This has been an absolutely horrible, sad, depressing day. First, House Leaders announce that they don't have the votes (with a 40-seat majority) to pass the Senate version of Health Care reform. If it goes back to the Senate with any House chanages, it will face yet another Republican filibuster and will be dependent on a Republican defection to pass.
Why is it that the Democrats can have control of the White House and huge majorities in the House and Senate and still be unable to accomplish their agenda?

Steve Benen sums it up well...

If a majority of the House and a majority of the Senate could approve legislation -- if, in other words, Congress could function the way it used to and the way it was designed to -- Democrats would have finished an ambitious heath care reform bill months ago. The stimulus would have been bigger and more effective. The prospects for a climate bill and reform of Wall Street would be excellent. The progressive productivity of this Congress would rival that of the New Deal and Great Society eras.

But that's not the legislative dynamic we're dealing with. Instead we have unprecedented obstructionism from a right-wing minority, which tries to block voting on literally every bill of any significance -- a situation that has never existed before in American history -- and a small handful of Senate Democrats -- including Mary Landrieu and her "wing" -- willing to help them.

The principal hurdle, in other words, standing in the way of the party delivering on its agenda is a dysfunctional system that empowers a small congressional minority to kill the majority's agenda -- and creates an electoral incentive for the minority to do just that.

And then, as if all of this wasn't bad enough, the Supreme Court comes down with its decision to cede our elections to the corporate interests for the next several generations.

And Conan O'Brien's last show is tonight.

And, to top it off, I just learned that Air America (which wasn't broadcasting in San Antonio anyway) is going bankrupt and ceasing broadcasting today.

The Supreme Court decision will haunt us for years to come, but I think the most discouraging thing right now is what is happening in the House. I just can't watch as they screw this up. It's like watching a Spurs game when they are playing horribly. I just have to turn off the TV and quit watching. It is less painful just to read the score in the next day's paper.

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