Americans have endured with disgust a year of historic partisan gridlock in Washington, where the Republican-controlled House clashed with President Obama and the Democratic-controlled Senate on matters of economic policy, debt reduction, taxes, abortion and the environment. Poll after poll reports that citizens hate the ideological bickering and posturing which, in addition to failing to address their concerns, saw the U.S. lose its elite 70-year-old AAA credit rating. The only solution, according to National TeaParty blog RedState, is to demand Republican members of the House become even more intransigent and ideologically driven.
“As we forge ahead to the new legislative session, it is important that we internalize the lessons of the dismal failures from last session. Most of the dominant and sundry legislative battles last year can be explicated by the inane cycle of Republican capitulation,” writes blogger Red Meat Conservative blogger Daniel Horowitz.
It goes something like this:
Democrats propose some odious and profligate legislative idea or budget bill. Conservatives advocate that we uproot the entire premise of the destructive legislation by drawing a line in the sand on the principles that got us elected. Republican leaders eschew conservative principles and acquiesce to the premise that the Democrat legislation or budget is a priority too big to fail. They telegraph the message to Democrats that they will never let the budget bill or stimulus proposal fail, but promise to make them pay for it with reforms or other spending offsets.
Inevitably, Democrats unite against the GOP leadership proposal, and we are left with the GOP caving on the spending without the offsets. Then they unequivocally swear to stick it to the Democrats during the next budget battle by finally utilizing their leverage. Repeat and rinse [as] needed…
Republicans must fight it out over every individual bill, exposing Democrats for their wasteful spending and harmful government regulations every step of the way.
Meantime, outside the Tea Party information silo, bipartisan discontent with Capitol Hill rancor delivered Congress one of its lowest approval ratings on record.
Just 13 percent of Americans in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll approve of the way Congress is handling its job, while 84 percent disapprove – its worst rating in poll results since 1974. Sixty-five percent disapprove ‘strongly,’ a vast level of high-intensity criticism.
Congress’ rating is a broad 35 points below Obama’s 48 percent approval, the biggest gap between approval of the president and Congress since 1990.
Desperate for change, Colorado Democratic Senator Mark Udall is again leading the move for “date night” Republican-Democrat mixed seating during next week’s State of the Union address.
“[I]t’s a way to create an environment to work together,” Udall said. “Sometimes, function will follow form.”