Thursday, December 13, 2007

When Democrats fight ain’t so pretty either

House Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel? Senate Democrats have “Stockholm syndrome” for caving to Senate GOP filibuster threats all the time.

Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid criticizes Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s “iron hand” style of government. (Oh, if it were only true, Harry. You must be confusing her with former GOP Speaker Dennis Hastert, or his power behind the throne, Majority Leader Tom DeLay.)

Neither side of the Capitol Dome has done itself much credit. The latest anti-results:

Democrats in each chamber are now blaming their colleagues in the other for the mess in which they find themselves. The predicament caused the majority party yesterday surrender to President Bush on domestic spending levels, drop a cherished renewable-energy mandate and move toward leaving a raft of high-profile legislation, from addressing the mortgage crisis to providing middle-class tax relief, undone or incomplete.

And, the backbiting probably isn’t dying down. Not after comments like this:
Reid has let his own frustration show. After Republican senators accused Pelosi of lying about her intentions on a comprehensive energy bill, the majority leader offered a backhanded defense.

“I can’t control Speaker Pelosi,” he said on the chamber floor. “I hope everybody understands that. She is a strong, independent woman. She runs the House with an iron hand. I support what she does, but no one needs to come and tell me I didn’t keep my word.”

There’s plenty of blame to go around here. First, on Reid’s side, besides his anti-filibuster all-nighter on Iraq spending, he still hasn’t figured out enough sneaky tactics to counter GOP filibuster threats. Surely, Robert Byrd, “Mr. Senate,” could tell him a trick or two.

If nothing else, why doesn’t Reid threaten to do what House Appropriations Chair David Obey plans? Gut any Senate spending bill of earmarks until Republicans start squeaking. It WILL work.

Look at the water bill that Congress recently re-passed to override a Bush veto for the first time. If there’s money involved, the GOP will listen.

On Pelosi’s side, part of it is that a number of freshman Democrats are fairly conservative. At the same time, she pissed off many of the definite liberals, before taking over, by how much, besides impeachment itself, she seemed ready to rule off the political table.