Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Republicans, Toddlers, and Temper Tantrums

There comes a point in the development of a child where they learn the seemingly magical word, "no." And anyone who is a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, sibling or even casual observer probably knows that once that toddler is on message, getting him/her off it is damn near impossible.

It seems that the Republican Party, particularly those in Congress, and toddlers have a lot in common these days.

Don't believe me? Here are a few examples:

• January 2009 - The economy is in freefall in large part due to the ineffectiveness of the Bush Administration. Days after President Obama takes the oath of office, the House passes an $820 billion economic stimulus bill. The number of Republican votes: ZERO

• July 2009 - The debate moves to health care reform and the GOP raises the flag of fiscal conservatism. Mind you it wasn't a concern of theirs when the Bush administration rang up the then biggest deficit in history, but that was then, this is now. Perhaps their flag was at the dry cleaners.

• August 2009 - The health care battle rages on while Congress is on summer recess. GOP plants infiltrate town meetings to rile up the populace. Intellectual powerhouse and GOP darling, Sarah Palin, coins the phrase, "death panel" and scares the hell out of senior citizens. With such vociferous opposition, one might think that the Grand Old Party would be forthcoming with brilliant counter-proposals.

Hmmm . . . what's that word I'm looking for . . . oh yes, NO.

Now as the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee debates a major bill to reduce the emission of green house gasses, the Republican'ts are at it again. In fact, not only are they saying no, they're boycotting the discussion in order to block the committee from having a quorum. Committee rules being such that two members of the minority party must be present to constitute a quorum. Their reason? They want an EPA analysis of the bill. This would seem reasonable and prudent if the EPA wasn't scheduled to appear before the committee next Tuesday for the express purpose of answering their questions.

It seems that no matter what the topic, the Republican Party is bound and determined to be obstructionist, while offering no alternative. In truth, it's the political equivalent of a temper tantrum.

Perhaps they should consider throwing themselves on the floor, kicking and holding their breath until they're blue in the face. Couldn't hurt.


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