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February 14, 2012

Obama and His Senate: Doing Nothing by Design

Dana Milbanks exposes the breathtakingly cynical political calculations behind Obama's budget proposal:

The White House’s budget for fiscal 2013 begins with a broken promise, adds some phony policy assumptions, throws in a few rosy forecasts and omits all kinds of painful decisions. Even then, the proposal would add $1 trillion more to the national debt than Obama contemplated a few months ago — and it is a non-starter on Capitol Hill, where even Senate Democrats have no plans to take it up. It is, in other words, exactly what it was supposed to be: a campaign document.

How inept does a leader have to be to send forth a budget purposely designed to fail? A better question would be, how cynical does he have to be?

When you combine this latest in a series of budgets that were never intended to pass with the President's latest excuse du jure (the do nothing Congress), a distinct pattern begins to emerge:

Under Mr. Reid's leadership, the Senate has not passed a budget resolution in three years. It has never voted to extend the payroll tax cut for a full year—which Vice President Joe Biden says is the administration's No. 1 economic priority. Nor did it protest when the president made a controversial recess appointment when the Senate plainly was not in recess.

The one notable area where Mr. Reid did not "do nothing"—ObamaCare—is not pretty. It would be good for Republicans to remind the public of this record. Partly it involved a complete rewrite in Mr. Reid's backroom, along with notorious vote-buying deals to secure enough votes to prevent a GOP filibuster, including the Louisiana Purchase ($300 million in Medicaid funds for the home state of Sen. Mary Landrieu) and the Cornhusker Kickback ($100 million in Medicaid funds for Nebraska's Sen. Ben Nelson).

The point is that with the exception of ObamaCare and the stimulus, Mr. Reid's energies have been exercised largely to prevent action, not take it. Remember Mr. Obama's jobs bill, and how he called on Congress to "pass this bill now"? When Senate Republicans pushed for a vote, Mr. Reid responded by changing the rules of the Senate to prevent one.

The GOP candidates need to ask more questions about Obama's so-called Do Nothing Congress. The best construction would be that Obama is a weak leader who can't even gain the support of the Democrat-controlled Senate. The more likely interpretation would be that Obama is deliberately kicking the can down the road while Senate Democrats run interference for him.

Where, oh where is Obama's Truth Team when you need it?

Posted by Cassandra at February 14, 2012 07:05 AM

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Comments

This was my congressman's complaint at the townhall back in December. He said that the House had sent about two dozen bills to the Senate that had wide bipartisan support, and the Senate had taken action on none of them. Not even killed them, exactly; just, nothing.

He didn't pronounce Harry Reid's name in a very nice way.

Posted by: Grim at February 14, 2012 09:51 AM

"the House had sent about two dozen bills to the Senate that had wide bipartisan support, and the Senate had taken action on none of them."

To be fair, the Senate under the direction of the Honorless Senator from Nevada has, to my recollection, tabled at least two budgets the House passed since January of 2011. While that can hardly be considered to be an act on behalf of the nation, it was an action nonetheless.

I can only hope that enough of the electorate are paying close attention to the acts of our Federal Government such that the November 6th elections thoroughly harrow the fields of the Capital. We need to plant some new sprouts in the Halls of Congress this Coming January. And the White House too, but that goes without saying.

Can-Kicking Boulevard has narrowed to become a two-rut road in the bush with a dead end sigh just ahead.

Posted by: bthun at February 14, 2012 11:43 AM

...tabled at least two budgets the House passed since January of 2011.

With respect, Sir, I dispute this. Tabling is, indeed, an overt action. The House-passed budgets, and the House-passed jobs related bills have not been (as an overt act) tabled--they've just been ignored.

I've long complained about Republican communications incompetence. They're fully capable of handing the White House back to the Progressives and their pet community organizer.

Eric Hines

Posted by: E Hines at February 14, 2012 02:06 PM

"With respect, Sir, I dispute this. Tabling is, indeed, an overt action."

Mr. Hines, I think we are in violent agreement. At least that's the way I read it, but to clarify, please allow me to amend the sentence in question in the following way:

While that can hardly be considered to be an act <strike>on behalf</strike> for the benefit of the nation, it was an action nonetheless.

I was a bit rushed at the time I pecked in that comment, what with having to #occupy-florist at the last minute, as usual.

I suppose I'd better go #OccupyBarn before I get myself into another violent agreement. At least the horse doesn't correct me... Unless I forget the beer. =;^}

Posted by: bthun at February 14, 2012 03:05 PM

Where, oh where is Obama's Truth Team when you need it?

Half the members have been sent to the office of the Jobs Creation Czar to come up with new and innovative initiatives to jump-start the economy. The other half has been assigned to the EPA to create regulations which will nip thos initiatives in the bud.

The WH is currently interviewing unemployed Solyndra and Lightsquared lobbyists to fill the vacant TT slots...

Posted by: BillT at February 14, 2012 10:24 PM

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