Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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August 6, 2010

LAME-DUCK LUNACY.... Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), the chairman of the Republican Study Committee and one of Congress' more humiliating buffoons, demanded this week that there should be no post-election session on the Hill, no matter what work might need to be done.

Price is even pushing a resolution on the matter: "This No Lame Duck resolution will allow our Democrat [sic] colleagues to make it clear whether or not they plan to govern in accordance with the will of the American people or in spite of it."

Price is hardly alone. House Republicans have been nearly hysterical for weeks, warning of all kinds of nefarious schemes that Democrats might hatch after the election. Tea Partiers, FreedomWorks, Americans for Prosperity, and Newt Gingrich are all obsessed -- working feverishly to oppose the existence of a lame-duck session.

It's all rather bizarre. For one thing, the same legislative dynamic that exists now will exist until the next Congress is sworn in. Bills that can't pass now won't magically be able to pass in November and December.

For another, as we've talked about before, the 1998 midterms were largely a repudiation of the Republicans' impeachment crusade against then-President Bill Clinton. House Republicans responded to the election results by impeaching the president anyway -- relying on a lame-duck session to ram articles through the chamber quickly, before newly-elected lawmakers could take office. This year's cries are pretty tough to take seriously given recent history.

And finally, as Dave Weigel noted today, the GOP panic just isn't rational.

On Tuesday, in an attempt to debunk the lame-duck panic, Politico's Jonathan Martin discovered, in plain sight, "a host of moderate Democrats who will be on the ballot in 2012 and aren't going to have any more appetite to take a difficult vote." Another factor that hurts the Democrats -- one that didn't hurt Gingrich in 1998 -- is the Senate's method of installing new members. The winners of elections in Illinois, Delaware, Colorado, New York, and West Virginia will be replacing appointed senators, and their terms will begin right away. We won't have Roland Burris to kick around anymore, but Democrats might have to deal with a Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., who'd be as likely to support card check as he'd be to emigrate to Luxembourg.

Republicans find the strangest things to get hysterical about.

Steve Benen 2:50 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (15)

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Seems to me they're afraid of Senate republicans who may lose their seats and, no longer accountable to party discipline, would be free to vote their conscience, possibly voting for cloture on significant dem legislation.

Posted by: cr on August 6, 2010 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

I caught Newt on CSPAN over the weekend at the YAF convention saying we should demand this of all Congressmen and Senator, Dem and Repub. Said of course with his deeply serious and thoughtful look. I was wondering how long it would take to surface.

Posted by: martin on August 6, 2010 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

Let's not forget, these are the same people who think repealing the 14th is no biggie; snap of the fingers, voice vote.

That they have so little understandings of parliamentary procedure, nay, the CONSTITUTION, comes as no surprise.

Posted by: DAY on August 6, 2010 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

And, of course, "govern in accordance with the will of the American people" is defined as governing the way Republicans want to regardless of the result the actual elections.

Posted by: Old School on August 6, 2010 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

Exactly what Old School said. What happend to governing according to the will of the American people after the 2008 election? I'm still waiting for Republicants to start voting for MAJORITY sponsored bills.

Posted by: Gridlock on August 6, 2010 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK

Let me add something else - congress critters are fairly well paid - their job is to work and legislate.

Republicans REALLY want to go on record as wanting to have a 3 month paid vacation when so many people are out of work?

Let's turn that into a campaign ad.

Posted by: fourlegsgood on August 6, 2010 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

This is an objective fact: The members of Congress who were elected (or reelected) in 2008 took office in January 2009 for terms that expire in January 2011. Even if every Democrat in the House were to lose this November, they would still have the right -- and the obligation -- to fulfill the responsibilities of their offices until the expiration of their terms.

Similarly, Dumbya would have had the right to do whatever he wanted (assuming it was legal, which we can't assume it would have been) between November 4, 2008 -- when the voters effectively said, "We are refudiating the Bush administration" -- and January 20, 2009.

It's an objective fact. Why can't Gingrich and Price comprehend it?

Posted by: navamske on August 6, 2010 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

Reminds me of one of Sarah Palin's reasons for resigning. Once she decided not to seek reelection, she became a lame duck, unfit to govern. With 18 months left in her term.

Posted by: Grumpy on August 6, 2010 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

Since when did rationality ever figure into the Republican calculus?

Posted by: digitusmedius on August 6, 2010 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

No, it's perfectly rational - they have a high degree of confidence in their ability to rig the elections.

Posted by: Ten Bears on August 6, 2010 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

I honestly think that to be a republican you have to be an idiot.

Posted by: js on August 6, 2010 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

I had the same thoughts as cr when reading this: that they're more worried about outgoing Republicans turning against the caucus and working with the Dems, either out of conscience, as cr suggests, or just out of childish Lieberman-style spite.

Posted by: Jacquie on August 6, 2010 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

Shorter GOP: Please don't do to us what we did (and will do again) to you.

Posted by: Marko on August 6, 2010 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

Every body admits that our life seems to be not very cheap, however we need cash for various stuff and not every man gets enough cash. Thence to receive fast credit loans or just financial loan will be good way out.

Posted by: VickiKirby23 on November 27, 2010 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

I like your blog.

Posted by: fette euter on December 8, 2010 at 1:01 AM | PERMALINK



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