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'Washington Is Broken' Will Be Democrats' Tagline ^ | December 27. 2010 | Byron York

Posted on 12/27/2010 2:35:16 PM PST by Kaslin

"Washington, right now, is broken," said Vice President Biden in February. "I've never seen it this dysfunctional."

Back then, Biden was just one of many who complained that partisan rancor and gamesmanship had brought the functioning of the federal government virtually to a halt, making it impossible for the president and lawmakers to get anything done. "Washington is broken" became the political world's conventional wisdom.

Fast-forward to Dec. 22. Celebrating the passage of a new law allowing homosexuals to serve openly in the military, President Obama said the event marked "the culmination of two of the most productive years in the history of Congress." Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and others echoed the president's assessment.

What happened? How could a government that was broken just a few months earlier suddenly become so productive?

The answer is, Washington was never broken. The Democratic majorities in the House and Senate passed, mostly by themselves, a remarkable slate of legislation in 2009 and 2010: national health care, the stimulus, financial regulation, DADT repeal, a hate-crimes bill, the START treaty and more. They had big majorities -- 255 seats in the House, and 60 in the Senate -- and in some cases were willing to disregard both public opinion and the electoral consequences of their actions. So they got a lot done.

Democrats and their partisans in the press complained about Washington being broken only at those times when their agenda was imperiled. Vice President Biden's statement, for example, came after the election of Massachusetts Republican Sen. Scott Brown took away the Democrats' filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. Just a few weeks later, when Barack Obama signed the national healthcare bill into law, Biden was all smiles.

Now, after the lame-duck session, Democratic leaders are happy again. But it's only temporary. As the new year approaches, get ready for a new round of Democratic Washington-is-broken grumbling.

With a significantly smaller, 53-seat majority in the Senate, Democrats will no longer be able to pass contentious legislation all by themselves or with just one or two Republican votes. On the other side, Republicans, with 47 votes, will no longer have to achieve perfect unity to sustain a filibuster and stop objectionable legislation. They'll be able to lose three, four, five, even six members of the GOP caucus and still stop a bill.

That's why you're hearing confidence from the likes of Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and deficit hawk Sen. Tom Coburn. "There aren't going to be any big spending bills," Coburn told ABC recently when asked to assess prospects for legislation next year.

It's also why you're hearing new rumbling about what many Democrats consider the ultimate fix for the Washington-is-broken problem: eliminating the filibuster. A perennial complaint, unhappiness with the filibuster is likely to reach new heights among Democrats in the next few months. Already, the entire returning Democratic caucus has signed a letter by Sens. Carl Levin and Mark Warner calling for rules changes that will make it easier to kill filibusters. Some are also hoping to make it possible to change the Senate's rules with a simple majority vote, rather than the two-thirds vote required now. That way, Democrats could do anything they want, even without that 60-vote majority.

It won't happen; the votes aren't there. It could even be that Democrats are pushing the anti-filibuster argument so loudly because they know it won't happen. That way, they can position themselves as favoring "filibuster reform" with the comfort of knowing they'll still have the filibuster the next time they're in the minority, which might be soon.

Meanwhile, new voices are taking up the Washington-is-broken crusade. At the recent New York rollout of the Democratic-leaning group No Labels, speaker after speaker pushed the idea that "hyperpartisanship" in Washington has prevented elected leaders from "getting things done." They're looking for some still-unspecified new approach to break the partisan deadlock.

But why shouldn't it be hard to pass massively expensive legislation that fundamentally changes the lives of millions of Americans? If one party wins enough votes to pass bills on its own, as Democrats did in 2008, then it can do what it wants -- if it is prepared to pay the electoral price. But in a divided government, there must be some agreement between the parties before legislation can move forward. And if there isn't agreement, then maybe the legislation shouldn't move forward. When that happens, Washington isn't broken. It's working.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Editorial; Government
KEYWORDS: 112th; bho44; biden; broken; byronyork; dc; democrats; slogan
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To: Kaslin
Ha haaaaa!!!

Stupid DemocRATS. The only way they can pull this charade off is if they have a compliant media to help them sell this line of carp to a distracted, ill-informed, apathetic public.


21 posted on 12/27/2010 3:04:36 PM PST by Texas Eagle (If it wasn't for double-standards, Liberals would have no standards at all -- Texas Eagle)
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To: Kaslin

it is the same playbook AGAIN.

msnbc is already gearing up the gridlock memes.

22 posted on 12/27/2010 3:14:29 PM PST by longtermmemmory (VOTE! and
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To: Brilliant

Yes: Washington is broken. SHUT IT DOWN!

23 posted on 12/27/2010 3:20:39 PM PST by Califelephant
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To: Kaslin

24 posted on 12/27/2010 3:30:52 PM PST by twister881
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To: Kaslin
America Is Broken... look who did it:

demon-2smaUncle Scratch

25 posted on 12/27/2010 4:34:18 PM PST by BobP (The piss-stream media - Never to be watched again in my house)
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To: Kaslin

No more Namby Pamby RINO pubbies. The motto we should espouse in 2011 “Stick it to the Dems in 2011. Repeal them, overwhelm them, render them useless.”

26 posted on 12/27/2010 4:53:12 PM PST by I am Richard Brandon
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To: All
"Washington, right now, is broken," said Vice President Biden back in February. "I've never seen it this dysfunctional".........and then came Midterms (/snix)

SLOW JOE EXPLAINS IT TO US Biden: Obama viewed as aloof because he’s "so brilliant"
The Daily Caller | 11-19-10 | Jonathan Strong
FR Posted on Friday, November 19, 2010 by Justaham

Reporter Lisa DePaulo pressed VP Biden repeatedly on why President Obama isn’t connecting with the American public and is instead viewed as professorial and aloof.

“I think what it is, is he’s so brilliant. He is an intellectual,” Biden said. According to Biden, Obama has a “blind faith” in the American public’s ability to understand the benefits of his policies, Biden said.

Biden went on to explain how Obama’s childhood shows he does, in fact, deeply understand the American public. “Look, think about the guy. This is an African American w/ a Caucasian mother, raised in a Caucasian neighborhood by Caucasian grandparents. Talk about a guy who knows what it’s like. This is a guy who gets it,” Biden said. Less importantly, but more hilariously, Biden revealed his dad failed utterly in imparting a key lesson on Joe, his young Pennsylvanian son. (Excerpt) Read more at ...


So gimme this again----"Obama is an intellectual w/ a blind faith in the public’s ability to understand the benefits of his policies?”

So I guess the "Smart One" is so figgin' intelligent, he just never figured out that Americans were disgusted with his hate-America polices and the shady mobsters he's surrounded himself with.......and shellacked him on Nov 2.

These figgin' Ovomitons are from another planet.

27 posted on 12/28/2010 5:58:56 AM PST by Liz (There's a new definition of bipartisanship in Washington -- it's called "former member.")
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To: AdmSmith; Arthur Wildfire! March; Berosus; bigheadfred; ColdOne; Convert from ECUSA; Delacon; ...

Thanks Kaslin.


28 posted on 12/28/2010 6:33:45 PM PST by SunkenCiv (The 2nd Amendment follows right behind the 1st because some people are hard of hearing.)
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