Skip to comments.Durbin: Election best hope for reviving government (DICK ALERT)
Posted on 04/23/2012 10:35:33 AM PDT by Chi-townChief
Andersonville is a hip, young part of town, supposedly. Its hard to tell at 8 a.m. on a Friday, because nobody is on the street. Maybe they are all indoors, still waking up from being hip and young until the wee hours the night before.
They arent missing much today. A gray, drizzly morning. Still, it feels good to settle at a table in the front window at m. henry, a hip, young, lower-case restaurant and bakery on Clark Street. I drink my coffee and look out at the gloom.
Customers start filtering in. My pal Dick Durbin, the senior United States senator from Illinois, shows up. We have breakfast now and then, usually just to chat. But this time I have something specific on my mind, an agenda, as they say in fact, Ive brought a conversation piece, this weeks Economist, the British news magazine. Reading it is like having an extra brain. After Durbin settles in and orders his coffee, I share with him a few lines from the magazines editorial:
Indeed, the system is already dangerously close to seizing up, I read. The present Congress is the most polarized of modern times. The Republican landslide in the 2010 mid-terms swept a new breed of conservative zealot into office, destroying the middle ground and making legislating next to impossible.
That strikes me as true, I tell him. The question is: What to do about it?
It is true, Durbin says. The solution? The solutions an election. Two things are at play here. [Senate Minority Leader] Mitch McConnell made an accidental pronouncement, but he has never disavowed it: My goal is to make sure Barack Obama is a one-term president. And so he denied any Republican senator the opportunity to bargain with us on anything. So when Chuck Grassley of Iowa sat down with Max Baucus of Montana to talk through health care and see if we could come up with a bipartisan approach, within two or three months, the senate Republican leadership pulled the rug out and said, Stop the conversations. All of us are voting No. Were not voting for health care in any form. And thats what happened. I could repeat that over and over again. Dodd-Frank bill. Wall Street financial reform. The stimulus package we got three Republicans. We have a statement from Republican leaders that they dont cooperate on anything that Barack Obama can at the end of the day take credit for. So, theyre going to fight us all the way.
The Republicans are not only fighting, theyre winning, since if your idea of winning is that government should do nothing, a deadlocked, frozen Congress that does nothing is victory for you. The fact that the country effectively has no operative government doesnt seem to matter.
The Economist is right, Durbin agrees. The new Republican majority is pinned to the Tea Party movement . . . Things grind to a terrible halt.
We spent all of last year lurching from three crises, he continues. Twice Republicans threatened to shut down the government. Once they threatened to shut down the economy, with the debt ceiling, which is the full faith and credit of the United States. They said it was inconceivable that we as fiscally conservative Republicans would vote to increase the debt ceiling which increases the debt of the United States here Durbin shuddered. The debt ceiling is the money we pay to cover what we have already done, like the wars we are waging. During his presidency, Ronald Reagan extended the debt ceiling 16 times. Many times without a roll call vote.
Now, even the most essential, meat-and-potatoes functions are fought over.
The most recent example is the transportation bill, Durbin says. Imagine, if you will, two polar opposites of politics, Barbara Boxer of California and Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, end up reaching an agreement for a federal transportation bill. It passes the Senate we cant point to a handful of bills that have done that. We send it to the House and they wont even call it for a vote, because they know it will pass. But [Speaker of the House] Boehner feels threatened by it, because his right-wing conservatives will be angry that the bill passed with Democrats in it.
The transportation bill in part funds mass transit, and running mass transit is a universal function of government, like printing money. If we cant run buses, we cant run anything.
Weve come to a full stop in terms of making progress in legislation and the election is the only way out, Durbin explains. The American people have got to decide. If they want to go the Tea Party route, they have that chance. But if they want to get back to something that might be a workable bipartisan coalition, they have that choice in this election.
An election where Democrats have one arm tied behind their back. The Tea Party has turned into a powerful political force, while the Left Wing Democrats spin their wheels playing Lets pretend its the 1960s with their Occupy antics.
Thats the difference, says Durbin. The Tea Party tapped into a strong emotion and turned it into a political movement. They wrote a loose agenda and started recruiting candidates. They created a force within the Republican Party. The problem with the Occupy movement, they tapped into an emotion, made speeches and camped out and didnt take it to the next step.
As much as I agree with Durbin, his view sounds an awful lot like, Vote for us because the other guy wants to destroy the country. Which is a Republican mantra. And I hate to find myself echoing it. But sometimes the extreme position is also the true one. Sometimes you need to shout fire! because the place is burning. The Republican approach is wrong. There is no past to go back to. The only direction to move is forward, and to do that, both sides have to work together. Without compromise, democracy doesnt work. This election isnt about abortion or gay marriage or the price of fuel. Its about buses and the other things we need government to do.
Well, between the Economist and Dickie Durbin, you almost have a complete functioning brain; almost.
I am so looking forwards to the upcoming steel-cage match inside the Senate Dem caucus between Rurbin and Schumer to see who will be the next MINORITY leader..
I am so looking forwards to the upcoming steel-cage match inside the Senate Dem caucus between Durbin and Schumer to see who will be the next MINORITY leader..
Hey Neil Moron, Did you bother to ask Dickhead where the budget is? It would seem to make no sense to pass any legislation given the lack of any guiding principles.
Yea, I guess one could look at things that way (snicker). Or one could look at the “My way or the highway” strongarm tactics of the left starting in 2006 that morphed into the true “Party of No” (especially in the Senate) that survives to this day.
The only thing any of the TEA Party did was support people who might stand up to the dhimmis. Sweep more of the slackers and cretins (like turbin) from office and then maybe we’ll get things done.
The job of the Federal Government is to make the buses run on time?
Dick Durbin is such a small-minded man.
This idiocy comes from a man who claims, at times, to effectively have a second brain.
What the opposition says when they think no one is listening is always revealing.
The doesn’t happen until Reid leaves. Reid won’t be deposed as leader, he has that caucus by the balls.
The Dems will lose the Senate. NO way that Reid apes Daschles and Pelosi..goes from majority to minority leader..With the Dems increasing loses in the House, there will be a near universal cry for NEW leadership, NEW faces for the party, especially so after Obama loses the WH. Pelosi is insane, and reid comes across as old, tired...Durbin and Schimer will combine to force him out. Reid has a built in excuse...his wife is quite ill, so I predict that rather than just remain a senator, he will “retire” and go home to care for her...because the GOP will have a comfortable majority in the Senate..it won’t matter that the GOP gov of Nevada will get to name Reid’s successor..