USA Today's David Jackson is reporting that an ABC/Washington Post poll shows that 49% of Americans approve of President Barak Obama's handling of the "fiscal cliff" negotiations. Only 25% of those asked approve of the way republican John Boehner is conducting himself during the talks. The same poll found 65% believe the election victory gave the president a mandate to raise taxes on everyone making $250,000 or more.
So what is the problem? Why is there a delay in reaching a settlement?
Well it is becoming painfully obvious the republican leadership doesn't give a rat's ass about polls, or future elections at this point. Their major concern right now is holding out as long as they can for all the yahoos who contributed hundreds of millions of dollars to Mitt Romney and a bunch of crackpot senate candidates; then watched in shocked horror as all that money bought them nothing more than a psychotic Karl Rove rant. Yes, one has to think that the republican establishment, while wishing they could excommunicate every tea party asshole out there, knows they have to deliver something to the money people. After all, those contributors are bottom line dudes and they aren't used to getting screwed. You can never tell what jobs might, or might not be available in the private sector once you leave congress. And who knows? Charlie and Dave Koch may have sent brother Boehner a Christmas gift that included a dead fish wrapped in a bullet proof vest.
Republican senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell was quoted as saying, "Look the election is over. The president may enjoy these political rallies, but it is time to get serious." In McConnell's mind that probably means the president needs to do whatever he and Boehner want him to do. Unfortunately Senator, you're lost somewhere south of the twilight zone. This president obviously doesn't want it to happen, but if the Great American Bus goes over the cliff in January because republicans won't cave on the tax issue guess who the public is going to blame? The first hint is his name isn't Barak Obama.
At this point in time the difference between republicans and democrats has never been more stark. The GOP wants to lower the deficit by cutting social security cost of living increases, raising the retirement age, and slashing medicare and medicaid benefits to the poor, aged, and infirm. The democrats want to raise taxes on people making more than a quarter million dollars a year.
Meanwhile the senate finally confirmed Tulsan John E. Dowdell to serve as a federal district judge. However republicans are still holding up the confirmation of Robert E. Bacharach to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. No one is clear on why this travesty remains ongoing. Democratic senator, Patrick Leahy of Vermont was quoted as saying, "With the American people's re-election of President Obama, there is no good purpose to be served by this further delay." He was referring not only to the Honorable Judge Bacharach, but 19 other judicial nominees who have been languishing in never never land for months now. Bacharach has the endorsement of both Oklahoma republican senators, although in an act of outright cowardice, neither would buck their party when democrats tried to push his nomination out of committee before the election. Apparently one of three things is holding up the Bacharach confirmation. One, republican senators are unaware that the election was last month. Two, GOP law makers want to prove to everyone they still have cocks. Three, Bacharach is a Jew.
Take your pick. The end result is the same.
There is a certain feel to all this. It seems the republicans are, at the moment, in some sort of bizarre kamikaze mode. They apparently feel there is no need to look ahead to future elections, that Gotterdammerung has arrived and all there is left to do is go down spectacularly in flames. Maybe they think everyone will be too stupid to remember all this in two and then four years, or perhaps they secretly believe in that Mayan calender thing.
Whatever the case, right now they do look to have all the attributes of a doomsday cult trudging off to the Kool-Aid dispenser.
If that is the case, good riddance. Their act has gotten exceedingly old and it is time to get things done around here.
As it says on the door of a brewery somewhere, laboremus pro patria.