Today’s GOP Favors Symbolic Grandstands Over Effective Legislation
The strategy of today’s GOP is to keep the symbolic grandstanding up so they appear to be doing something while doing nothing effective to actually fix the economy. If there were a pile driver they could use to pound the economy further into the ground the GOP leadership would be spelling each other on it in shifts around the clock until election 2012.
But nothing in this Congress comes easily, and Republicans have decided to go with the version that’s almost certain to fail but is beloved by the conservative base.
This almost intentional futility, played out in a Capitol consumed with debt reduction, is another example of how difficult it is to make progress in a Congress riven with partisan divisions. It also shows plainly how the House Republican Conference is, at times, dragged to the right and away from passable legislation.
Democrats who voted for similar legislation in 1995 — when it cleared the House with 300 votes — are already refusing to support this version because of the tax provision and spending caps when it comes to the floor later this month.
“They’re clearly just looking for something to take and put balanced-budget Democrats like me on the spot and say, ‘He doesn’t really support a balanced-budget amendment.’ Well, I do, but I want an honest one,” said Oregon Democrat Peter DeFazio, who voted for the 1995 bill. “I yearn for the days of the Gingrich revolution compared to these people. I never thought I’d be saying that.”