Saturday, January 8, 2011

Republicans, The First Week

After just two days, the Republican majority in the House of Representatives has shown themselves to be a hypocritical embarrassment to anyone who voted for them as well as the rest of America.

They promised to employ a stringent interpretation of the Constitution without acknowledging that it is not written in stone to set up permanent rules, but rather to set guidelines that need to be interpreted or even changed with the evolution (oh dear, that word!) of our society. Our forefathers have made plenty of egregious errors along the way. How do the Republicans address that? By changing historical truths to suit their needs. In the reading of the Constitution, they simply ignored such facts as Native Americans weren’t considered people, that Blacks were considered just three-fifths of a person, that escaped slaves were to be returned to their owners no matter where in the country they were found, and that conservatives made alcohol consumption and commerce constitutionally illegal.

Well, isn’t that special!

Two Republican Congressmen – Pete Sessions and Mike Fitzpatrick – didn’t even bother to honor the rules of the Constitution when they didn't show up to be sworn in with the rest of the House. Where were they instead? They were attending a fundraiser that would help line their pockets with all of those really wealthy dollars that helped buy their way into office so they may attend to their further bidding.

Breaking the rules of Constitution on the day Congress is reading parts of the Constitution so you can be paid by really wealthy people is certainly very special!

Republicans pledged to cut 100 Billion dollars in federal spending. Now they say that written pledge was just hypothetical so they’re revised that to 50 Billion and some experts are saying it will be much more like 30 Billion. Meanwhile, they raised the deficit by 133 Billion with bonus tax cuts for wealthy beyond the regular tax cuts they would have gotten as proposed by the Democrats. Republicans say they were already in place, but, in fact, they were put in place at a time of economic surplus without wars and were set by Republicans to expire.

Republicans are trying to explode the deficit by another 230 Billion dollars by repealing health care reform. It’s part of their new “cut-as-you-go” promise – to not just pay for, but cut spending by whatever has to be paid for additionally. What will be cut to pay for this 230 Billion dollar blow up of the deficit? Nothing because they decided arbitrarily they don’t need to follow this promise when they don’t want to! And 230 Billion dollars is the amount computed by the independent Congressional Budget Office – the official accountants working on behalf of the government. The Republican Speaker says that’s just their opinion, which is tantamount to saying he thinks 2+2=7, and those who tell him it’s 4 are simply of the wrong opinion as well.

Well, isn’t that special!

Another broken Republican pledge is their stated commitment to reporting public attendance of Congressional committee meetings, which is where nearly all of their work takes place. But they decided to do away with that provision in a closed-door meeting Tuesday night.

Apparently, their promise of transparency wasn’t that special, either.

Another one of Republicans’ pledges was their promise to allow Democrats to offer amendments to legislation. On their first bill introduced since taking over, Republicans are not going to allow any amendments. Take it or leave it, suckers!

Another often-repeated promise was a “triumphant” return to open rules in the House. But after one day we see reporting that not a single one of the bills that will be brought to the floor this week will be brought under open rules.

Isn’t that triumphantly special!

Finally, in their Pledge to America, Republicans also promised to require each bill moving through Congress to include a clause citing the specific constitutional authority upon which the bill is justified. After all, these Republicans are strict constitutionalists (not counting the parts of the Constitution they don't believe in or want to acknowledge were ever there). However, none of the three bills that Republicans plan to introduce this week have any constitutional citation.

None of this hypocritical, dishonest, or simply bungling behavior is the result of an opposition party trying to destroy any accomplishment of government or childishly just saying “No” to obstruct everything proposed. Republicans have done this totally on their own to themselves and the American people, and they’ve done it in just two days.

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