Democrats cannot seem to grasp the meaning of the midterm elections. They have cheerfully re-nominated Nancy Pelosi, the architect of their defeat in the House, to her position as Minority Leader, seemingly oblivious to the fact that running against her was the key to many a Republican’s election victory.
Just after the midterm election, President Obama asserted that voters’ concerns about his policies came from his failure to fully explain them — implying that voters hadn’t understood the policies— implying that we are stupid and he didn’t descend far enough to teach our level of understanding. His lectures to bankers, health insurers and credit card companies indicated that he is hostile to accumulating wealth when he said; “I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money.” Any pretense about bipartisanship was taken care of with the remark “We don’t mind the Republicans joining us. They can come for the ride, but they gotta sit in back.”
Many of Obama’s speeches about his policies describe them in glowing terms and pleasant language, but on close observation, are designed to please rather than to accurately inform. It may be unfair, but his speeches seem to me to say what he thinks we will swallow, and that any differences with actual policy are too complicated for us to understand, so it just doesn’t matter if he is accurate. .
Nancy Pelosi made vast claims about going to be “the most ethical Congress in history,” which lasted about five minutes. There are specific duties for the House of Representatives. So here we are in the Lame Duck session and now Nancy Pelosi’s House must address the primary obligations that they avoided, in order to play around with health care and unworkable stimulus packages. Here is what is on their Must Do List, for the Lame duck Session.
1). The government of the United States is operating under a Continuing Resolution. They were supposed to pass a budget by October, but under the continuing resolution the government is funded until December 3rd. They have to decide whether they will pass an Omnibus Spending Bill, or another Continuing Resolution that will extend into next year. The Omnibus Bill has been decided without public participation with a $1,208 trillion price tag — too high for most Republicans, and full of earmarks. Republicans in both House and Senate have passed recent resolutions to support a two year moratorium on earmarks.
2). The big question for taxpayers is what Congress will do about the massive Obama tax hikes scheduled for January first. You can claim that the recession if officially over, but only the official chart watchers claim that it is; the misery and unemployment would not indicate that it is, and you just don’t raise taxes in the middle of a recession.
3). The Doc Fix — the reimbursement that the government pays physicians for Medicare patients is scheduled to be cut 23% on December 1. Congress intended to fix it, but they have to find the money.
4). Congress wanted to extend Unemployment Insurance for another 13 weeks. Congress is unlikely to pass another extension before the program lapses on December 1.
5). Congress has planned to vote on the President’s Debt Commission’s work. There are many objections from both sides.
6). An authorization for the FAA includes an increase in the Passenger Facility Charge.
7). Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is funded through the stimulus act. It expired in September and Congressional Liberals want to keep it authorized into 2011.
It is a daunting list, and Democrats, in denial about the message of the voters, are not well prepared to address it. It will be interesting.