Friday, November 05, 2010

Republicans And Governance

I don't know if voters last Tuesday were thinking about national outcomes, local politics, or just pissed off and it really doesn't matter in relation to governance. The reason it doesn't matter is that whatever voters wanted the result is an over 50 vote House Republican majority. It may matter later, but the result is what matters now. The House is Republican while the Senate and White House remain Democratic and the House is not Republican enough to over-ride a White House veto.

Nothing can get to the White House for signing that doesn't pass the Senate and to even be considered, as the Republicans demonstrated so willingly, there must be enough votes to defeat a filibuster. As far as legislation goes, the House Republicans are helpless without serious Democratic help. The House knows this even if the public doesn't really pay enough attention to understand it. The House Republicans are free to pass any kind of stupidity they choose without having to pay for it in the real world. This also means that they are pretty free to not pass anything that pleases them. That little piece should bring to mind the subject of the budget. That could mean real havoc.

The matter of the House taking up whatever investigations it pleases has concerned some. It is quite true that Committees could harass the White House with stupid pointless unfounded investigations. It is also true that a twenty four hour news cycle needs to be fed and the feeding opportunities presented by such are large. Here's the rub for some of the whackoes, there are other news outlets than FauxNews and they are capable of reporting the actual allegations made by someone like Issa about a President most Americans find personally likable. Public perception that pure mischief making is at work would have huge public relations costs. That might or might not dissuade some but outcomes rule, either dissuasion from game playing or public backlash over it. The media might play the game of false equivalence that such and such was investigated under BushCo ... but even stating the issues investigated will blow up stupidity in front of viewers. I really don't think I'm overestimating either media or the public. I really don't care if folks like Issa are stupid or not and I'm not real worried about a bit of White House harassment.

The real deal is that no matter what representations John Boehner may make about how they'll affect the direction of the nation, their options are seriously limited. Considering the limits and Boehner's knowledge of them, I'm real doubtful that he has any idea of doing anything more than shooting for political advantage and that may be more illusive than Boehner and other pundits seem to think. GOP blindness to its own public image weaknesses could lead them off a cliff.


Zak Johnson said...

The House Republicans only need Democratic help for legislation if legislating is their actual goal, rather than mere posturing. McConnell's statements in the Senate indicate he is not interested in actually contributing to governing, which is a shame given all the messed up nonsense waiting to be dealt with.

Chuck Butcher said...

I don't look for the GOP to do anything responsible. They have no reason to, they were just rewarded for the last 2 yrs' behavior, so why change directions? This is all about eyes on 2012.