Senate Republicans killed a small business assistance bill as the New York Times reported today, reinforcing Republicans putting politics before policy and sound governance.
Right now, the swing has been running the Republicans' way in the upcoming mid-term elections. I think that's going to change though, because G.O.P now stands for Grabs Of Power. The Republicans have stonewalled a necessary summer jobs bill, stonewalled energy legislation, and now have blocked, by a 58-42 vote along party lines, the small business legislation designed to give tax relief to America's small businesses.
The Democrats gave the minority Republicans several amendments to the bill, but they would not give them enough amendments to fundamentally derail the bill. GOP legislators filibustered a bill that had the backing of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Business, and which was co-authored by Republican legislators.
It's a familiar theme. Republicans will help author a bill to claim when they're running that they were for the legislation, then filibuster to kill it to blame the Democrats for not bringing them to the table. It's a Fox News-aided slight-of-hand that the GOP and their news organization are hoping will spin into a win in August for their slate of candidates for federal office.
What it really indicates is how weak the Republican position is. After nearly two years of stonewalling, their record of actual governance is a near zero . Every piece of major legislation has seen them block-vote "no" without regard to the public policy or public service that these bills address. They've even voted down bills like the health care plan which fundamentally are Republican plans. What they call "Obamacare" is actually mostly "Romneycare," but even the former Governor is acting like he knows nothing about any connections to his own plan because he thinks he can make hay with a political electorate which has trouble repeating what Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly drill into their brains daily.
The bigger problem is not Republican intransigence, but the weak-kneed response to it by Democrats at the local level.
Kenrdrick Meek (D -FLA.) has been more concerned with Jeff Greene passing him up in the polls than the platform that he should be running on. Both Democratic candidates have largely been mum on the no vote of Senator George LeMieux (R - FLA) who helped draft the bill, then killed it. Had LeMieux voted in favor of the bill that he co-authored, it would have passed, the fact of which both Democratic Florida hopefuls missed, but which Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D) had no problem calling out.
"Half the truth is no truth at all," LeMieux shot back to the Times.
Of course, that door swings both ways, and the Republican half-truths have a lot more to do with politics than policy. They are banking on an angry, scared white electorate that was denied John McCain in the last general election to lash out against Obama and his supporters.
Let us all hope that those in small business who support local and the U.S. Chambers remember who actually killed the bill that was set to give them aid come August.
The only way that will really come to pass, though, is if the Democrats get that message in front of the voters. Is that happening?
If you go to the window now, and witness a flock of pigs flying South, there is hope. Otherwise, the GOP will employ its usual barrage of mendacities to smoke screen the damage they are causing to public policy and the economy in the name of getting re-elected, and the Democratic candidates will tattoo "WELCOME" on their chests so the muddy footprint of their Republican challenger walking all over them makes them feel like the doormats that they are.
My shiny two.