Monday, September 21, 2009

So, Next Time They'll Do Better?

At a campaign fundraiser for a Democratic U.S. Representative today, Vice President Joe Biden laid out that familiar scary scenario that Democratic politicians always bring up, in one form or another, at fundraisers:

Vice President Biden warned that Republicans will try to "break the back of our effort" in the 2010 elections by trying to win 35 seats from traditionally Republican districts that are now held by Democrats.

Biden: If GOP Takes Back Traditionally Red Seats, It's 'End Of The Road'

What will happen if this dastardly plot succeeds?

"If they take them back, this the end of the road for what Barack and I are trying to do. This is their one shot," he went on. "If they don't break the back of our effort in this upcoming election, you're going to see the things we said we're for happen."

Biden: If GOP Takes Back Traditionally Red Seats, It's 'End Of The Road'

This will happen, he said, because if they fail this time they'll start being bipartisan.

Several questions occur to me after reading this:

- So, now they're going to do what they set out to do? Having a commanding majority in the House and a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate wasn't enough? They need more time?

- What is it Obama (and Biden) are aiming to do? So far, I haven't heard a damn thing I could write legislation to accomplish. Based on what's happened with the health care reform bills, Congress hasn't been hearing it, either.

- Obama could close Gitmo and the other black sites without any help or permission from Congress. Why aren't they closed yet?

- Republicans are bound to win back some seats in 2010, just based on the fact that the Democrats have accomplished so little and have looked bad doing it. There's also the mid-year curse to consider, when Republicans tend to do better due to their voters' tendency to go to the polls more reliably. What makes Biden think they won't claim victory and press on as they have been? It's only when people have hit rock bottom that they start to think of changing their ways, and not winning all of those seats back doesn't sound like rock bottom to me. What makes Biden so sure they're there yet?

Charlie Brown never did learn that Lucy would never hold the football for him, but most of us, sooner or later, notice when such a pattern is developing. The Democrats have now controlled Congress for almost three years. They haven't accomplished anything besides passing a wimpy stimulus bill, appointing a Supreme Court justice who is a corporate-friendly centrist, and a cap and trade bill for carbon emissions. While the latter is definitely a good thing, I'm really having a tough time reconciling the fact that Democrats comfortably control both houses of Congress and the White House with these paltry accomplishments.

All that's required to be skeptical of Biden's claims is to ask whether they've done what we sent them to Congress to do:

Is the Iraq War ending? No faster than it was planned by President Bush.

Has the rule of law been restored at CIA? Are war crimes, including the clear case of starting a war we had no justification for starting, being investigated? Not in the least.

Is government more open and accountable? Where are those photographs again?

Are the banks and securities industries, which nearly wrecked our economy, now being forced to change their ways? I kill me sometimes ...

Now these guys are hoping that a health care bill will save them, because they haven't accomplished any of the other things we've sent them there to do.

Under the circumstances, the Vice President will just have to excuse my skepticism.

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