One of the biggest problems I run across when dealing with politics is that the vast majority of Americans have no clue how our government works. Sure, most people can name who’s president, but far fewer know anything at all about Congress. The typical American has no idea what the House or Senate really does or what power the president actually has. So it should come as no surprise that our government is often dysfunctional because, unfortunately, the average American doesn’t know much about how it works.
In all honesty, the only way we would ever see a truly streamlined government is if one party controlled the majority in the House, 60 seats in the Senate, and the White House; or if one party controlled at least two-thirds of both the House and Senate to have the power to override any presidential veto as long as everyone voted along party lines.
And if one party makes it their lone mission in government to block and obstruct anything that the other party supports, then it’s almost impossible to get anything accomplished. That’s exactly what has happened since the election of President Obama.
So even after the big Republican gains in last November’s elections, I wasn’t really too concerned because they lacked the votes in Congress to override the president’s veto – unless Democrats vote with Republicans. In fact, I was actually a bit excited because now GOP idiocy would be on full display. And as I’ve seen time and time again, the best way to make Republicans look like idiots is to simply let them be themselves.
Since taking control of Congress earlier this month, Republicans have tried to get an anti-abortion bill passed (and failed to do so after female Republicans rebelled against them due to the extreme nature of the bill) and couldn’t even get a border security bill passed through the House because the more extreme right-wing members of the GOP were upset that it wasn’t anti-immigrant enough.
Heck, they don’t even have enough votes in the Senate to avoid a filibuster to get the Keystone XL pipeline passed and sent to President Obama’s desk, where it will be swiftly vetoed.
In other words, after all of this hype and big talk from the GOP – they’ve accomplished absolutely nothing so far. They’ve been completely inept, and it seems House Speaker John Boehner agrees. After a meeting with a number of rank-and-file party leaders, Boehner told reporters “there have been a couple of stumbles” since Republicans took over Congress a few weeks ago.
I wouldn’t call a slight insurrection against House leadership from female Republicans over an abortion bill, and a mild revolt from the House’s far right members over an immigration bill, “slight stumbles.” That’s flat-out incompetence.
And I must remind everyone that they’re doing all of this bickering and posturing in the House over bills that will never be signed by the president. So it’s not as if they’re working with President Obama on legislation that will ever matter. In other words, this is all a complete waste of time. It’s like watching two small children bicker over who’s going to get the last piece of candy when the parents have already said neither of them are going to get it.
So we’re a month into our Republican-led Congress and what have they accomplished? Practically nothing. Because while President Obama will almost undoubtedly veto nearly all of this right-wing pushed nonsense, Republicans in the House have been too incompetent to even get a piece of legislation that far.
And they have nobody to blame but themselves.