Unfortunately this attention span challenge seems to be spreading among the younger generations, whose inattention might well cost us our country.
The talking heads of media and the pundits are filling their discussions with predictions of Democrat losses on Capitol Hill and the impact of anonymous donations to political causes, as recently ordered by the robed rightist Supreme Court. A few speculate on the effect of the election on pending legislation, such as the blocking of aid to Haiti by a single senator, or the pending extension of jobless benefits, but little attention is paid to the prospects for major battles in the next Congress.
Progressives, like their liberal forbears, are given to complaining, and their apparent disillusion regarding President Obama and the Democratic Party as presently performed during the first two years of Obama’s term. And they’re right. Many of the avowed goals of the incoming president have not been accomplished, largely because of the partisan blockade on legislation by the republican minority in the Senate. Some reforms are stalled by the time wasted in confirmation of top bureaucrats to take control of the policy level of governing. GOP leaders reluctantly confirmed 55 of a 112 pending appointees in return for the Senate staying in session to block Obama making “recess appointments” during the election break. Essentially the Republicans have had it their way so far, but that’s about to change.
Regardless of the results in November, when the solons return for the “lame duck” wrap up of this Congress, the Dems will still have a majority and will have nothing to lose by shoving through their legislative agenda, quashing any opposition with parliamentary and amendment maneuvers. Nancy Pelosi, unleashed, could run the table in the house. Defeated members might decide to vote their conscience instead of taking orders from their caucus, and deliver some real results on much needed problems.
If, as expected the Democrat’s hold on to their majority in the Senate, Harry Reid can use any number of special orders to force action on long stalled bills. The inclusion of House money bill amendments for instance, allows the bill to be considered under simple majority passage without the Filibuster that has crippled the last eighteen months of progressive efforts in the upper chamber.
From the president’s perspective he now has his team pretty much in place for the next two years, with an interim chief of staff whose Capitol Hill back channel experience is unexcelled. Major reforms in every department can now be implemented by his top appointees with impunity, allowing a house cleaning in the scandal plagued and oil friendly Minerals Management agency, whose oversight of the Gulf oil permits led to the recent blowout disaster. Next year will be the true test of the Obama revolution, and he is now ready to come out fighting after two years of “rope a dope” pacifism.
“Travus T. Hipp” is a 40-year veteran radio commentator with six stations in California carrying his daily version of the news and opinions. “The Poor Hippy’s Paul Harvey,” Travus is a member of the Nevada Broadcasters Hall of Fame, but unemployable in the Silver State due to his eclectic political views.