Day: July 15, 2012

Is Ezra Klein Correct That We Are Witnessing The Worst Congress Ever? YES, By A Landslide!

The 111th Congress (2009-2010) has been seen by many observers as the most productive Congress since the 89th Congress (1965-1966).

But now, the 112th Congress (2011-2012) has been declared by Ezra Klein, the brilliant commentator of the Washington Post and MSNBC, as the WORST Congress EVER!

Is Ezra Klein correct in his assessment? ABSOLUTELY!

The 112th Congress, as Klein says, has failed to deal with the problems facing the country, and has had as its major agenda the defeat of President Obama for a second term, and in the process, holding Americans hostage in the midst of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression!

Klein points out the following:

No Congress, with records back to the 80th Congress of 1947-1948, has produced such little passage of legislation, with the smallest being the 104th Congress (1995-1996), with 333 laws passed, and Democrat Bill Clinton being relected President in 1996 as a result.

Congress has only a ten percent approval rating, an all time low, with the Internal Revenue Service being at a popularity rate of 40 percent; Lawyers at 29 percent; President Richard Nixon during Watergate at 24 percent; Banks at 23 percent; the British Petroleum Oil Spill at 16 percent; and Paris Hilton at 15 percent, as examples!

The 112th Congress is the most polarized Congress since the end of Reconstruction in the 1870s, and we all know what came after–the GILDED AGE period of corporate dominance, not well looked upon by historians, and reminding us that we are now, in so many respects, in a new GILDED AGE, personified not only by the GOP control in the House of Representatives and in many state governments, but by the wealthiest Presidential nominee in American history, Mitt Romney, worth twice the assets of the last eight Presidents from Richard Nixon to George W. Bush combined!

The Republican majority in the House and Republican opposition in the Senate set back economic recovery in 2011 and right up to this moment in 2012, by any measure! And this Congress caused the loss of America’s credit rating, and seem ready to do it again!

Voting unsuccessfully to repeal the Affordable Care Act THIRTY THREE times is an exercise in futility, and the House of Representatives has wasted approximately EIGHTY hours in doing nothing, two work weeks when they could have been working on job creation legislation!

This Congress has NOT passed any appropriations bills by the deadline of October 1 in 2011, and will not by October 1, 2012, as things stand!

The failure to provide for the future of our infrastructure–roads, bridges, subway systems, and airports– is a major problem for the long term.

Two Congressional experts, Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein, have written a book condemning the paralysis of the 112th Congress, saying it is the worst performance they have witnessed in 40 years of covering Congress!

In sum, the 112th Congress is an embarrassment, and there is no sign of any improvement in the future, particularly if the split Congress continues into the future!

The Massive Differences Between Democratic Governors And Republican Governors

As one looks at the political landscape of the state governments, it is clear that Democratic Governors stand out for their leadership in a time of troubles in the nation.

Among the outstanding Democratic Governors are the following:

Dan Malloy of Connecticut
Jack Markell of Delaware
Deval Patrick of Massachusetts
Peter Shumlin of Vermont
Martin O Malley of Maryland
Andrew Cuomo of New York
Jerry Brown of California
Pat Quinn of Illinois
Mark Dayton of Minnesota
John Hickenlooper of Colorado
Brian Schweitzer of Montana
Christine Gregoire of Washington
Neil Abercrombie of Hawaii

Compare their record of leadership to the following Tea Party oriented Republican Governors who have declared war on public workers and favored the wealthy in their states, and have victimized immigrants and promoted suppression of voting rights, and advocated a “war” on women:

Paul LePage of Maine
Chris Christie of New Jersey
Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania
Bob McDonnell of Virginia
Nikki Haley of South Carolina
Rick Scott of Florida
Robert Bentley of Alabama
Phil Bryant of Mississippi
Bobby Jindal of Louisiana
Rick Perry of Texas
John Kasich of Ohio
Rick Snyder of Michigan
Scott Walker of WIsconsin
Mitch Daniels of Indiana
Terry Branstad of Iowa
Sam Brownback of Kansas
Jan Brewer of Arizona

Enough said to make the case of the massive differences between the parties.

And looking to the future, it could well be a Democratic Governor already in office who might be the nominee for President in 2016, with leading possibilities being Martin O’Malley of Maryland and Andrew Cuomo of New York!