Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Judgement Calls

Congress finally gets back to work today, and once again, it's anyone's guess whether they'll actually get anything accomplished by the end of the day.

Filibuster reform might happen in the 113th Congress, which would help to break the ugly pattern of Republican obstructionism in Congress. Then again, Harry Reid has already given hints he may wimp out, a judgement call that would be highly questionable, if not altogether expected from Reid.

Speaking of poor judgement calls, the extremist tea party Republicans, and whiny liberal Democrats will also be back today in the House, likely complaining about President Obama's choices for his second term cabinet. For anyone still questioning the qualifications of former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel to be President Obama's Defense Secretary, we're more than happy to point out two men, considered war criminals by some, who had far worse judgement than Hagel ever has shown: Former Defense Secretaries Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld.

Yes, the theme of Washington, DC this week, for most people, seems to be bad judgement calls - which is odd, as we always thought the bad judgement calls were supposed to come next week, after a late night of drinking and dancing at any one of a plethora of inaugural balls.

One of the uglier judgment calls this week was already made by many in the media on Monday, when President Obama gave a surprise press conference, his last 'presser' of his first term.

The President made clear at his event on Monday, more than once, that there will be absolutely no negotiation on the debt ceiling. And why should there be? As the President himself noted, "The debt ceiling is not a question of authorizing more spending. Raising the debt ceiling does not authorize more spending. It simply allows the country to pay for spending that Congress has already committed to… Republicans in Congress have two choices here: They can act responsibly and pay America's bills or they can act irresponsibly and put America through another economic crisis. But they will not collect a ransom in exchange for not crashing the American economy."

That didn't stop multiple members of the media from whining different versions of the same question to President Obama, "But what if the Republicans don't act responsibly?" That also didn't stop more than one question on the White House's efforts on new gun safety laws - which every member of the Press Corps knows will be the subject the White House is tackling today. It was obvious President Obama wasn't going to put up with either their whining or obtuseness.

Next time, maybe our fellow media colleagues should use slightly better judgement, and read the schedule the White House puts out for the week. Then those same media members might want to read some current events - for example, the recent polling that says Americans overwhelmingly favor common-sense gun control.

When it comes to poor judgement, it appears many in Washington, DC - and elsewhere - have proven so far this week, they're not making the best choices.

Maybe it's better they got their mistakes out of the way early this week, instead of next Monday, when some idiots will inevitably forget to wear their coats during the inauguration.

That's a failed judgement call you can be certain we won't be making.

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