Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Monsters Of DC

There are many kinds of monsters in Washington, DC, from the political types right down to the people who allow their pets to tear up the neighborhood as they walk around the block.

When it comes to the monster that is "The Sequester," or more appropriately, the federal budget sequestration cuts that went into effect March 1 of this year, we've been saying for almost a year now that the sequester monster would not only bite, but would hurt the job market and possibly do significant damage to the economy. Thankfully, we haven't been the only ones sounding this alarm.

From journalists Amanda Terkel and Sam Stein at the Huffington Post to former White House economist Jared Bernstein, along with a host of others, story after story has proven the sequester is turning out to be the monster the Obama Administration warned it would be.

From Meals On Wheels, to Head Start for kids, from furloughed Pentagon workers to firefighters in the middle of wildfire season - this dinosaur of an idea continues to get worse. Contrary to a recent sop piece for conservatives in the Washington Post, the facts prove the sequester is seriously hurting the economy.

Sadly, the only people who could do anything to fix the problems created by sequestration are in the 113th Congress, who are currently are on a pace to be the least effective Congress in recent history. So far, this Congress has only passed 15 bills so far. Even the previous 112th Congress - itself a model of failure − had passed 23 bills by this point in their tenure.

We can blame the entire Congress for not getting this monster under control - and to some degree, we should.  While Sen. Harry Reid may finally tackle Senate filibuster reform this month, he should have done it years ago. Admittedly, Reid isn't the only Democratic member in either the House or Senate too timid to stand up to the real problem in our Federal government.

That problem, as Greg Sargent so perfectly articulated on both Monday and Tuesday of this week, is that the current Republican Party is deeply committed to "Sabotage Governing." Effectively, that means the current GOP - like an angry, selfish toddler - is willing to destroy anything and everything unless they get their way, 100%, which is neither possible or wise. As Sargent points out, this fact is one that "dirty hippie liberal blogger types" like us and many others have been saying for years.

That Chuck Todd, Mark Murray, and the 'First Read' crew at MSNBC also are now strongly echoing the same message, that Republicans really do carry the majority of the blame is surprising, in a good way. Their admission may be finally be the turning point for those in DC with their heads buried solidly inside the Beltway, who far too often lean on the false equivalence that "both parties" do everything the same.

The fact is, the two parties are nowhere near the same anymore. That the GOP is currently engaged in an obviously desperate gamble to push away minorities while going after even more of the white, rural, ignorant vote is evidence enough of that.

The final signal that the GOP is no longer honestly interested in governing as a means of solving the problems of their constituents should be that the Republican Party and its "leadership" in both the House and Senate still selfishly refuse to even discuss the words "sequester" or "sequestration." Congressional Republicans have made it clear they'd rather hurt millions of Americans over the next decade by doing nothing to fix the sequester, than take the political pain themselves by doing the right thing and getting this monster under control. To us, that just proves the real monster in Washington isn't some pet budgetary creation.

It's the clueless, gutless cowards in Congress.