Ahh- the singing senators. Aren’t you nostalgic for the days of true bipartisanship? Well, Larry Craig is. He wrote an editorial on his web site called “Bipartisanship is a two way street.” Leave it to Craig to out-whine the other whining Republicans in Congress who, after just two weeks of the Democratic controlled Congress, are crying over mistreatment on the part of the party in power.
It should surprise no one that Craig is out in front on this issue. For Craig, hypocrisy knows no bounds. If fact, his editorial is so bloated with hypocrisy the only reasonable response is laughter. Craig begins his hilarious screed with a dictionary definition of bipartisanship for us dolts who are unfamiliar with the concept and then explains what the big bad Democrats are up to.
“Bipartisanship” is defined as something “marked by or involving cooperation, agreement, and compromise between two major political parties” – at least, that’s what Merriam-Webster tells us. To many Democrats in the new Congress, however, bipartisanship means a one-way street, where conservatives should vote for liberal policies.
This from a leader of a Republican majority that killed every important piece of legislation brought to the floor by Senate Democrats. Guess what “liberal policies” Craig uses as examples of Democratic partisanship? He wrote in his editorial,
In the first days of the 110th Congress, the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives already passed new pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) budget rules that will restrain tax relief and make tax increases easier to approve. President Bush agreed to a minimum wage hike in the name of bipartisanship; and both Speaker Pelosi and President Bush – on separate occasions – made clear that tax increases are on the table.
In other words, PAYGO rules, which require Congress to pay for any tax cuts with offsetting tax increases or spending cuts, is liberal legislation. PAYGO rules were in effect from 1990-2002 and are widely seen as having assisted the US Congress in maintaining budget discipline. Those rules were allowed to lapse in the House and watered down in the Senate, which made it easier for lawmakers to approve President George W. Bush’s tax cuts, contributing to our current gigantic budget deficit. I thought Craig was a conservative who believed in balanced budgets, but I guess fiscal responsibility is now a liberal policy.
The funniest line in Craig’s editorial is, “President Bush agreed to a minimum wage hike in the name of bipartisanship…” What a joke. Bush “agreed” to a minimum wage hike because it will pass no matter what he says and he won’t veto it because, even if he did, too many Republican support it and the veto would not be sustained.
Craig ends his editorial with a statement of defiance,
The Democrats’ initial policies in the new Congress are not bipartisan – they’re just plain bad. Many Democrats seem to believe that bipartisanship means Republicans compromising our principles instead of negotiating on the Senate floor. I want to make clear that Republicans’ new status in the minority does not mean a blank check for liberal policies.
Craig had better face reality. His empty threats and posturing make him appear irrelevant to his constituents back home.