Harry Reid returns Lt. Dan Chio's West Point ring after the successful repeal of DADTWell, my fellow Politicos, I'm the first to admit that I am not at all happy with the compromises made with the GOP over many of the measures that were passed during the past two years. But I'm also the first one to point out that a truckload of legislation has passed in this not-so-lame duck Congress. The funny thing is, if you look at the lamestream media, no matter what the source, be it the Washington Post, Politico or anywhere else, there's always a caveat:
Washington Post: The White House strategy to secure Senate passage of New START proves successful, but GOP critics could hamper similar measures in the future.
Wall Street Journal: Congress (Finally) Passes Defense-Policy Bill
Politico: Plan to Close GITMO in Shambles and Obama on Vacation: Same Old, Same Old(So, let me get this straight. The guy gets all this done, and he's not entitled to go home on vacation. Bush spent 487 days of his term at Camp David, and 490 days at his "ranch," yet President Obama manages to enact more legislation in his first two years in office than any other seated president in history, and they're pissed he isn't going to, what? The Carribean, where they'd criticize him for traveling abroad? What's he supposed to do to shake it up? Club Med??? Ya gotta be kidding me...*sigh* Ah, but I digress...)
If the media can't lead with the amazing number of victories scored in 48 hours, e.g. DADT repealed, food safety, the START Treaty, etc., then they will never give Dems credit where credit is due. Check any news source short of MSNBC "President narrowly passes (insert legislation here) but may find opposition in the coming months." Seriously. Go check, open a new tab in your browser and look around. You will find a vacuum of headlines that highlight Democratic victories. But here's all that's been accomplished as of late, as tallied by our intrepid reporter, Rachel Maddow:
And I am certain the situation won't get any better in January. Because in January, the new members of Congress will arrive, and the House will have enough members to cause a fuss. We will not have Christmas vacation to hold over their heads any longer, and there won't be any Rethugs willing to do the right thing because they're term is up or because they have to go home to a blue district. That won't happen for another two years...(at which time we will be fighting the same damn tax cut battles, which the GOP will want to make permanent:
Now is the time we need to push for a new stimulus. yes, another one. One without the pollution and distraction of tax cuts and with the kind of stimulus proven to be most stimulative: unemployment extensions, infrastructure, you know the rest if you've read Momma Politico for long. Since the last one was filled with the GOP compromise (tax cuts), we need to actually put in measures that are stimulative so that when 2012 rolls around, we still have an economy and one in which people actually are back to work. Because, I guarantee, if the umemployment rate is high, and the economy is still in the dumps, then they win. GOP landslide. As James Carville said (How I love that man- brilliant!, "It's still the economy, Stupid!") We cannot let the Rethugs sabotage another stimulus...again.
Nonetheless, compromises be damned, we scored an amazing amount of victories today. Our gay and lesbian citizens can legally continue to serve their country without betraying the military code of honor to which they have devoted their lives. Our 9/11 responders, who served their country that day and for the months and years to follow, pushing aside their own safety and thinking of that of their fellow Americans, will, hopefully, get the help they need without too much red tape (still don't have the details of the last minute GOP compromise). And our food supply will be safer, with updated standards since 1932 (yes, 1932, the last revision. I know. I couldn't believe it either.)
So, let me say, simply, "Way to go, Mr. President." And "Nice work, Harry Reid," and for that matter, Nancy Pelosi, too. Huzzah to those Republicans who had the courage to cross party lines and do the right thing, no matter the reason. And hooray for all of us, who, in our own small ways, signing petitions online, emailing members of Congress, writing The President, or just believing that our government can still do what's good, have kept the faith of "small-d democracy" alive. It heartens me that we still believe that our democracy, as strained and deadlocked as it can be, can still do what's moral and right. We had faith, fellow Politicos, kept fighting the good fight, and in the end, came out with a process we can still believe in. Merry Christmas, America. Let's hope for a New Year that will give us Senate rules that bring Mr. Smith back to Washington and keep our faith in this grand experiment alive.