Monday, August 15, 2011

Democrats -- Blame Obama or Blame the Dems in Congress

A lot of Democrats seem to be blaming Obama for the current situation. It seems to me that the Democrats in Congress are more to blame. The Republicans showed in the first two years of the Obama administration, when they were in the minority in both the Senate and the House, that they could influence legislation especially through the threat of filibuster. That brings up the question of why the Democratic majority did not change the rules of order when they had the chance in late 2010 to make the Congress more responsive to Democratic legislative proposals.

When the Republicans gained the majority in the House, they had even greater influence on legislation.

During the George W. Bush administrations, the Congress passed legislation creating tax breaks for the rich, supported two unfunded and expensive wars, allowed the financial industries to continue with inadequate regulation until the crisis occurred leading to the Great Recession, and allowed the debt to grow to unhealthy levels. It did so with Democratic majorities in both houses after 2007 and in the House from 2001 to 2003. Even during the periods in which the Republicans were in the majority, their majorities were less than those of the Democrats in the first two years of the Obama administration.

Why then were the Democrats less effective in restraining Republican legislative proposals and preventing the problems that they created than the Republicans have been in the last two and a half years? I suggest that it is because the Democrats in Congress were less effective then than the Republicans have been recently. It also means that the Democrats in Congress have been less effective in this administration in supporting their president than the Republicans in Congress were under Bush.

I think a lot of the blame for lack of Democratic legislative success in this administration goes to the legislators rather than to the president.

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