Days of Change

Day 618 – Stop, You’re Both Right | July 15, 2010

So, some bill with “financial reform” in the title passed today. This is considered major legislation won by the slimmest of margins. Still, after Jackass went to the podium to brag about it, both Fox News and MSNBC panned it. One claimed it went to far, another claimed it didn’t go far enough. How does that happen?

It turns out that the old saw about good legislation making both sides unhappy is complete crap. Sometimes, bad legislation is bad legislation to everyone. In the interest of harmony, I’m going to explain why both sides of the political spectrum are understandably sick of Washington right now.

Let’s start with the Stimulus. First, the government was in a spending mood. The banks got their bailout, but people wanted some relief. At this point, there were less than 60 Democratic or Democrat-leaning Senators. In the interest of passage and the elusive concept of bipartisanship, the Senate shaved $100 billion off the price tag and added more tax cuts. Neither was particularly effective. 18 months later, the economy is far from stimulated and there’s still unspent stimulus money.

Then there’s health care. The Senate had 60 votes, then 59. The House easily (but with almost 30 Democratic defectors) passed their version of the bill, expecting to “fix” the Senate version in conference. This is where things ran off the rails. The White House compromised with blue dog Democrats to pass the bill in the House and Senate, but blamed the Republicans, none of whom voted for the final legislation. The House was forced into passing the Senate version, with a series of “fixes” that satisfied no one.

It continues with financial reform. It’s promoted as one thing, changed to another, then treated as if it were the first thing. Media outlets like Politico ponder Obama’s falling numbers and Congress’ low approval in the face of legislative victories. The answer is simple. Like every other thing in Jackass’ existence, he took the easy way out. If he obsesses to this day about getting a B in a college where no one has seen his transcripts, the president must have never had to struggle to get an A. If every kid gets a trophy, if a high school graduates dozens of valedictorians, the victory means nothing. All the “landmark” legislation is meaningless, full of compromise and half measures, signifying nothing.

Conservatives are right when they say that Stimulus, Health Care Reform and Financial legislation are socialist principles. Liberals are right when they call that same legislation toothless and loaded with special interests. It’s the worst of government, costly regulation that benefits a few winners and makes everyone else the losers. Jackass is a winner… at being a loser.

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2 Comments

  1. Who knew when my parents sat at the dinner table talking over the news in The Boston Globe or what Walter Cronkite or Huntley and Brinkley had presented that the age of journalism was drawing to a close?
    I would dearly love a press corps that presented “the facts, just the facts.” I am capable of forming my own opinion.

    Comment by ProudMilitaryMom — July 16, 2010 @ 7:15 pm

  2. You’re correct, 15: both sides are rightp They’re the two slices of bread raming the filling together in obama’s crap sandwich.

    Comment by Mary — July 16, 2010 @ 9:50 pm


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