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Margaret O'Brien Steinfels November 5, 2010 - 1:56pm
No slinking away. Nancy Pelosi has announced she will run for House minority leader. She did a terrific job as majority leader. She's smart and she can count votes.She is likely to win. http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/11/pelosi-to-run-for-minority-leader.php?ref=fpblgAnd here: http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/05/pelosi-says-she-wants-to-stay-on-as-house-democratic-leader/?hpDavid Gibson posted this below in the comments: WashPost Karen Tumulty on the positives and negatives of Pelosi from inside the beltway--worth a read: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/11/AR2010111106262.html?hpid=topnews
David: My point was a simple one. I didn't propose dumping Pelosi. I meant that, on the basis of her record as Speaker, I did not have much hope that she would be willing to engage in an effort to achieve bipartisan co-operation in order to meet the serious problems facing the country. Period. The thread is about Nancy Pelosi; that's why I didn't talk about anyone else. I didn't say or imply that Republicans are any more eager for such co-operation. In my view, obstacles to co-operation exist on both sides, and have to be addressed from both sides. I'm afraid I don't see these things in terms of black and white, assigned according to political party.
Obstacles to cooperation exist within the parties as well as between them. That health care reform got passed at all, I take it, was due to the Dem leaderships' (Pelosi, Hoyer, Clyburn) ability to convince members whose divisions are as deep as those between Republicans and Democrats. That's may not be bipartisanship, but it is the ability to get things done among people who deeply disagree with one another.
AnnBLS stats - the average rates for 1981 and 82 were 9.6 and 9.7 respectively but the rate exceeded 10% for several months in late 82.There were two gasoline crises - one in 1973 and another in 1979 and into 80. I remember those lines better I guess since I was buying gas then.It's also a lot harder getting by in a recession when it is accompanied by inflation, which we don't have now - but the Obama administration and the Fed are working on that too.
BLS stats the average rates for 1981 and 82 were 9.6 and 9.7 respectively but the rate exceeded 10% for several months in late 82.Not to be too alarmist, but past recessions were not accompanied by the kind of credit/mortage defaults, real-estate and other asset devaluations and the collapse of financial institutions like those we've seen now -- all resulting in the very real possibility of a world-wide financial meltdown.We won't be shrugging this one off any time soon.
Sean and Antonio ==Thanks for the stats. One of the pundits said yesterday that there is a large increase in the price of gas expected in the next day or two. The economic problem of gas prices (not to mention the disappearance of petroleum from this Earth) has never been squarely faced by Americans with the exception of the greens -- and Obama, but he has become the national scapegoat for all our problems. We seem incapable of looking ahead.
Joe, just checking in here...I also think I dont "see these things in terms of black and white, assigned according to political party." But it was Obama and Pelosi and the Democrats who have sought bipartisanship and compromise far more than the Republicans. That's indisputable fact, and continues to be so. So I think having political leaders like Pelosi would work toward the goals you'd like, not against it. I think it's important not to see different things as equals when they're not, because that is really a false equivalency and a false balance that is just another kind of blinkered, "black-and-white" way of thinking. Facts matter, in my view.
Regarding bipartisanship: I can think of five major legislative votes in the House during the last Congress:* Stimulus bill - every Republican voted against it* Cape and Trade - every Republican except for eight voted against it* House version of Health Care Reform - every Republican except one voted against it* House vote on final/Senate version of Health Care Reform - every Republican voted against it* Financial Reform bill - every Republican except three voted against itAt one time, both parties represented a broader ideological spectrum than is now the case - there were more liberal Republicans (particularly from the Northeast) and more conservative Democrats (particularly from the South). Thus, an issue such as financial reform could be expected to have both supporters and opponents in both parties. Bipartisanship was a necessity in order to round up the votes to pass legislation that cleaved both parties.In the list of leglislation abovem three of the legislative initiatives - the two health care bills and cap & trade - represent an ideological agenda that, by its very nature, can't realistically be expected to garner conservative support. The only way to be bipartisan about bills such as those would be to weaken the legislation such that it doesn't address the purpose for which it is intended. The stimulus and financial reform bills were examples of issues that could, in my opinion, have drawn bipartisan support, at least in theory. But Republican votes weren't needed to pass them, the Republicans saw political advantage to opposing them, and so bipartisanship wasn't seriously pursued.In the last Congress, and in the upcoming Congress, the only times we will see bipartisanship in the House is when there is an overriding need that is perceived to be non-ideological. For example, I would expect that appropriations bills that fund the war in Afghanistan will be passed with bipartisan support.
According to the AP, there is some slippage in support for Pelosi as minority leader, and a divisive, racially-tinged battle for the #2 position in the caucus.http://www.realclearpolitics.com/news/ap/politics/2010/Nov/11/democrats_...
Today, Congressman Rangel when asked about the Hoyer-Clyburn dust up said the obvious thing: "Put another chair at the table." sortabipartisan.
A good piece on Pelosi's positives and negatives by Karen Tumulty:http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/11/AR201011...
Thanks for the link David, definitely worth a read. Does anyone else think, as I do, that a piece of the vilification of Pelosi is simply that she's not a white male? On the other hand, it looks like she'll win the votes. Is that because the liberal Dems don't want Steny Hoyer, white male and moderate?
Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, a former editor of Commonweal, writes frequently in these pages and blogs at dotCommonweal.
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