Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Lame Game

There’s a lot that can happen in two months, say between November 2 and January 3, and assuming — and it’s a rather big assumption — that the Republicans re-take the House, there will still be time for the Democrats to pass legislation in a lame duck session. That has the Republicans going into preemptive fits of rage.

Their nightmare scenario: A weakened Democratic majority might make one final stab at forcing through massive spending bills, passing a wildly controversial cap-and-trade package and generally enshrining a liberal agenda — after it has lost elections nationwide.

Indeed, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), in a statement to POLITICO, called on Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) to “guarantee — right now — that they will not bring members back for a ‘sour grapes’ session after the election.”

What we have here, ladies and gentlemen, is GOP projection: if the tables were turned, they would do as much as they could to pass right-wing batshittery legislation as they could squeeze into the session before they had to leave office.

Don’t believe me? Remember 1998? The GOP had been on a tear against Bill Clinton to the point that they turned off the voters and they actually lost seats in a mid-term election that is traditionally one that goes to the party out of power. So the Republicans got their revenge: they impeached the president. And for good measure, they turned on their own and tossed Newt Gingrich out of the Speaker’s job and Congress.

The Republicans’ worst nightmare isn’t that the Democrats would try to pass a sweeping liberal agenda; it’s that the Democrats would act like Republicans.

HT to Steve Benen.