E.J. Dionne sees little good coming out of the lame duck session if the Democrats continue their habit of spinelessness on such issues as campaign finance disclosure, DADT, the Dream Act, and extending unemployment benefits.
An extension of unemployment insurance is set to expire at the end of this month, with the unemployment rate at 9.6 percent. Will Congress go home with little thought to what the lives of these Americans will be like during the coming holidays?
Which brings up the biggest scandal of all: Imagine a Congress that their party still controls passing an extension of the Bush tax cuts for millionaires but leaving the unemployed in the cold. If this happens, laugh out loud the next time a Democrat claims to be on the side of working people.
Look at it this way: What have the Democrats got to lose? The mid-terms are over, so worrying about election campaigns is off the table for six months, at least. There will, of course, be obstacles and threats by the GOP who will rant about the nerve of the Democrats trying to ram stuff down the their throats (what is it with these people and their oral fixation, anyway?). So what? Ranting and getting stuffed is about all the Republicans have been good for in the last two years, so what is another six weeks of their carrying on going to do?
Here’s the thing: The Democrats can lay the groundwork for the next two years by showing that they are, at the least, going to stand for something they actually believe in. And even if they lose a few, at least they can say they tried, which is far better than just not showing up.