Recently, the Washington Post did a story about the Democrat-controlled Congress and what they've accomplished...or in this case NOT accomplished. Posters to their message board showed many different sides of the issue, but among the Democrat posters, the litany of blame went as follows:
- Republicans aren't playing fair
- Republicans messed up so much in 6 years that it's impossible to expect Democrats to fix it in 4 months
- Democrats were only sworn in 4 months ago
- Joe Lieberman is stopping the Democrats from getting the veto-proof majority in the Senate
- George W. Bush and the Republicans are corrupt
- WaPo is an arm of the GOP
- Democrats are too wussy and should move to impeach Bush NOW
- Democrats were elected to bring oversight of the Bush Agenda to Congress, not to pass bills.
Most of these excuses are just that. However, it may be a bit early to call the Democrat-controlled Congress a failure just yet because of the time factor. Four months isn't a great deal of time, but I do think WaPo is justified in being concerned about how the Democrats are running the show on Capitol Hill. Between holding hearing after hearing after Nancy Pelosi promised there wouldn't be an atmosphere of endless investigations, a decided lack of bipartisanship after Pelosi promised to work with Republicans, talk of impeaching Dick Cheney after Pelosi said impeachment was "off the table," circus-style hearings over issues that really didn't warrant hearings, and the Iraq funding bill laden with more pork than a Texas cookout, I'd be pretty concerned if I were still a Democrat.
Democrats misread the Election 2006 results as proof that the people wanted them in power. The point is Democrats were promising more while the Republicans didn't have their hearts or heads in the game. When it comes down to it, the Democrats still haven't had enough time in to make a clear decision on their tenure in control of Congress, but their early efforts have shown that they're stumbling out of the blocks. And as fun as it is to blame Republicans and Joe Lieberman for it, a good chunk of the blame has to fall on the Democrats for this. They've gone back on promises repeatedly, acted like schoolyard bullies, and generally shown a willingness to put party above country. It's always easier to point fingers than it is to point the way. And the Democrats have to work on the latter if they want to improve their chances of keeping Congress in the 2008 elections.