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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Calm before the storm

It's all over except for the shouting on cable.

Congress is going home after what should be seen as an enormously successful two years for liberals and progressives. Historic health care legislation. A start at reining in Wall Street excesses. The beginning of a recovery from the economic havoc caused by the Bush years.

And now add to that repeal of don't ask, don't tell. A treaty to rein in some of the excess nuclear weapons that threaten our security. And, after exposing Republican hypocrisy about the heroes of 9-11, help for them meeting the cost of the health problems tied to their rescue efforts.

So why aren't we feeling better about ourselves?

Aside from a seemingly innate ability to reject success by squabbling amongst ourselves because we allow the perfect to be the enemy of the good, the next two years don't seem to offer any sense of improvement.

Listen to the GOP talking points:
“They have been enormously successful in one sense in passing their legislative agenda,” Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, said of Democrats. “The problem is the country just doesn’t like it very much.”
Says who? The verdict is still mixed on the historic law, despite the equally historic lies about "death panels" and "government takeover of health care." There is little doubt that the reforms are more popular than the men and women of Congress who passed it (and those who lied about it).

Republicans are vowing to spend the next two years repealing the good work accomplished so far. Don't count on it. Democrats still hold a majority in the Senate and there are nowhere near the two-thirds majorities in both branches required to override a presidential veto should backsliding legislation ever emerge.

Instead we should expect two more years of GOP blustering. Except now with a place at the table the expectations for the Party of No should be higher, although it's up to the politically-obsessed press corps to hold GOP feet to the fire in the face of the inevitable screech about liberal bias.

We should celebrate what has been accomplished, knowing a tough road lies ahead.

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Republicans are vowing to spend the next two years repealing the good work accomplished so far. Don't count on it. Democrats still hold a majority in the Senate and there are nowhere near the two-thirds majorities in both branches required to override a presidential veto should backsliding legislation ever emerge.

I wish that I could have faith that Democrats and President Obama could be relied upon to use their numbers to fight Republicans' attacks on their programs, but history has shown me they probably won't. I hope I'm wrong.

December 23, 2010 5:28 PM  

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