Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Poor Pelosi

I'd almost feel sorry for her, except she deserves each and every defeat:

After a full year of partisan rancor and insubstantial political votes taken on the House floor, her Congress is crashing on several important deadlines this week as members prepare to leave for Christmas. And Pelosi is about to be owned by the Republican minority. That’s right: By the end of this week, she will likely have lost five major legislative battles, almost simultaneously.

The first and biggest Republican victory was the omnibus spending bill. Bush got the funding levels he wanted and got none of the so called “policy-riders” like the abolition of the government’s Mexico City policy. It wasn't perfect. It wasn't what we Republicans in the heartland would have wanted of course, but considering we are in the minority, it was quite a boon:

This summer, Republicans could not have imagined negotiating Democrats down to this funding level — $933 billion in regular discretionary spending, right at the level of President Bush’s request. “It’s probably better than anything we would have passed, if we were still the majority,” one conservative Republican Senate staffer remarked

It gets better:

The bill currently includes only funding for the Afghanistan war, but by the time it passes it will include full and unconditional Iraq supplemental funding, ending yet another legislative crisis in the Republicans’ favor. The Iraq money will be added by amendment in the Senate. This portion of the amended bill will then pass the House largely on Republican votes. In essence, Democrats are capitulating on the Iraq question for a second time this year...


On the Alternative Minimum Tax, Democrats have already lost this one through inaction. They are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. Senate Democrats, who already agreed to fixing this broken portion of the tax code on Republicans’ terms (without raising taxes to compensate), are watching impatiently as their House colleagues refuse to acknowledge that they lost this issue weeks ago.

Then there was the Energy Bill. It included two environmentalist provisions — "the Renewable Portfolio Standard, which forces utilities to generate or purchase a certain percentage of their electricity from “renewable” sources (not including hydroelectric or nuclear), and tax hikes on domestic oil production. The revenues were expected to pay for promotion of “green” power (more corporate welfare):"

Then last Thursday, the Senate unexpectedly rejected both provisions and passed an energy bill consisting mostly of “non-green” corporate welfare. The bill is expected to pass today containing neither provision. Pelosi played her best cards and lost again.

What about the S-CHIP program we heard so much about earlier this year?

Republicans, who hoped merely to extend the current program beyond the next election, were pummeled rhetorically for their resistance to the change. Yet after last night’s negotiations, sources on the Hill say that they are about to get exactly what they wanted — another extension of the program, as it exists, through March 2009.

But the real story of the session of Congress now ending is how pathetic and rudderless the Democratic leadership has been. The last twelve months have been characterized by partisan rancor, endless committee investigations, and several dozen meaningless, symbolic Iraq votes designed only to pander to the Left without actually ending the war. Through it all, Pelosi and other leaders failed to make a serious effort to pass necessary legislation until now.

Why did this happen to Pelosi? Because she chose to make every fight a political issue where she got camera time instead of negotiating in good faith. It ticked off moderates and she lost support.

Democrats got what they asked for in Pelosi, a self absorbed women bent on power and little else.

Will they now elect another one as their nominee?