Friday, March 10, 2006

Hypocrites “R” Us: The Republican Superstore

Hey, reading the full Senate portion of the Congressional Record every day can get a bit dull, but sometimes you stumble across some interesting stuff… Here’s Republican bigwig Trent Lott on the Senate floor Monday, as debate on lobbying reform started, bemoaning the nasty tone in Washington:

“There are those in Washington -- me included -- who have been concerned of late by how much partisanship there is in Washington and in the legislative process,” sniffles Lott.

For once, I may agree with the distinguished cracker from Mississippi.

These were my thoughts exactly as I studied all 366 Senate roll call votes in 2005 and found that an astounding 75 percent of legislation sponsored by Democrats was killed by the GOP leadership – often on strict party line votes, while almost all Republican-sponsored bills sailed right through.

And that 75 percent number is based on a very conservative – if you’ll pardon the expression – calculation that omits procedural votes from the number of Democratic measures that passed, including "motions to instruct" which almost always pass by wide margins, regardless of sponsorship and votes that are so non-partisan that no opportunity for conflict exists.

Would even the most partisan Republican be dumb enough to vote against honoring the 15th anniversary of the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act just because it was sponsored by a Democrat? If you don’t give the GOP “credit" for allowing those kinds of bills to pass, their blockade of any legislation put forth by Democrats is even more startling and apparent.

Add that to an executive branch that has been doing everything possible to divide the country since the day they hit town and it’s difficult to take Lott’s whining about the nasty tone very seriously.

While one could argue that it’s the right for the majority party to use their leverage to squash every initiative offered by the other side, they should at least refrain from complaining about the tone once they’ve chosen its tenor.