Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...

Monday, December 22, 2003  


By the end of this year's congressional session, Republicans had tightened their already firm grip on the House and moved to marginalize Democrats' influence in both chambers by shutting them out of negotiations on the final version of major bills.

They excluded Democrats from endgame bargaining over legislation to spur energy production. They allowed only Democrats of their choosing to participate in negotiations over restructuring Medicare -- Democrats who, it turned out, were willing to support the GOP-drafted version. And, after a bipartisan start, they barred Democrats from final decisions on the $328 billion spending bill for nonmilitary activities of government....

"It's almost anything goes," said Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.). "I think we're on the edge of something dangerous if we don't turn it around. . . . It's like the Middle East. You just keep ratcheting up the intensity of the conflict."

"It really is one-party, winner-take-all rule, almost like parliamentary government," with its top-down chain of command and strong party discipline, said James Thurber, a political science professor at American University.

"Now Republicans have established the principle: We can do it without them," said Norman Ornstein, an expert on Congress at the American Enterprise Institute.

That Bush, he really is a uniter, not a divider.

posted by Jeff | 9:59 AM |
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