Thursday, April 05, 2018

Congressional Democrats Are Learning-- Slowly-- That They Can't Trust Trump And His GOP Colluders


I asked several members of Congress about the DCCC's reticence to take on Trump. Most didn't want to be quoted by name. One e-mailed me "I don’t want to be quoted on this, but you’re absolutely right, and the deeper problem is that this is part of the socialization process that leads even good candidates to become worthless pieces of crap upon election. Ann Kuster, for instance-- she could have gone either way. But once the DCCC and Steve Israel were done with her, she was fit only to sing a cappella in the eunuchs’ choir. Every Democrat to whom I speak wants the Democrats to go after Trump-- and a lot of Independents, too. Just look at the polling-- even Trump’s supporters think Trump is an ass. How could people who live and breathe politics, for a living, be so stupid?"

Progressive candidates were less reticent about speaking out. Jenny Marshall in running against GOP extremist and Trump boot-lick Virginia Foxx in North Carolina. Her statement wasn't wishy-washy (and never is): "How many times does it take for Lucy to pull the football away before Charlie Brown learns she is just going to yank it away every time? At every turn Republicans claim they are coming to the bargaining table with honest intentions only to turn around and yank those promises away. Are some of our Congressional Democrats really that naive or do they just not care? It is time for Democrats to stand up and protect the interests of the people of our country or go home. I have been standing up for my community against the GOP assault on education for the past decade and it's time we send strong Democrats like me to Congress. It's time to return the people's voice in Congress."

The DCCC has been urging their crap candidates in swing districts to talk about working with Trump while campaigning. But Trump is a lying sack of shit and voters know it. And when Democrats compromise with him they wind up covered in shit. Remember a few weeks ago when many right-of-center Democrats provided Republicans enough votes to pass the omnibus spending bill? The claim was that they “got a good deal” out of the Republicans. Sure they did! A report from Roll Call yesterday:

Trump and congressional Republican leaders, frustrated they had to work with Democrats to pass a fiscal 2018 omnibus spending measure, are mulling a way for their party to effectively cut some of the funds they just approved.

The idea would be to deploy lesser-used provisions of the 1974 budget law to roll back spending by impounding some of the appropriated funds.

The Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974-- more frequently referred to as the Budget Act, the sections of the law that are more commonly used-- provides an expedited process for the president to propose and Congress to review a rescission resolution identifying appropriations that the administration does not want to spend.

…The budget law would provide a path for the Senate to consider a rescission resolution with only a simple majority support.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy has been discussing the possibility of a rescission package with White House officials as a way to curb domestic spending in the omnibus, a GOP aide confirmed Monday evening following reports from ABC News.

McCarthy and Trump personally discussed the idea during a phone call this week, while the speaker’s office has had staff level discussions with the White House about the concept, a senior GOP source added. Since the rescission process has not been used in a long time, congressional leaders are still discussing how it all might play out but it is an idea they're taking seriously, the source said.

The discussions come after Congress passed and Trump begrudgingly signed into law a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill last month.

Republicans celebrated a boost to defense spending, while lamenting the increase to domestic spending that was necessary to win Democratic support.

Trump, in an an omnibus signing ceremony held hours after he threatened to veto the measure, called on Congress to give him line-item veto authority on spending bills-- a law Congress passed in 1996 but the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional just two years later.

The impound procedure provides the president with similar power to reject specific spending but only with the constitutionally required approval of Congress, which holds the power of the purse.

The maneuver may succeed in the House but would be a tough lift in the Senate, where Republicans hold a slim 50-49 majority (soon to be 51-49 after Cindy Hyde-Smith is sworn in to fill the Mississippi Senate seat vacated by Thad Cochran).

Getting 50 Republican votes to roll back spending the Congress just approved might be a long shot given the delicate nature of crafting the omnibus itself.

Such an effort would almost certainly make it harder for appropriators to negotiate future bipartisan spending deals. Congress has just six months to attempt to pass all 12 appropriations bills, whether individually or packaged again as an omnibus, before the start of fiscal 2019 on Oct. 1.

McCarthy's involvement in the rescission discussions comes after he led a congressional effort to use a similar expedited procedure to roll back more than a dozen regulations approved under the Obama administration. The Congressional Review Act provides Congress with 60 legislative days after an executive agency finalizes a regulation to pass a resolution to repeal the rule.

Like the rescission resolution, CRA measures were able to move through the Senate with only a simple majority vote. However, Republicans are much more united in their opposition to regulations than they are to domestic spending.
Goal ThermometerAntoinette Sedillo Lopez is the progressive Democrat running in Albuquerque. If she wins her primary, she pretty much guaranteed the congressional seat. Her perspective hits the nail on the head: “Republican complicity in going back on a deal  that they just made is a well-known Trumpian strategy-- negotiating with neither integrity nor good faith. We expect more of our Senators and Members of Congress, but Republican rule has been vicious in its partisan zeal. This strategy creates an environment in which there is no incentive to come together and govern. Republicans refuse to fill their constitutional role to provide a check and balance to this president who was not elected by the majority of voters but was appointed by an electoral college that bears no relation to its original purpose. This blind loyalty to a president who has no mandate makes a mockery of our democracy.”

Levi Tillemann, the progressive in the race to defeat Mike Coffman in the Denver suburbs, got right to the point-- and it sure isn’t appeasement: "Yet again, Trump wants to take a sledgehammer to norms, institutions, communities, and values that progressives, and most Americans support. We need to hold Trump accountable, which means impeachment, instead of enabling him through appeasement."

Sam Jammal is another progressive Democrat running for Congress (CA-39, Orange County) who doesn't need to be taught not to trust Trump. "We are in an all out war to preserve our country against Trump, he told us today. "I will gladly work with him to repeal his awful tax law or his dangerous roll backs of our environmental regulations. Somehow I don't see him agreeing to this. Other than that, this is about standing firm to protect what we have and ensure that Trump and his cronies don't completely upend our social safety net, entitlements and the investments critical to growing our economy. We are in a fight for not just the soul of this country but what kind of country we are going to be. There are times to find consensus and times to hold firm and fight. This is a time to fight."

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At 5:29 AM, Blogger Ronnie Goodson said...

Let's face it no one "works with" our Supreme Leader. You are either a rubber stamp for his delusions and whims or you are "fired". The DCCC has become a bad joke that has outworn it's welcome to most grassroots democrats and the voting this year will reflect this.

At 6:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another very misleading piece. Democraps have run on 'working with...' and have actually done so since Reagan, when doing so meant ratfucking working people and fellating the money.

"How many times does it take for Lucy to pull the football away before Charlie Brown learns she is just going to yank it away every time?..."

Jesus people, don't you remember this same meme applying to obamanation's FDR congress? Remember his going into 'negotiations' with john boner starting at boner's asking point? Do you remember obamanation offering so much austerity that even boner couldn't accept (he was afraid of being blamed in an anti-red wave election in 2012)???

It isn't that the democraps actually trust the Nazis. It's that they are always searching for issues of/by/for the money (like the bank dereg bill) where they can serve their masters but make it seem like the Nazis are the bad guys.

And you MUST REMEMBER that the democraps cannot afford to have fixed DACA. If they fixed it, they would lose a very important election issue. They need the illusion of their support for DACA in order to keep frightened Latinos voting for them.

Both sides do this. the Nazis have to keep the abortion issue (for many reasons). the democraps have to keep DACA.

At 9:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Meanwhile, a growing majority of Independents have the balance of power in their hands, and can disrupt the progress of the graft wagon merely by electing a third-party candidate instead of voting for either of the two corporatist evils.

At 11:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

9:53, been making that point since the late '80s.

Our problem, besides not being organized and suffering a severe case of apathy (for good reason), we ALSO have a dearth of deserving candidates AND party for whom to get excited.

That's where Bernie's utter betrayal (only he knows if this was by design) hurt the most. Not since Lincoln or maybe Teddy Rooseveldt has a 3rd party been in such demand and so viable. Yet, all 3rd party movements need a catalyst, and that catalyst needed to be Bernie.

If Elizabeth had endorsed him early on, would it have been different? Maybe she was in on the con with him. I don't know. But I do know that when Bernie turtled and defected to the fascists, it made millions of voters lose all hope for change.

We (Bernie, Elizabeth, me...) all know that the democraps were never going to change anything. Why then did Bernie abandon his movement? Perhaps it was all a mirage from the beginning... I'm more sure of this every day I think about it.

Bernie's betrayal aside, it is quite true that there are more Is than there are Rs or Ds. Both Rs and Ds know this and they go to extreme lengths to keep those Is home when "elections" are held. As insurance, both sides also have fraud schemes in place where they may be needed. But for fraud to work, it has to be plausible. If the Is had a Bernie to make them turn out FOR A CHANGE, the plausibility of stripping 60 million voters and flipping 10 million more would be zero.

But we still need someone worth voting for. And with the bicameral fascist party pretense along with the insane 'lesser evilism' meme, we are never offered an option.

Bryce and the rest of the BA slate are all running to pad the democrap tyrants' numbers. They are NOT running for change. They are running as the newest mask of SOS corporate rule.


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