The Low Bar?

April 29th, 2010

Democrats are currently crowing about a major victory in the Senate right now, as Republicans folded under pressure and gave up on their obstructionist attempt to weaken or kill the financial reform legislation before debate even started.

On the other hand, the Democratic “victory” was that with a 59-41 majority, Democrats, after several days, were finally able to open debate on a bill that must later go through several other steps before passing.

One way of looking at it says that Democrats have done the equivalent of tying their shoelaces correctly. Hardly impressive. Another way of looking at it, though, is that they have successfully tied their shoelaces while a bunch of people make a concerted effort to keep them from doing it. Imagine trying to lace your shoes with three or four people constantly yanking at your hands and feet, trying to stop you. I think you’d be impressed by anyone who get their shoes tied under such conditions.

But in a political sense, the achievement or lack of same is less important than the fact that both sides had resolved, and one side caved. If Obama was trying to pass a law for “National Shoelace Day” but Republicans thwarted him, the relative importance of the law would be of little importance, as the main focus would be who has got stronger political will.

So, for the time being, at least, Democrats are doing pretty well, keeping a fairly good image ever since the passage of the health care law. And it doesn’t help the Republicans that they are making their stand for the banking industry, which everyone now detests, trying to thwart reform which will help keep another bailout from happening. That’s not a very defensible stance, which is most likely why they folded–along with the fact that they were preventing even debating the legislation. If Dems can similarly succeed in blasting the Republicans as being pro-bank and anti-reform when cloture and passage come to pass, it would be an even bigger win. Republicans are also not helped by right-wingers pulling crap like the immigration law in Arizona and the Nevada Republican seriously advocating livestock payments for health care.

Of course, one can always count on Republicans to provide a steady stream of idiots to do stupid stuff like that. The real question is, how long can the Dems keep this up without reverting to weak-kneed giga-wimp form?

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