Pelosi, Reid bank on America's sitcom attention span
By Frank Salvato
It's becoming quite the gamble. Once again, Democrats in Congress – led by Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi – are betting that the Sitcom Attention Span (SAS) of the American people will save their hides, this time from their dismal performance during the first six-month in control of the House and Senate. But as the old adage goes, fool me once, shame on you. . .
The list of accomplishments the Democrats have racked has been anything but what they promised during the 2006 election. They failed to end the Iraq War. They failed to reform the earmark process. Instead of "draining the swamp of corruption" they seem to have taken to bathing in it. They failed to produce meaningful immigration reform. They failed in securing the nation's borders in a post-9/11 world. Oh wait, these aren't accomplishments, are they?
The only things that the Democrats have succeeded in doing over the past six-months is getting the minimum wage increased (a bill which included small business incentives demanded by the GOP), spending more money on Hurricane Katrina relief (something worthy of an investigation), getting more funding for veteran's care (something that was already in the wind) and wasting a boat-load of taxpayer money on political witch-hunt investigations. These investigations range from whether the president had the right to fire Federal Prosecutors who worked at his pleasure to a proposed investigation into ‘Scooter' Libby's commuted sentence. For the record, congressional investigations cost money and that money is derived from taxpayer dollars. Think about that the next time you hear Chuck Schumer or Hank Waxman proposing yet another frivolous, go-no-where, do-nothing, no-consequence, irrelevant congressional investigation simply for the media's sake.
So, with a losing record for the first six-months in the bag you would think that Pelosi and Reid would limp away from Washington for a much needed summer recess muttering, "This leadership role is a lot harder than it looked from the other side."
Well, that type of logic escapes the reality of the political Left.
Perhaps it's the haughtiness born of believing their own rhetoric. Maybe it's the by-product of our broken education system's practice of undeservedly elevating everyone's self-esteem. It might even be the derivative of the arrogance prevalent in the bold-but-hollow tenets of those San Francisco/Las Vegas values. Whatever the cause, Pelosi and Reid, the geriatric version of the "Dynamic Duo,' have decided to gamble once again on the hope – fingers crossed – that the American people have the attention span of a gnat. . .post hitting a moving car's windshield.
In addressing the 110th Congress's lackluster performance to date, Pelosi said:
"Because of Republican obstruction I'm not very happy with Congress right now either."
And Reid had this to say with regard to Congress's current approval rating – 24.8%, 5.7% shy of President Bush's approval rating which the mainstream media continues to remind us is beneath the sub-basement of the crawl-space under the cellar:
"People are down on government for a lot of reasons, but the main reason is Iraq."
If it weren't our security at risk and our tax dollars being wasted it would almost be funny. The main reason for the American people being so "down on government" isn't Iraq, it's because of the political game playing. It's because today's politicians, especially from the Left, insist on placing politics before government.
Here we have two Democrat Party leaders who just finished up a six-year stint demanding that their rank and file refuse to work with Republicans on even the most common sense of legislations and they have the unmitigated gall to say that the Republicans are "obstructionist."
It was Pelosi – dark Queen of the "Party of No" – who ordered Democrats not to work on bills or even hold press conferences with Republicans whom their party was trying to defeat in November of 2006. "Not work on bills or even hold press conferences with. . ." sounds pretty "obstructive" to me.
Earlier this year, Reid undermined the mission in Iraq and the morale of the US Forces fighting there by proclaiming "This war is lost. And just last month, in an address to über-liberal bloggers, Reid declared that both outgoing Chairman of the Joints Chiefs Gen. Peter Pace and current Commander of US Forces in Iraq Gen. David Petraeus were "incompetent."
Quite honestly, if this is Reid's idea of compromising in the spirit of bi-partisanship, of being cooperative, then I can only surmise that his idea of a benevolent, non-partisan leader was Josef Stalin.
Pelosi and Reid are banking on the notion that the American public is too fickle, too ensconced in the SAS mentality to remember a scant six-months back to a time when they were the leaders of a Democrat Party better identified as the "Party of No," when their only game plan for "government" was obstruction, denial, obstruction and deflection. They are betting that the SAS so prevalent in American culture will allow them to re-write even their most recent history of deception and deceit, of their placing the well-being of their political party and their political longevity before good government and doing the work they were sent to Washington do.
If we prove them right, if we allow them to get away with dodging the blame for being obstructionist, do-nothing leaders of a politically power-hungry party willing to do anything including shirking the responsibility of government to gain power, then shame on us, shame on all of us.
It's time to demand government over politics, people. If we don't start reminding these politically opportunistic creatures from inside the beltway that they work for us, we deserve what we get.
Frank Salvato is the managing editor for The New Media Journal. He serves at the Executive Director of the Basics Project, a non-profit, non-partisan, 501(C)(3) research and education initiative. His pieces are regularly featured in over 100 publications both nationally and internationally. He has appeared on The O’Reilly Factor, and is a regular guest on The Right Balance with Greg Allen on the Accent Radio Network, as well as an occasional guest on numerous radio shows coast to coast. His organization, Basics Project, is partnered in producing the first-ever national symposium series on the threat of radical Islamist terrorism. His pieces have been recognized by the House International Relations Committee and the Japan Center for Conflict. Mr. Salvato is available for public speaking engagements. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.