Republicans and Obstructionism

We keep hearing that the Republicans are the party of “no,” that they are simply obstructionists keeping us from achieving a blissful state of progressive utopia.

The latest example of this is Sen. Jim Bunning, standing in the way of a $10 billion unemployment benefits extension.  He says he supports the extension, he just wants to see it paid for by cutting elsewhere rather than adding to an already out-of-control deficit.  According to Sen. Bunning, “If we can’t find $10 billion to pay for something we all support, we will never pay for anything on the floor of this U.S. Senate.”  The man does have a point.

I seem to remember a similar standoff not so many years ago.  Back in 1995/1996, Republicans were blamed for being obstructionists, for punishing those needing federal services over what amounted to a political fight, rather than a matter of principle.  Pres. Clinton, at the time, even went so far as to say that, “It was morally indefensible to hold needed government services and hard-working government employees hostages in a political battle.”

After Clinton finally ended the standoff by bowing to Republican demands that he submit a seven year balanced budget scored by the Congressional Budget Office, the LA Times wrote that Democrats denounced the plan as “draconian.”

Is this the same plan that Democrats have been taking credit for ever since?  I don’t really care who takes the credit as long as the voting public understands which policies bring prosperity and which will make us look even more like Greece or Italy or one big California.

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