January 03, 2007
One line in the column warmed my heart in particular:
The majority party in Congress gets to pass the bills it wants. The minority party, especially where the margins are close, has a strong say in the form bills take. And the Constitution leaves it to the president to use his judgment whether they should be signed into law.It seems he got the memo. He may be a lame-duck, but the President clearly recognizes his responsibility to limit the amount of damage that the Democrats' razor-thin majority can do at this critical time of our country's history.
Capt. Ed, however, is not so sure it will be all that necessary.
He will probably get a lot more practice at vetoing legislation over the next two years now that he has no Republican majority to protect. This may not make much difference to the Democrats, who will probably have a very difficult time passing any kind of legislation, thanks to the weakness and character of their majority. They only can stand to shed a handful of votes on any bill, and the Blue Dogs outweigh that margin by at least a factor of two. Party unanimity will only last a short time; freshmen from formerly Republican districts will not risk their re-election chances by going the full Pelosi. If they do, the two-seat Democratic majority in the Senate will probably not be sufficient to push the bills through any kind of concerted Republican effort to stop them. Bush may not have an opportunity to sign or veto much, outside of normal appropriations bills.So, starting tomorrow, expect gridlock - and politics as usual.
The Democrats know this, and they will concentrate their efforts elsewhere -- such as investigations and House rules changes, where their power runs free of the executive. I suspect we will see a return of the Do-Nothings in terms of legislation, but a long, tiresome slog of probes into every nook and cranny of the White House in order to dig up any dirt that can be used in 2008 on the GOP.
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