Debating KPFT's Geoff Berg on Houston Fox 26: Lame Duck Session Highlights Failure of Democrat led Congress
President Obama stepped to the microphone today to try to do his best impersonation of a Phoenix rising from the political disaster that was the November mid-term election. Has he found some kind of new "success"? This was the topic of my debate on Houston's KRIV Fox 26, hosted by Melinda Spaulding,with KPFT's liberal talk show host Geoff Berg. The reality is the Lame Duck session clearly illustrated the failure of Democrats to pass key legislative issues in a timely manner.
Claiming the "huge success" of passing the repeal of Don't Ask - Don't Tell (DADT) at a time when unemplopment/under-employment is around 20% of America's workforce is hardly something to be bragging about.
A lame duck session is typically used to clean up the loose ends of minor pieces of legislation left over after Congress has completed its constitutionally mandated work for the people. However, this Congress chose to not deal with these issues (like the budget and the new START treaty) before the election where they could be held accountable for their actions. Instead, we allow over 60 members of the House and 6 Senators who have already retired or been fired by their electorate to decide issues crucial to our nation's future. Those six Senate votes would have killed the START treaty.
During the debate, Berg seemed to completely miss the point that these legislative issues represent failures of the Democrat Congress and President Obama to properly complete legislative business before the November election. Berg talked about Republicans holding up the budget when it should have been passed BEFORE the budget year began in October was laughable at best. Touting the "success" of this lame duck session is like praising a student for turning in his or her school work a month after the semister is over. Democrats had four years of legislative control and failed to even pass one of their gemstones, Comprehensive Immigration Reform.
The real truth is it was Republicans who achieved success in this session. After being in "exile" for nearly four years, Republicans began to flex their newly rediscovered political muscles and blocked yet another unread, 2,000 page, trillion dollar spending bill laced with pork barrell ear-marks that were the epitomy of what the Amercian voters rejected in this election.
What Mr. Berg really missed (or dodged) was the fact that the alleged Obama "success" that came from this lame-duck Congress, came only because the Republicans allowed it. Perhaps at their own expense. Had Republicans held fast for two more weeks, the START treaty would most certainly died, and the tax cut extensions could have been made permanent and could have been extended without giving up nearly as much political capital to Obama as they did.
President Obama and the Democrat controlled Congress had zero interest in extending the economy stimulating tax-cuts that were put in place by former President George W. Bush. And yet, with Republican leadership, it passed and millions of small businesses can now go about planning for the next two years knowing what their tax rates will be. Small business is the key to our economic recovery and Republican stepped up in a big way to ensure their opportunity for success!
The American voters expressed their displeasure in November with the way Democrats have been running the Congress for the past four years. Obviously Democrats didn't listen, but Republicans seem to have listened well.
Now that the lame duck has waddled from the room, we have new things to watch out for during the Christmas break and the next session. President Obama has appointed a completely anti-gun socialist to head the bureau of Alcohol, Tobaco and Firearms. Watch for him to make this a recess appointment to avoid the new "RINO-proof" Senate. Our borders are still wide open, leading to the recent death of a US Border Patrol Agent in Arizona and many civilians and police officers accross the nation. Border Security MUST become a priority of the new congress. And, of course, JOBS! Get the government out of the way and let the econonomic engine of this country do what it does best - GROW! Stop the runaway spending. Reduce the size and scope of the out of control federal government.
Much like Bill Clinton after the '94 Republican Revolution, Barrack Obama's success now lies in the hands of Republicans. Opposition to Obama has never been about Obama. It has, rather, been about his liberal/socialist policies that were brought forward by Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. Things are different now. Will Obama follow the lead of the new Republican Congressional leadership? Time will tell. But we must be agressive about executing the Conservative game plan for anyone to be successful. Let's build some real success.