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Here's House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi's summation of the performance of the Democrat led Congress in 2007, according to The Washington Post:
"the Democratic-led House is listening to the American people and providing the New Direction the people voted for in November. The House has passed a wide range of measures to make America safer, restore the American dream and restore accountability. We are proud of the progress made this session and recognize that more needs to be done."
In addition, Pelosi claims:
"the House has had a remarkable level of achievement over the first year, passing 130 key measures -- with nearly 70 percent passing with significant bipartisan support."
As David Broder notes in his WaPo article, Pelosi counts as "bipartisan" any vote that had 50 or more Republicans vote for it. There are 202 Republicans currently in the House. If 152 vote against Democratic legislation and 50 vote for it, that's bipartisan support to San Fran Nan. No wonder she's a politician. Such dishonesty doesn't work in most other professions. For instance, I doubt Exxon would launch a huge ad campaign touting $3.00 per gallon gasoline as costing only $1.00 per gallon. People would see through that rather easily.
They see through Pelosi as well. RealClearPolitics has a poll that averages the results of all recent polling. The current Congress gets an approval rating of 25%, and a disapproval rating of 63.5%. By contrast, President Bush gets a 35.4% approval rating.
This Hot Air video, called Pelosi's Promises, could explain some of the gap between Pelosi's rosy assessment and the people's perception of reality. Did the new Democratic Congress accomplish Pelosi's election night 2006 promises ? Did they 1) Restore civility and bipartisanship ? Were they 2) The most ethical Congress in history ? Did they 3) Work with the president on Iraq ? Have you stopped laughing yet ? I don't think I'm being partisan when I say they didn't even come close (not that they ever intended to).
To me, it feels like the Dems spent the whole year investigating Republicans for anything and everything, while ignoring or promoting obvious corruption within their own ranks (Jefferson, Hastings, Murtha, etc). I do have to take issue with the Hot Air video on one thing though. Creating a new cafeteria menu was not the biggest accomplishment of Congress. That's probably only in fourth or fifth place in the annus horribilis of Democratic accomplishment. This Congress also raised the minimum wage by a buck (good news for teenagers who need a couple extra bucks on saturday night), mandated increased car mileage standards (this one I like), and put through a one-year fix for the Alternative Minimum Tax (violating their own PAYGO promise in the process). Looking at the accomplishments of this Congress, I think the people would have been better served if our illustrious representatives had all taken 11-month vacations and just went along with the Bush budget (with no pay, of course. That would have been a case of Congress actually saving us some dough). Then, at least we wouldn't have had a situation like the one with the last minute december Omnibus bill, where the minority party had less than 24 hours to read massive spending legislation that contained 12,000 pork items that passed with no oversight and no discussion. The alternative was to defund the troops in the field. Yeah, great. What was that you said about bipartisanship and ethics, Mrs. Pelosi ? Now we know what Pelosi meant when she said the Dems were going to "... make America safer, restore the American dream, and restore accountability". That translates to lose the war, raise taxes and spending, and be more corrupt than ever. Pretty much what I thought from the beginning.
And then there was Nan's trip to Syria.
Great. Just great. Anybody got any Advil ?