Republican leaders in the Senate have spent weeks gleefully deriding the Democrats who run the chamber for not producing a budget proposal in more than two years. It is a classic tactic, designed to deflect attention from their party’s toxic plan to privatize Medicare. The truth, though, is that the Republicans also have a point.
The 112th Senate has become a body that largely reacts to outrageous things that Republicans do or say. Rather than coming up with original ideas and sensible policies to counter to the extreme ones pouring out of the House, it simply votes down House bills, or refuses to take them up. Democratic senators, fearful of last year’s Republican tide, may think that a play-it-safe strategy will save their jobs in next year’s election, but the country could pay a high price for their timidity.
Without strong leadership, the Senate’s record is dismaying. Last Wednesday, for example, it took up the Paul Ryan budget plan passed by the House — famous for ending Medicare’s guarantee — and voted it down. Republicans brought up President Obama’s own 2012 budget, and the Senate voted that down, too. Two Republicans offered their own budget plans, and they failed as well.
But there will be no vote on a budget by the Democratic majority of the Senate, the traditional method for stating the majority’s priorities in black and white dollar signs. That’s because the Budget Committee has not agreed on one...
Most DINOcrats go to the Senate every day just to make a buck.
And it shows.