Washingtonians were greeted with unwelcome news last Friday when they learned that the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, long a hazardous site, found storage tanks were leaking “nuclear and chemical waste.”
“At least six underground-storage tanks each holding tens of thousands of gallons of nuclear and chemical waste are leaking at the Hanford nuclear reservation, the nation’s most contaminated Cold War weapons-production facility.” (Craig Welch, “6 Nuclear-Waste Tanks Leaking At Hanford,” The Seattle Times, 2/22/13)
“And federal officials say more of the aging steel waste tanks also may be dribbling out nuclear material left over from a half-century of atomic bomb-building.” (Craig Welch, “6 Nuclear-Waste Tanks Leaking At Hanford,” The Seattle Times, 2/22/13)
So, according to Gallup, Congress’ approval rating remains mired in the mid-teens.
“Americans’ Approval Of Congress Is At 15% In February, One Percentage Point Higher Than In January And Exactly Matching The 15% Average For All Of 2012.” (Frank Newport, “Congress Approval Rating Holding Steady At 15%,” Gallup, 2/19/13)
This recent survey by Gallup isn’t surprising. The public has frowned on Congress for some time. But why have things gotten so bad and when did it turn so negative?
I’ve been writing for some time now that the real culprits of intransigent, partisan, obstruction in Washington, D.C., isn’t the Republican Party, but rather the Democrats; specifically the ones who control the Majority in the U.S. Senate (you can read the study I published last October here).
The notion that Democrats are the ones gumming-up the sausage making process in D.C. is dismissed by the liberal, establishment media. But that doesn’t come as any real surprise. However, there is evidence everywhere you look to prove beyond a doubt that Democrats don’t really care if anything gets done at all. I’m not just talking about the fact that Senate Democrats haven’t passed a budget in nearly four years (they last passed a budget in April 2009).
This morning, Justin Sink over at The Hill’s Blog Briefing Room reported that President Barack Obama used his weekly radio address to push Congress to find a way to stave off the sequester, a set of across-the-board spending cuts to defense and discretionary programs. The President wants to avoid the sequester because it would “deal a ‘huge blow to middle-class families and our economy as a whole.’” Obama is rightfully worried about any further setbacks to an already underperforming economy.
What makes this real news though is not that Obama is pushing Congress to strike a deal and avoid the budget cuts, but that once again the Blamer-in-Chief ignores his own culpability. As he has often done, and continues to do, the President blames everyone else for everything that goes wrong. Consider this statement on the sequestration:
Earlier today, President Barack Obama was publicly sworn into office for his second and final term (technically, he was officially sworn in yesterday). Oddly, President Obama’s inaugural address seemed more like a campaign stump speech. That of course is his prerogative, but it is a sign of his posture heading into the coming months: bare-knuckled partisanship as he girds for battles over the debt ceiling, budgets, and gun rights, among other looming issues.
As the President prepares to use his campaign apparatus, Organizing for Action (formerly known as Obama for America), to rally political support for his policies, Republicans must allow for no honeymoon. Democrats and the establishment media would blast Republicans for intransigent partisanship. However, deploying a combative strategy by immediately taking the fight to the President and Senate Democrats is not without historical precedence. Indeed, as the saying goes, what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.
From the study’s introduction:
To keep the U.S. Senate firmly within their clutches, Senate Democrats are playing the blame game again. They have successfully built a narrative – aided and abetted by the establishment media – that “Washington is broken” because Republicans are partisan, intransigent obstructionists.
As the following research study outlines, the current dysfunction that has left “Washington broken” begins and ends with Senate Democrats, specifically Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV).
Josh Gerstein at Politico reported late last night that “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s campaign received tens of thousands of dollars in illegal contributions to his 2010 effort, according to the indictment Wednesday of a Nevada lobbyist.”
“F. Harvey Whittemore Of Reno Faces Four Felony Counts In Connection With The Alleged Scheme To Funnel Funds To Reid.” (Josh Gerstein, “Lobbyist Indicted For Harry Reid Donations,” Politico, 6/6/12)
• “Reid was not accused of any wrongdoing.” (Josh Gerstein, “Lobbyist Indicted For Harry Reid Donations,” Politico, 6/6/12)
By now you’ve heard that Senator John Kerry (D-MA) was on NBC’s "Meet The Press" yesterday morning and tried to lay the blame for the decision by Standard & Poor’s (S&P) to downgrade our nation’s credit rating on the Tea Party. I posted the video clip earlier here if you haven't seen it.
Others have been attempting to blame the Tea Party as well. For instance, Democrat National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said of John Kerry’s assertion, “truer words [have] never been spoken,” and went on to call the Tea Party “tyrants.”
President Obama’s political mastermind David Axelrod said “this is essentially a Tea Party downgrade.”
In the wake of the widely expected downgrade of America’s credit rating by Standard & Poor’s, Democrats are predictably trotting out their tried-and-true call for tax increases.
“Standard & Poor's decision to downgrade the nation's credit rating reinforces Democrats' call for increasing tax revenue, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Friday.” (Jamie Klatell, “Reid: S&P Downgrade Backs Dems’ Call For More Revenue,” The Hill, 8/5/11)
As is often the case with closed door negotiations, details leak after the fact. Such is the case with the parties involved in the discussions to raise the debt limit ceiling. While many have complained about President Obama’s leadership, or lack-thereof, this report by Molly Hooper over at The Hill is really quite telling. According to sources, Republican and Democrat negotiators asked President Obama to leave the room. Not just any old room though, this was in the White House.
“GOP aides and lawmakers, speaking on background, portrayed Boehner as the calm negotiator who repeatedly exasperated President Obama.” (Molly K. Hooper, “How John Boehner Escaped Disaster,” The Hill, 8/3/11)