Party of “No”? That is Just Garbage Populist Rhetoric

Party of “No”? That is Just Garbage Populist Rhetoric

I am not sure if this is beyond the scope of this blog, especially since my last post was a political quiz, but its my blog so I can complain on it if I want!  Can someone explain to me when the Republican party became the “Party of No.”

I really feel like this type of name calling is nothing more than political populism.   Some definitions of Populism

the political doctrine that supports the rights and powers of the common people in their struggle with the privileged elite

Populism is a discourse that claims to support “the people” versus “the elites”.

A style of organizing that involves an effort to mobilize “the people” into a social or political movement around some form of anti-elitism. Populist movements can be on the right, the left, or in the center. They can be egalitarian or authoritarian, inclusive or exclusionary, forward-looking or fixated on a romanticized image of the past. They can either challenge or reinforce systems of oppression.

Hmmm….sound like anything familiar?  How about almost every news media out there, and Obama’s State of the Union in which the President made a few of the following remarks,

But what frustrates the American people is a Washington where every day is Election Day.  We can’t wage a perpetual campaign where the only goal is to see who can get the most embarrassing headlines about the other side -– a belief that if you lose, I win.  Neither party should delay or obstruct every single bill just because they can. The confirmation of — (applause) — I’m speaking to both parties now.  The confirmation of well-qualified public servants shouldn’t be held hostage to the pet projects or grudges of a few individual senators.  (Applause.)

To Democrats, I would remind you that we still have the largest majority in decades, and the people expect us to solve problems, not run for the hills.  (Applause.)  And if the Republican leadership is going to insist that 60 votes in the Senate are required to do any business at all in this town — a supermajority — then the responsibility to govern is now yours as well.  (Applause.)  Just saying no to everything may be good short-term politics, but it’s not leadership.  We were sent here to serve our citizens, not our ambitions.  (Applause.)  So let’s show the American people that we can do it together.  (Applause.)

Emphasis added, and obviously he didn’t say “applause.”

Obama did take a shot or two at his own party which I will happily give credit where credit is due, but what is all this talk about “saying no” and obstructionism?

Democrats Have Majority in Congress

I need to thank  a blogger affectionately referred to as BoBo for pointing out this simple truth that I had seemed to forgotten.  In his post titled “Damn those Obstructionist Republicans”  some truths for me (warning before checking out his site: (1) he is all about this evil clown motif, so if you have a fear of clowns, skip the site and (2) he is ultra conservative and writes with passion/anger so either be prepared to be pissed off at either him or the gov’t).

Number of Total Senators = 100

Number of Democrat Senators = 58

Number of Republican Senators= 40

Number of Independent Senators = 2 (Both caucus with Democrats).

Number of votes needed to pass ANY legislation = 51

***

Total Number of Representatives in The House – 435

Total Number of Democrat Representatives = 256

Total Number of Republican Representatives – 178

Total Number of Independent Representatives = 0

There is currently 1 vacant seat.

Number of votes needed to pass ANY Legislation (51%) = 222

His post was written prior to Scott Brown, but that doesn’t change his main point: Stop blaming Republicans and get some work done!

10 Responses to Party of “No”? That is Just Garbage Populist Rhetoric

  1. It’s called “your ideas suck republicans, so we’re going to ignore them and say you have NO solutions”. re: healthcare – How can these Dems keep a straight face and call something “bi-partisan” that had NO tort reform and had the rest of America fronting the costs for union members. What kind of equity is that? Why would you intentionally allow the most litigious system in the world remain unscathed while gouging Americans with a company-sponsored health plan (as long as you’re not in a Union of course)?

    It’s funny, this supermajority in Congress couldn’t even pass any meaningful financial reforms as much virtriol as they spew about Wall Street. It’s been a year since the crash. Banks, Credit Card and Insurance companies own the democrats too.

    • That union thing made me FUME! It happened, no less, after Obama claimed that the gov’t was going to be an open book.

      I’ll have to find the name of it but there is a great documentary that shows how the Dems and Republicans are basically the same party lol

  2. I’m no political expert, but all this talk and no mention of filibuster (one of my favorite words ever)? I think that’s what Obama was referring to when he talked about the super-majority and needing 60 votes to get anything done (break the filibuster).

    • Filibuster, is a great word but I like caucus better. I am not sure why but I think it is because it just sounds dirty.

      You are correct about that 60 discussion, but my point was that they, the dems, who hold simple majority couldn’t even get their act together to get a bill to the phase where it would have been filibustered for the 60 to matter (there is your word in past tense verb format lol).

      • True, but I think that speaks more to the importance of the health care issue than the ineptness of the politicians – although that certainly exists as well.

        • “the importance of health care”

          Yeah which is why a 2,000 page bill shouldn’t be crammed down the Senate’s throat over a weekend.

  3. You’re right, the ‘Party of No’ is just rhetoric, same as with things like ‘Tax and Spend’. From the perspective of the political parties, though, whether such labels are accurate is much less important than (a) whether they stick and (b) whether they can be used for political advantage later on. Sad, but true; rather than discussions of differing philosophies and the best course for the country, our elections seem to have become more popularity contests dependent on who can demonize their opponents the most, convincing the voters that they are some insanely exaggerated political figures.

    Alright, that’s enough of this, before I get myself too depressed.

  4. No need to get depressed over it, it is the way it has been for 200 years. Anyone that tells you otherwise is lying and/or doesn’t remember that the good old days weren’t as good as they recollect

  5. @The Amateur Financier. I couldn’t agree with you more. To me, a lot of what both political parties say is re-hashed rhetoric. I’ve often felt that even the designation of the political parties is just a play on words. Republican & Democrat…we are all AMERICANS (smile)!! It’s like playing opposite ends against the middle. Neither party, to my knowledge, has really talked about re-hashing medical reform or getting rid of the national deficit (which would require firing everyone in the Federal Reserve in my opinion)…just my opinion.

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