The SanityPrompt

This blog represents some small and occasional efforts to add a note of sanity to discussions of politics and policy. This blog best viewed with Internet Explorer @ 1024x768

Friday, September 30, 2005

Indispensable Reading

Great Op-Ed by Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson about DeLay stepping down but essentially about the Republican legislative edifice -- which stands in stark contrast to the disarray on the left in its singularity of purpose, vision and expression.

The Dispensable Man:

"The examples are endless, but two suggest the whole. The Republican leaders play a game called 'catch and release,' in which they allow moderate Republicans to vote against conservative GOP legislation, thereby burnishing their reputations for 'independence' -- but only once it's clear that the leadership has a majority. Along with their Senate compatriots, House leaders have also perfected their use of conference committees (which are supposed to 'merge' House and Senate bills) to shift legislation to the right and then slam it through Congress on an up-or-down vote.

Like DeLay, Blunt has been a major player in a key part of this new regime: the aggressive effort of GOP leaders to induce powerful private interests to work with and through them. In tandem with the White House, the leadership has encouraged major elements of the Republican coalition -- both politicians and organized interests -- to act as a team. Cooperation with the leadership is the price of access.

Not all of these efforts have been successful, but they've increased the willingness of key groups to cooperate with the GOP, which has enhanced the ability of Republican leaders to deliver the goods.

This edifice of power looks more vulnerable today than at any time in the past decade. But the House Republican leadership won't go down without a fight. Roy Blunt is a product and an experienced practitioner of contemporary GOP politics, and his rise to power promises more of the same. House Republicans may be ready to dump their beloved "


For another must read, check out the same authors indispensable diagnosis of the "ownership society" and the kinds of economic/social policies we really need at this time. Click here. & here. & here.

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