Tuesday, October 4, 2016

No Penalty for Insincerity

The strong commitment of the Republican Party leadership to obstruction in the Congress requires the use of insincere posturing as a tactic.
1. Insincerity can be used to cloud an issue by avoiding serious consideration of pros and cons or the shortcomings of a bill.
2. Insincere posturing and vagueness can be used as a tool to thwart meaningful discussion and possible compromise on legislation. If a reporter askes a question and the answer is "We blame Obama", that pretty much ends further questioning.

The result is often one-off criticism of the insincerety tactic without adequate consideration of the underlying legislative issue.

For example, McConnell complained last week, without apparent irony,  that the President should have worked more with the Congress on problems with the 9/11 bill. Thanks, Obama.
So both houses of Congress pass a bill, the President vetoes the bill and warns the Congress of the shortcomings in the bill. The Congress overrides the President's veto anyway, and the next day the Senate Majority Leader complains about the President not being cooperative. The real meaning of the complaint was the the SML found himself in an awkward position on a legislative issue and wanted to deflect criticism to his opponents. That happens all the time, but it's especially troubling in the context of ceaseless Congressional votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act and lack of interest of the Republican leadership on any legislative agenda.

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