FROM Jack Cafferty:
What a year it's been. Here we are, a little more than a week to go before the Democratic-led Congress adjourns and they don't have a heck of a lot to show for themselves.
First, House Democratic leaders caved into President Bush's spending limit on a massive domestic spending bill. Although they're vowing to shift funds away from the president's priorities to theirs, it still signals a big political victory for the White House.
Next, what started out as an ambitious agenda a year ago has now been reduced to finger pointing between House and Senate Democrats.
The Washington Post reports Congressman Charlie Rangel is accusing Senate Democratic leaders of developing "Stockholm syndrome" - that they're showing sympathy to their Republican captors and giving in on all sorts of legislation. He suggests if Republicans want to filibuster a bill, that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid should keep the bill on the floor and make Republicans talk it to death.
For his part, Reid says he "can't control Speaker Pelosi", that she's a strong, independent woman who "runs the House with an iron hand."
And, in case that's not enough, there's a possibility the government could actually shut down if some of this stuff isn't resolved. It's no wonder so few Americans approve of the job they're doing.
Here’s my question to you: One year later, how would you rate the performance of the Democratic-led Congress?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
It's too bad that any progress the Democrats in Congress have tried to make, such as passing children's health insurance or federally funded stem cell research, has been vetoed by the president and held up by Republican members of Congress who just do whatever he tells them to do. Those Republicans are obviously unaware of how unpopular the President and his policies are, but they will find out in November!
Performance? What performance? The Democrats are too busy trying to make the Republicans, especially Bush, look bad to actually get something done.
Lynda from Arlington, Virginia writes:
The performance of the Democratic-controlled Congress (there's not much democratic about it) has been abysmal. They have spent the entire year unsuccessfully trying to bring to an end the war in Iraq, and accomplished almost nothing else. Their only domestic achievement: raising the minimum wage, for which there was widespread bipartisan support.
Calling this veto-whipped, filibustered Congress "do-nothing" is like blaming a kid's face for bruising a bully's fist. Put the blame where it belongs, on an obstructionist Republican minority and a corporate-run president who thinks the Constitution is an obstacle. If you want forward motion, give the democrats a real majority and/or get rid of this white house.
Bobby from Studio City, California writes:
Simply put, Jack, the Democrats, not Major League Baseball, are in need of "performance-enhancing" drugs.
In a word, pathetic. They have become masters of the new conference and then follow up with inaction. I realize they don't have the super majority they need to force legislation, but would it kill them to take a stand and fight once in a while.
Just like the Miami Dolphins, 0-13.
Maybe Jack will read yours tomorrow.
they have not done much but the republicans seem to destroy any all hopes of partisianship to change the damage done by bush. maybe if the dems get a major majority this will change.
Jack,As you have mentioned several times,The congress is worthless and spineless. I hoped that the democrats would come in and have investigations and finally hold the criminal bush machine accountable. I was wrong! All they worry about is voting on pay raises and getting re-elected!
The Democratic Congress is doing as well as they can do. Unfortunately they are limited in their abilities to stop the Republican Agenda due to an old, archaic practice of filibustering in the Senate. America seriously needs to do away with this bureaucratic manuever. I hope that someday when the Democrats control both the executive and legislative branch they can ban this practice.
Jack, rating the Democratic-led congress is absurd without acknowledging the Republican-followed congress. The (Republicans) are folloowing so close that the Democratic-led portion of congress can't get anything done. A slim majority is like no majority. We need some real distance between the two, just the like some of the Republicans running away from Bush as though they were running from a burning building,
Donkeys or Elephants appear to gallop at the same speed. Nothing gets done and we Americans just keep swimming in circles of Whine..When will we the people actually be heard again from either side? Heavens only knows.
Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif.
Derek has it correct "A slim majority is like no majority." either party needs a "super majority" in order to get anything done in the current ultrapartisan enviroment in Washington. both parties would rather carp at each other as they play to their "political base" than compromise to get anything done.
this country is REALLY in need of a strong THIRD PARTY so the voters are not forced to vote for "the lesser of two weasels" every two years.
Hi Jack...hate to say this, but after the past 7 years, my tin foil hat has sprung antennae, and they're picking up some strange stuff. Namely, both parties are hamstrung by corporations and their associated lobbyists. I'll never vote Republican again, but the Democrats aren't looking so hot, either. I hear all their excuses, but they're applying zip-zero pressure. Ba Humbug!!
I doesn't do much good to vote them out when all you have to vote back in is adifferent them. I would rate them somewhere between a stinking wet dog and an outhouse, no offense to the dog.
I rate the political self-preservationist attitude of this Democratic led Congress no better than the blatantly corrupt and treasonous Republican led Congress that preceded it. I say it's time to clean House.
The Democrats are in power now? Gee I thought the Republicans were still running things.
One word: LOUSY. The Dems have this great opportunity to fix everything the Republicans broke and FINALLY hold this corrupt bunch of thugs responsible and they aren't doing SQUAT. They are proving to be a bunch of spineless wimps, more afraid of losing face or their seats than representing the people or upholding the Constitution. There should be impeachment proceedings, there should be inquests, they should be blocking funds even if it means shutting down the government. Who cares if they shut it down, it doesn't work anyway! I've been a Democrat since 1976 and I am reregistering as an Independent. The only problem is there are no Independent candidates out there just more wimps and thugs. Am I the only American out there that is completely disgusted?
Well we saw what the Republicans did in the first 6 years of President Bush's term with both Houses having Republican leadership. Well America can't afford that again and I'm not sure we can afford a complete Democrate administration either. I would like to see more people with independent social and economic views run for both Houses and the White House and then maybe we can get America back on track.
Well Jack, for all their bluster about how they were taking back Congress and were going to make Bush and Cheney responsible for once, they basically rolled over and played dead.
If I were a teacher and had to grade them, I'd have to give them a D-. I'm not sure if they are any better than their Republican counterparts!
WHAT PERFORMANCE ?
The election promise was to get out of Iraq and we are still there. Once again, the concept of Democratic-led is an oxymoron. In all fairness, the delay bringing our troops home will give them more time to look for WMD.
I rate your old format better than this blog but I will get used to it. To rate the Democrats , I have one thing to be thankfull for, they haven't let Bush start WW3 yet.
I would rate the congress a C-.. They have tried to do the peoples will. They have tried several bills to put limitations on this war, but the Republicans are for more war and more spending. The Democrats shouldn't be solely blamed for the failures of Congress. You have an arrogant President who only knows how to make threats, ie, WW3 against Iran, Veto this and Veto that. Its not so nice when you don't get all you want huh Bushy?? I think Both the House and Senate suck and should all be removed, because of their failure to Impeach Bush of War Crimes, Lies and leaking information to the public. Bush has done far more damage to this country and the office of the President that what Clinton did for his impeachment, but somehow they can't even utter that word when it comes to Bush. I wish them a Happy Festivus, hopefully they will all get coal in their stockings this year!!
The American public should vote against any incumbent so both parties get the message. We're tired of getting Jacked around! Quit catering to your high dollar donors and leaving the average citizen scrapping to get by.
Maybe if Democrats would have a real majority where Bush could not veto every good legislation passed, you would see what Democrats can do for the country.
AN OPEN LETTER TO:
SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI AND MAJORITY LEADER HARRY REED.
Please allow me to introduce myself. I am a 74 year old democrat who joined the party in 1960 when JFK captured my political imagination. Ever since that time, regardless of what forum I found myself in, I have been most happy to declare myself a Democrat and to be damned proud of it. I am the father of three, all Democrats I'm proud to say, and the grandfather of 6, who if Grandpa prevails will one day be Democrats.
HOWEVER, it pains me to say, that I find the present day leadership of Democratic majorities in the US Congress a source of embarrassment. You need to read sections seven and eight of article one of the constitution and review the powers granted you therein. Then, develop the spine to use them. You are allowing the weakest president with the most unpopular war in our history to intimidate you. We know the difference between funding the war and supporting the troops.
The president may be the Commander in Chief and wield the veto pen. However, unless Congress funds this unjust war, the president is Commander in Chief with a toy sword and paper airplanes. All financial power is vested in the House of Representatives. Nancy, only a simple majority is needed to pass spending bills in the House. Therefore your majority is sufficient to ensure that no more Iraq spending bills clear the House. If your Democratic majority is not sufficiently disciplined to hold the line then you, as Speaker, must make sure that no such bills ever reach the floor for a vote. If you people ever expect cooperation from this president you are going to have to learn to play hard ball.
The really ignominious part of the funding of this war, is that neither you nor the President, have the courage to levy and collect the taxes necessary to pay for it. Recently John Murtha suggested an income tax surcharge to pay for the war. Nancy and Harry you both set Olympic speed records for running and hiding under the covers like a couple of frightened children. Rather you prefer squandering the future of our children and grand children and borrowing the necessary funds. The Democratic Party is using the Iraq War as a fund raising and vote getting mechanism just like the Republicans are using Roe V. Wade. Shame on both of you.
Now the President has asked for another 90 billion to fund Bush's Blunder. You have already spent enough on this fiasco to bring the entire US infrastructure up to 21st century standards and provide us all with health insurance, and here you and he are quibbling about a relatively small amount to provide health insurance for our poorest children.
This letter is to inform you that from this day forward, until I hear that you have refused to provide any more funding for the Iraq war, I will never cast another Democratic vote or give the Party or any of it's candidates one red cent. Don't call me, I'll call you. I wouldn't advise waiting by the phone. You want my further support, EARN IT.
I realize that I'm small potatoes and won't be missed. Heck I may not even live till the next election. However, if I can get enough like minded Democrats to read this, maybe it'll make a difference.
James L Hoffman
Worthless the politicians (ALL) forget who they are working for. Bush has done so much damage that it will take years to undo the damage. History has never had a worst president.
Democrats always play this stupid game. What worries me is that half the country are a bunch of idiots who follow suit right in line with the democrats who do nothing but destroy this country.
I think it is hard to get a clear assessment of how a democratic lead Congress is doing, when you have a president unwilling to compromise and putting his veto on just about every bill put in front of him and knowing they don't have the necessary votes to override any of his vetoes. Bill, Quarryville, Pennsylvania
For goodness sake, until the Dems have a real majority, how can they take the full blame for this lackluster Congress? As long as their numbers won't support an override, they are hogtied. Jack, can you explain to the American people just how much of a majority a party must have to override a veto and get something done? So many people just don't understand that it's a numbers game. I am mystified that the American public continues to re-elect some of the yahoos that serve us in our magnificent Capitol. Love ya, Jack. Keep up the great work.
not a fair question jack. when the dems finally get the super majority they need in the next election, we will finally see results. until then, the repubs will continue to deny them any victories no matter how small. thats the way this government in this era operates.
My rating for the Democratic congress.... F-. They continue do be spineless and continue to let the liars and the crooks in the Bush administration run the show. Pathetic.
Since the Shift in the House and Senate it seems both sides are playing for the draw. Which makes neither side look good, but Bush can't get too much worse so it looks like he is winning.
If the Dems take the White House and keep both the House and Senate then we'll see some changes, but until then we'll see two sides trying to do nothing and blaming each other.
My worry is that if we don't see the one side win all three, the House, Senate, and White House we'll see 2 to 4 more years of playing for the draw.
What gets me is that there are issues that you'd think that they could agree on. I would try to pass some bills that both the sides agree on and then both might remember that they all have one thing in Common that they both love American. This finger pointing gets us nowhere and it is not good for anyone.
this country is REALLY in need of a strong THIRD PARTY so the voters are not forced to vote for “the lesser of two weasels” every two years.
No, what this country needs is leadership. Unfortunately, the way media attention is in Washington, if you aren't an actor you can't get elected. I'm sick of people that don't truly believe in what they are saying. I'm sick of candidates simply funding focus groups and memorizing phrases to get themselves votes.
Does it really take millions of dollars to trick that many Americans into voting for you? This is what happens when you have millionaires who truly don't believe in what they are saying.
Pathetic. Just pathetic.
Your extreme bias is showing. Why did you phrase the question with the term "Democaratic-led Congress"? Is there another Congress? Or are you subtly trying to tie any failures to the Democrats? Why didn't you ask about the Congress which meets in the Capitol in Washington DC. If you were fair, you would ask our views about the Democrats in Congress and the Republicans. Or ask specific questions about the leadership.
Congress has accomplished very little, in my opinion.On the other hand, however, how can anything get done with a bull headed basterd in the oval office vetoing everything that dosent suit his fancy
As far as I can see the Congress is just a bunch of overpaid idiots. I am a firm believer of just voting them all out and just let a whole new group in there. The new people come in with all these high ideals, and then they find out the only people who can get anything done are the ones that have been there for major years. Those are the ones that need to go. You stay too long and get a lot of power, you don't want to change because there will go all your power.
Jack, what's a party to do if the other guys don't want to play. The country is clearly divided; the GOP can get away with what they're doing because their voters are supporting them. I don't hear any talk about removing any republicans for being obstructionists; instead their voters and right wing radio stations are pleased with their support of Bush/Cheney policies. The Democrats, although supported by the majority of Americans can't do a whole lot without more than a few Republicans joining them. The country is in a stalemate (tail spin) and nothing will get done until enough (GOP) voters get tired of the same-old-thing. The Dems get a "C" grade, for the reasons stated above. The last election was close but not close enough.
P. S. I have written back to the DNC and advised them that I will not donate another dime until they begin the impeachment process in congress against Cheney and Bush.
You are absolutely right. It seems as though that the moment Pelosi spatted out that Impeachment was off the table, the Bush administration and the Republicans were given a pass on accountability . That put the Democrats in the corner without anything to stand on right from the get go. And the result was that they wouldn't be able to get anything done. I think it's time to rethink the "impeachment off the table" idea. I blame the Republicans for putting party politics and power before wanting to pass any legislation and I blame the Democrats for being weak kneed when it comes to fighting the republicans. Thus the performance has been an utter disaster.
The Democrats are showing far too much weakness. Why? Because when they were in the minority they couldn't stop anything pushed by the 109th Congress. Now that they're in the majority, though, the minority prevents them from doing anything.
They are failing as a majority just as they failed as a minority. We expected better. Much better than this.
Hi Jack, Love you and your new blog(whatever that is). I agree with Derek. Also, the Senate does not have a majority, although now with Senator Johnson coming back, they may have a chance to pass things. I think we should follow big business examples. I f you don't do your job, you get fired. We The People know this so why not them? Put them all on leave. Oh, that's right, they have been on leave called congress not in session.
Bryan C., you are wrong. Impeachment is going to succeed and would be waste to time. Bush will be gone in a year.
Bellyaching about being "weak kneed" will solve nothing, since they don't have the power to impose outcomes. The consitution requires compromise, one branch of government can't just dictate the outcome to the other.
Jack Cafferty would be advised to do more than just complain.
I'm a registered Republican, and voted for Bush/Cheney in 2000. Mistake. All the bad things said about them - criminal, incompetent, corrupt - are valid. I would call them traitors. These two guys are the worst leaders in American history. They should have been impeached by their own party. That the Democrats have failed to impeach shows an absolutely dismal failure of courage and leadership. History will not look well on this period of American history.
i can here the clown music in the background and out comes the democratica led congress with their republican side kick's!
listen carefully you'll hear it to!
Democratic congress rating is lower than President Bush. That should tell you something. They are like bicking children!
Rate this congress? The level of my esteem and respect for the current congress is this: I would not stir myself to pour water in congress's collective ear if its brains were on fire. Or, put another way, I would not bother to kick a dead hog in the ass for the whole lot of them. Call your next case.
I'm sick of hearing the Democrats blame the Republicans for their failure to stand up to President Bush. I would be pleased with the Democrats if their legislation submissions fail by a vote of the full Congress because at least they "stayed the course" and didn't cave in. With their present behavior us democrats might as well become Republicans.
Government is really about electing the lesser of 2 evils. Nothing is going to get done because all they can do it fight. I keep reading something Bush says about the Congress and then an hour later reading about something Congress has said back to Bush...I'm sure Britain and France are laughing at us right now. We can't even get our government to agree...what's next?
Jack: They are pathetic. There should be no additional spending until the war is paid for. Neither party will get my vote. Like James L. Hoffman, my vote needs to be earned. Until the earmarks are gone, that will not happen. This time around I will be voting for a third party.
When Congressional service begins to require that the elected ladies and gentlemen are present for work at least 40 hours/week, 50 weeks/year, we may be able to evaluate their performance.
Until then, most of the honorable members are simply taking frequent vacations with lobbyists, paid for by taxpayers, and refusing to take any position that migh stop the flow of lobbyist-provided freebies.
At present, the Democrats are doing an excellent job of maintaining the status quo while demanding the taxpayers bend over and sacrifice jobs, healthcare, education, and secure borders.
With all the blocks that the republicans add, nothing will ever pass, These hip pocket republicans who jump out of bush's butt, everytime a decent and honorable bill is to pass. I think the dem's need to find a backbone, and stand up for what is best for our country, Lets take up the banner of honest government. which we haven't had for the past years. The lies, have been on going are still there, we never seem to get a answer without the lies, and cheating on behalf of the Bush admin.
What would you have them do? If they manage to pass legislation, Bush vetos it and the Republicans vote to sustain it. The Democrats are forced to bargain and cajole for each and every inch and then as soon as it becomes politically expedient, the Republicans kick the legs out from beneath them. You want change? November, 2008, put a Democrat in the White House and return a Democrat controlled congress.
I find the comments here to be much more nuanced and closer to the point than anything Cafferty has said here. I realize he is trying to sell readership/viewership, still I find the comments much more engaging. Keep it up!
Everyone is jumping on the "Democratic-controlled Congress", but that's not the whole story. They only have a slim majority and, between Bush's vetos and their Republican "colleagues", they don't have a prayer of doing anything that isn't a rubber stamp for the administration. They should keep denying funds to this president until he and his equally bull-headed party start negotiating in good faith. Give the Dems a veto-proof majority in Congress and then see what gets done. And please, don't start on fiscal responsibility. Bush and his Republican cronies have long abdicated that high ground.
As an ardent democrat I am very disappointed in the job they have done. But to be honest, I am not all that surprised. With a great majority of Americans who can’t be bothered to minimally educate themselves on this country’s political system let alone vote, what would you expect? And it doesn’t help that we no longer have a watch-dog 4th estate in our media. Our “reporters” and “journalists” have lost all of their news gathering guts. They refuse to ask our leaders hard questions and then take them to task when they lie. What is it; are you just too scared, lazy, or stupid to do any in depth reporting that doesn’t involve Paris Hilton or Brittany Spears? I suppose the days of true journalism are long over.
I am deeply disappointed but not surprised. The "cave-in" position has been the pattern for the Democratic Party for too many years now. Their credibility is almost as low as George Bush's.
I am a registered Democrat but now prefer to use the label "Liberal" in politic identification.
Sorry to say, my opinion is that they are doing a terrible job because the Republicans there are still Bush`s SYCOPHANTS and along with George Bush have taken an obstructionistic position and refuse to vote to over-ride any of his vetoes. The recent veto of the energy bill is just an example. After the elections next year, there should be a definite veto proof congress and senate and then maybe they will get something done for the good of the country instead of for corporate America.
I agree with Congressman Rangel. When the Democrats realized Bush would not relinguish absolute authority; would not follow the Constitution, they were sworn to impeach him. They shamefully have not.
It's been one year.
How much was accomplished in Afghanistan a year after the Taliban were thrown out? An America's Taliban are still part of the government! Mitch McConnell is still there, doing his best to torpedo every attempt at doing the people's business. And the White House is still there, trying to protect corporations from the American People.
There's a huge amount to be done recovering from years of Republican abuse, but at least the flame of Liberty has been rekindled.
In one word. Worthless. Being a Congress member is the only job I know of that you can be wrong 90 percent of the time and still be employed.
What does it take to get fired as a congressman anyway? Effort?
Jack, what leadership? Most Americans know we are teetering on a recession, you can't get a mortgage, milk is $5 a gallon and gas costs more than most boomers got per hour as teenagers. No democrat or Republican seems to care. It's all about getting elected. No one is leading especially anyone in Congress. What we need is a real people leader who wants to lead us to a better life in a better America and better world not lead us in polls, elections or fundraising. Oh well!
Democratic-led Congress is not a true statement when they do not have the minimum number of votes to really control it. They are controlling the different comities and maybe the agenda to a point but they do not have the over-write power and the president has still a good grip on his guys. If you want to use that and use the Democrats as an escape-goat for what ill's our country I guess is the price they have to pay for been in "charge" of both the house and the Senate. At least is not the free ride the Whitehouse got for the first five years of the present administration.
In the other hand I am also personally very disappointed with the representation we have in Washington from the country but specially from Florida, my home state. I think they are a Joke from both sides of the isle. Both senators specially MR. YES MR. PRESIDENT – Mel Martinez and not to mention the tri-fecta from Miami – the Diaz-Ballards and Ros Lehitnen are the worst clowns I never have seen in my lifetime. Having Fidel Castro cousins representing the people of south Florida is sickening. It’s incredible that the same family controls and keeps these Cuban families separated and also controlling the agenda in both Cuba and Miami is beyond my understanding. I will clean "house" if it was up to me and I think a HUGE majority of Americans feel the same way. The mess is there and I do not think is entirely the "Democrats" fault, Jack it just needs to be fixed!!!
Lou from Miami
Democrat-led congress? Oh, yeah, right. Almost forgot about that one. I guess I never noticed!
The Democrats gained a small majority in the House and an even split in the Senate. That doesn't amount to "control" of both chambers of Congress and the President's ability to successfully veto legislation is prime evidence. As long as Republicans in both houses "rubber-stamp" any position taken by George Bush we'll continue to flounder in unjust wars on poor people overseas and neglect of the poor and middle-class in America. Explain to Wolf Blitzer what "control" means.
To answer your questions let's just say that the last several Congresses have made me change my political affiliation from Repbulican to Democrat to Canadian.
The GOP seems to be doing quite well as the minority in the House and Senate. I have never seen a more efficient minority.
From my point of view, this Congress is absolutely useless. I have written to my Congressional delegation trying to obtain support regarding two issues that affect my wallet. These issues concern Social Security and how I, as a retired serviceman and a federal Civil Service retiree, am getting screwed. Why? Because I chose a career in service to this country two programs, the Windfall Elimination Program and the Government Pension Offset reduce both of my retirement benefits. I've fought long and hard to have these two programs repealed as they unfairly discriminate against me. A Republican Senator, Mitch McConnell, advised me that since I felt so strongly about abolishing these programs that I should write to President Bush. Well, I did over 3 months ago. I just received last week a note from one of President Bush's lackeys with a flyer from the Social Security Administration explaining what these two programs are. Hell, Jack, I already knew what they were about: Screwing not only myself, but thousands of other retirees who chose careers in service to this country. I disagree with the saying, "The pen is mightier than the sword." Where did it get me? Back to square one, that's where.
It appears to me that once again the public has fallen for big talk mouthed by the Dems last election. When it comes to playing hardball with the Bush administration,,,these guys are the real bush leaguers.
Perhaps they never intended to shift the course of this country's near vertical descent into the ranks of the third world,, simply bought themselves a cushy job with lots of perks before the rest of us bottom out.
Everyone says that the Democrat Congress hasn't done anything, but has anyone looked back to see what the preceding Republican Congress did other than following the Bush Administration? If Bush's regime didn't have anything for them to vote on, they wouldn't have done anything. Let's not forget either that everything they did put a strain on the country. Now they expect the Democrats to play cleanup without their support, ie: blocking every vote that actually means something helpful for the Middle Class American Citizens. What is America going to do when the Middle Class is gone? What is being "The Elite" when there is no amenities because everything is shut down?
Thats easy. On a scale of one to 10 I give it a ------–. Sorry I am on Christmas break you will have to wait until I get back. Ciao
It is a joke. These people are a disgrace to the people they serve and to there country. They are the poorest excuse for humans there are. I hope they all rot in hell!
More than I expected. But then again, I expected nothing.
What did we expect? I voted so I could see a Democratic majority. I still didn't get what I wanted. But, I haven't given up hope. As far as rating the Dem Majority right now, this ain't no beauty contest. But, I am PO'D that they didn't stop funding the Iraq War, I am PO'D that they didn't tax Big Oil like they should, & I am PO'D that they didn't tax companies that took their jobs to China.
II would rate the current Congress as very poor. They do not have the majority to override a veto, but they do have the power to pressure the Republican minority into favorable negotiation or to simply not give the President the agenda he wants by not submitting a bill and, most of all, they do have the power to impeach the President for all of the constitutional violations he has committed while in two terms of office. The American public has been lied to by the President and members of his administration, they have been taken advantage of with high handed [sometimes illegal] political action by the President and his administration and we have been robbed blind of our taxes that have been funneled into ill planned, probably illegal, wars that leave no way out for us. The President started out with a budget surplus and now the country is trillions of dollars in debt. Worse yet, most of the debt we are in is controlled by the Chinese government and Chinese banks. Having the fate of our economic policy being influenced by our greatest adversary is not the way we should be doing business and it was totally stupid to have fallen into that trap in the first place. The Democrats promised to get us out of all of this mess and that is why we elected a majority of Democrats last November. Now that they are in office they have shown they lack the backbone to stand up to the President or honor the mandate given them by the American people.
They haven't been able to do much, but I believe a lot of that reason is because the President vetoes or issues veto threats so often, and the Republicans in the House and Senate are allowing him to control the agenda.
Congress actually did something this year?
Do I really have to point out that the use of "performance" in the same sentence as "Democratic-lead Congress" is a total oxymoron?
Jack, I rate them better than when republicans controlled both houses.
I would rate the Democratic congress very low. They have failed at their promises. They told the American people that if they got the House and Senate back, they would end the Iraq war, and yet we are still there! The only thing I give them credit for is the Minimum Wage increase.
Jack, I'd rate this Congress as being not George Bush. Sadly, that's the best I can say for them.
It is unfair to condemn the recently Democratic Congress for inaction when faced with an established cadre of obstructionist Republicans in the Senate and a President who vetoes everything. The people can't expect instant results. It will take another election cycle and a Democratic President to start digging out of the messes we are in. So vote next November, that's the big one!
I think that the performance is very poor but I thinki there all like mocking birds, "LET THE DEAD BURY THE DEAD!"
Performance? What performance! The Democats are too busy trying to make the Republicans, especially Bush, look bad to actually get something done.
Just like the Miami Dolphins, 0-13.Bill
Don't blame the Democrats for the obstructionists in the Republican party and for George Bush who vetoes every piece of needed legislation (like SCHIP) without shame and asks for endless funds for the war. It does take a lot of guts to oppose the President but it also takes votes. The Demsdon't have them. That's up to the people to demand more responsiveness from the Republicans they elected.
I rate the Democratically led congress poorly only because they are being stymied by the Republicans. It is an absolute astonishment every time I hear a conservative pundit cite the reasons the Democrats are doing so poorly and all of their examples are on issues the Republicans blocked. So their logic is, "You are terrible because you can't stop us from doing terrible things. Tsk, tsk." Still, that hardly excuses the Dems from being so spineless against the president and his cohorts.
One word – Pathetic!
The Democratic Congress are just "Paper tigers"!
On a 1 – 100 scale, I rate this Democratic led Congress, as about a 50. But I rate the Republican led pack of liars and thieves before them as a 20.
Every day I get closer to believing that a 3rd party is the only way to effect positive change in this country and eliminate the corruption and "good old boy" system we are saddled with now.
The Congress is operating just the way the Founding Fathers intended. When you have an Execututive branch and Legislative branch not cooperating, that's ideal.
Duh! Anyone who expected dramatic changes from a Congress with only a small majority of Dems, presidential elections coming up next year, & a big percentage of senators up for reelection had to be pretty naive politically. I'm a Democrat & would like to march up to D.C. to stiffen some Democratic spines! Maybe shutting the government down is the only thing the Bush/Cheney wannabe dictatorship would understand.
What performance? They have been a huge disaapointment! We asked for change and what have we gotten? A bunch of do nothing politicians! No wonder we are looking at change for the leadership of this country – Fire them all and let Jack run the country!
I think that the Democratic original 100 days power play (remember that) was written wrong. I should have been 1000 days or 100 years. The Replicans were vote out and replaced by Democrats. Maybe this year we should vote out all incubants and elect Independants.
What are we supposed to rate them on? What performance is there? They don't do anything and whenever they do do something, it's bad. Both parties need to stop slamming each other and just sit down and actually do some work.
Actually, I blame the Republicans for the morass. It is they who are responsible for nothing getting done. Just this morning, they blocked the energy bill in the senate. When the dems were in the minority, the GOP and Bush kept accusing them of being obstructionists. Where are those accusations now? The GOP have done nothing but be obstructionists. This is what needs to be reported to the American people. It also wouldn't hurt for most Americans to review their civic lessons in how the US system of government operates. Then they would realize the dilemma the Democrats face.
Jack, it's simple. We did not elect enough Democrats to do the job. We elected less than were needed and told to do a job that would either require 60 Democrats in the Senate, and a similar majority in the House, or convinced the Republicans not to rubber stamp the cowboy.
Caught in that position, W just vetoes what the Demos do, or writes in comments like, "I am not bound by this if I don't want to be," when he signs a bill.
How Constitutional is that. Get off the Demo Congress and go back to the George Bush machine and ability to run the country the way he wants to because he still has enough Republican rubber stamps to do so.
As a Canadian watching all the debates on this I feel it is unfair to solely rate one party. To me it seems that the US Political System is ineffective unless one party has the congressional members to override a Presidential veto. In reality the Republicans are stil running things because they know the Democrats do not have the votes to pass legislation.
If getting nothing done in Congress is the goal, the rules favor you. That's why the Repulbicans have had much the same success this year as they did last year. The main accomplishment of the Democrats has been in the area of oversight, even if it is not reported. I would like to see Pilosi put impeachment back on the table, if for no other reason, so these scandals would have to be covered in more detail.
How about a poll on how we rate the right wing controlled media? How come the media never had any polls about the "Republican controlled" Congress? Many thanks to the right wing media for driving the get away car for the obstructionist Republicans as they rob we the people of our Democracy. It's not the "Democratic controlled Congress" it's the aiding and abetting right wing media.
I am so disappointed. I was elated when the Dems took over the majority and thought that now maybe something would get done for the people. I realize it is a battle to get anything past the president and the administration that rule like a dictatorship, but these people are so political minded they forgot too who electted them and who they are to represent. The whole of Congress is a mess.
I would rate the democratic job along side with the dog poop cleanup job in Central Park! There is hardly any progress or resolve and it still stinks.
How can anyone complain about the Dems in Congress?
They need to find 60 votes in the senate on any bill and everyone knows that the Repubs are all going down with the sinking ship that is their party.
In the slim chance that anything does get passed into law, the president either vetos the bill or uses dubious signing statements to change the meaning of it.
The Dems have tried to pass the SCHIP bill numerous times but you don't hear anyone lauding that. And you certainly don't hear anyone villifying the president for threatening to veto an already watered down energy bill that would pave the way towards energy independence.
The gridlock is all a brilliant tactic by the president and his cronies to get what he wants before all of them retire after their terms run out.
I'd rate the performance of the Democratic Congress as awful, but nowhere near as awful as the previous Republican Congress.
I think they have done a creditable job exposing the corruption in the administration, the politicizing of the justice department, and other things to bring the Bushy's to account. They have proposed important legislation to expand health care for kids and begin a sensible energy policy. It is not the Democrats' fault that an obstructionist Republican minority in the Senate and a veto happy president has deraile their efforts.
You can't entirely fault the Democratic Congress for failing to pass legislation; Pres. Bush either vetoes the bills or they can't get 60 votes in the Senate.. Not the fault of the Dems. I doubt much will change until after the election in '08. Be patient.
Congress IS investigating steroid use in Baseball – HORRORS!!!! – while refusing to IMPEACH Cheney and Bush for clear and obvious crimes. Congress is irrelevant so why are we complaining about what the Emperor is doing?
The Republic is dead. An Imperial Presidency does as it wants irrespective of the other branches of government, our Constitution and the will of the people.
Our Founding Fathers are spinning in their graves.
In answer to your question about how I rate the congress this past year – I can't think of a 'single word' that you could read on the air!
Partisans on both sides of the aisle always argue that if only their party could control congress, they would finally be free to advance their agenda. Yet the Democrats, who pulled off quite a coup retaking both houses of congress, have failed to advance their ultimate priorities. They'll push a bill – the President will veto – and they back down and lick their wounds. They keep holding back. Are they afraid? Are they just unwilling to spend political capital so close to a presidential election? If they won't stand up for their beliefs, there is no point in electing them. Our political process works best when both parties stand and fight. Compromises are forced exercises. Watching Washington these days is like going to see the Harlem Globetrotters. No matter how good the opposition looks, you know who is going to win.
This Congress is a disgrace. The mainstream media always front pages Bushes approval rating of 37% – but they don;t widely publicize that Congress's approval is much, much lower. When Pelosi and Reid were in the minority – they blamed the republicans. Now they have control – they blame the Republicans. Fact is – they don;t get it – they are out of touch with most Americans on a variety of topics (taxes, immigration, security, morality, etc..) and they are ineffective. People like Rangel, Reid, Pelosi, Kennedy are pathetic excuses for leaders – period.
Like the spineless blustery wimps they are,the only difference between the democrats and the republicans is the lies they aim at there parties base to get re elected to continue serving the special interest groups that own Washington and our politicians.
70% of the US would have given a standing ovation if the congress would have held out for a timetable in exchange for Iraq funds. Instead, they caved in. Instead they caved in to the worst president in US history. That sounds like an F to me. In fact, that makes them the worst congress in US history.
I will go easy on them and give them a C.
Most people don't get it.
The Democrats cannot pass legislation when the Republicans block every vote in the senate. And Yes I understand that the speaker can decide not bring the bills up for a vote but that only covers part of the problem.
If people really want to see what the Democrats can do they need to give them a larger majority in both the House and the Senate.
We expected the Democratic congress to kick mud and take names.
However, under the leadership of Nancy Pilosi, the Democratic congress
has been a real dud. Nancy Pilosi could probably qualify for a job as
a smiley face in Walmart.
I can sum it up in five words................'let the government shut down"................ what difference would it really make?
It looks like to me that the democrats have done the same this year as the commissioner of baseball has done throughout the years to keep steroids out! NOTHING!! And their still getting paid!? Wish I had that job!! LOL
Let's see here. My budget got diverted to Iraq and Afghanastan and there's a chance I won't get a paycheck in two weeks, so I think they could be doing a slightly better job.
Nevermind the fact that they can pass things like the SAFE Act, which might sound like a good idea, but does seem to turn us into a police state, and will probably be the death of wireless hot spots.
All I can say on this subject is that none of the candiates for president from either party wants to discuss Term Limits for our US Congress so I guess I will not be voting the next time around. I know we would loose some good people if we had term limits but so be it. It is time we do this.
Kermit E. Hiller
Jack, you must be mistaken..... The Democratic-led congress promised change and accountabilitiy and no more blank checks to the first appointed President in the history of our country.... Certainly you don't mean it is just politics as usual and who gives a hoot about the american people?????
Congress as a whole = pitifull. we badly need some strong independent candidates
I don't think it's fair to fault this democratic congress for doing nothing. Bush and the roadblock republicans have blocked every attempt of the democrats to make positive changes, i.e. the S-CHIP extensions and stem-cell research. Until we have a president who listens to the American people, I think this congress is doing what it should be doing: stopping the powerful interests from causing more damage to our country, even if that means getting nothing done at all.
I voted to put the democrate in power..... but they still won't do a god dam thing. Bush adminstration and his Congress Krones are so screwed up. The war, the economy, our negative view that the whole world has about us now is because of the Bush and Republicans in congress.
Republicans, have accused Democrate of spending too much yet the Repubicans have spent more with bigger government. This is scary crap going on and we should all be appolled at what is currently going on with our government.
I agree with Charlie Rangel: if the Dems can't pass legislation owing to Republican vetoes, let them at least make the Republicans suffer by keeping them trapped in Washington over the Holidays - force that filabuster!
Nothing got done when the republicans controlled congress. So can we expect any different from the democrats. Politicians are more interested in being wined and dined by the Lobbyists then dealing with national polocy. It is time for a change. I hope we americans wise up and demand that our elected officials stay out of the bars and work on what is wrong with this country. EVERYTHING
I am more disappointed with congress than I am with those bobble headed baseball players. Here's an idea, let’s wrestle the steroids away from MLB and others and give them to Pelosi and the gang. Maybe they can start to bulk up, get their juices going, and get something done. Hey it worked for Bond and we all know that scrawny Harry Reid needs some muscle to get things done in the senate!
The congressional dilema is proof that a symbiotic relationship for the benefit of the American people is not possible. Each turnover of control of the congress is nothing more than the "names are change to protect the guilty". Personal agenda and gain seem to be the primary concern of members of congress.
It is highly unlikely it will ever change and without change there will be not improvement..... and history will repeat itself with the US being the second coming of Rome.
First of all; I don't agree with you calling actions on the floor, "big political victories for the white house". This is not a competion or a sport. We are governing a country here and we need to be united. What does The Washington Post mean by republican "captors"? We are acting like we are at war within. Just because we come to certain compromises does not indicate a loss; after all, whoever's policy gets approved is still an American and I would like to believe they have our best interest at heart.
Calling this veto-whipped, fillibustered congress "do-nothing" is like blaming a kid's face for bruising a bully's fist. Put the blame where it belongs-on an obstructionist republican minority and a corporate-run president who thinks the constitution is an obstacle. If you want forward motion, give the democrats a real majority and/or get rid of this white house.
It seems to me that nothing has changed in this country since they have taken congress, and that Bush has just as much power as he did before. They were elected to end the war, but instead more troops were sent! They have assisted in taking away some of our liberties and freedoms, and it scares me to wonder how much more they will allow. We're on the road to fascism; if we speak against our government, we are considered terrorists now.
This very-slightly-in-control Congress can't be blamed for the obstructionist minority or Bush's refusal to operate outside his ideologically brainwashed Rove-Cheney mindset. As long as Bush is in office and the Democrats don't have a veto proof majority, NOTHING of benefit to the country as a whole will be accomplished!!
Dan – A VERY disillusioned American who thought a Theocratic autocracy could never happen here!
The bottom line is we live in an era of political malaise. I hear the arguments that compromise is essential in legislative matters in order to get anything accomplished, but compromising on principle is a slap in the face of the public trust. The guilt runs deep and goes both ways, and I don't mean Republicans and Democrats, I mean the government and the governed. Why do we have congressional members that squabble over irrelevant matters, play schoolyard games when they don't get their way and fold like a blade of grass at the first sign of adversity? The same reason we have an executive branch run without any real leadership or direction that refuses to acknowledge fault or mismanagement and spits in the face of the Constitution to protect themselves from actions that would be unacceptable to our forefathers.
What am I getting at? We have created a political system that churns out careerists that will pander to our short attention spans and lack of interest in anything beyond our small sphere of direct influence. There is no "bipartisanship" because there's no real need for it when Capitol Hill is out of touch with us and we're out of touch with them.
Why are we still in Iraq? It's not because the nation wants us there or the government ignores the cries of the public, its because it really hasn't affected anyone. Less than 1% of the population is represented by serving members of the military and only a fraction of that are "over there" so in reality, left or right – no one really has any serious investment in the outcome of this war.
The inaction in Congress is merely a symptom of a system designed to represent a people that are slowly losing interest in being represented by men and women that have already really lost interest as a group in representing the peopl. I worry for the future of this nation and it's people, and it's not the terrorists that scare me most.
In a word PATHETIC. They have become masters of the new conference and then follow up with inaction. I realize they don't have the super majority they need to force legislation, but would it kill them to take a stand and fight once in a while. It does not seem that they have a cumulative backbone in the entire party.
As a lifelong Democrats, they lost me when they wasted a month in total trying to shove amnesty down our throats. I realized that their priorities were not for the American people but for the ones of Corporate America and special interest groups. Both parties are the same and why I will vote against all incumbents – we have to get rid of career politicians – they do not have our best interest at heart!
Yes, of course I'm disappointed in the lack of progress by the Democratic-led Congress, but I'm really disappointed in the way so-called mainstream media reports the story. There seems to be a reluctance to put the blame for the failure to achieve where it belongs-on the obstructionist Republicans in both houses aided by the veto pen of the Obstructionist-in Chief. Please, show a little fairness, Jack. Maybe it is true that it's getting hard to tell the two major parties apart as I have heard you say often, but it is also true that it's getting hard to tell CNN from Fox and you from Bill O'Peilly.
Reid should be fired. He seems to think that his job as majority leader is to avoid embarrassing or inconveniencing Republicans and George Bush.
It's his job to pass legislation: that means getting 51 votes. It has apparently not occurred to him that Republicans, knowing that he doesn't want filibusters, realize that all they have to do is threaten one to kill a bill that has majority support.
Good grief. If Republicans threaten to filibuster, make them filibuster. Day after day on bill after bill if necessary. Sooner or letter, a couple of them are going to decide that it will be smarter and easier to give in on some bills.
And as for Bush's veto: it is not the Congress's job to send the President only bills that he will sign. It is the Congress's job to send him bills that represent their consensus on legislation. Make Bush go on the record as a vetoer.
Bush is obviously he worst President in history; Reid should go down in history as the worst and most ineffective Senate Majority leader.
RATINGS for 2007 US Government Leadership Performances:
Democratic Led Congress: Poor:
Democratic Members of Congress: Poor
Republican Members of Congress: X-Rated:
Presidential Leadership: Toxic
Supreme Court: Shape-shifty
Congress is dying of its own ineptness. The Democrats need to grow spines and the Republicans need to be replaced with the living.
Howdy from Texas, Jack!
I am a lifelong Democrat in a very Red State. What I wish my party's leaders in Congress would let seep through their thick skulls is that they don't have to liberally mirror the out-of-the-mainstream conservatism of the Congressional GOP, but they do have to stand for something and fight. I've watched in exasperation time and time again this last year as they've rolled over for the minority party and rolled over for the Constitution-hating, anti-American ideas of this White House. Memo to Steny Hoyer: You do realize you're a Democrat, don't you? You and your friends in the Roll Over Caucus better remember what being a Democrat means, or else you're going to find few friends in the rest of us.
Patrick M. McLeod
The congress has amounted to a USELESS EFFORT TO DERAIL the bush political machine thier cause was just but they clearly forgot about the bi-partisan effort it would require to undo 7 years of the presidents unchallenged policy they need to clearly let the filibusters play out that is why we voted them in they need to stop this were mad but we'll do it your way mr president someone please stand up for us and quit playing nice thats why there is a legislative branch to check the executive lies, lies thats all this man has done and everyone is acting like its ok
how dare we preach democracy if were unwilling to stand up for ourselves.
The Democrats in both Houses of Congress have been disappointing. The Senate has a majority in name only. Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House, only seems to represent ultra liberals in San Francisco, her home district, not the American citizens who put her into power in the first place.
I agree with Rep. Charley Rangle, Chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee: a good, old fashoned filabuster would be a breath of fresh air!
I, like most Democrats I know, am thoroughly ashamed of the "Democratically-led" 110th Congress. While they have gotten some promised work accomplished, they have failed on all key issues. They are a group of spineless wimps who: 1) have no plan to restore the country to full Constitutional order, 2) have no plan to hold the administration responsible for their immoral and/or illegal actions, 3) have any idea how to end the illegal war in Iraq. The only thing worse than the Democrat's performance in Congress is that of nearly every Republican currently in office, or recently let go from the administration. Quick question: how many more crimes is the Bush administration entitled to get away with while Democrats twiddle their thumbs in their soft leather Senate and House chairs?
It doesn't matter who's in charge of Congress. They all take and represent the same special interest and big business dollars.
What performance? I have not seen them do anything except for roll over and play dead. I am a Republican but as a Military Memeber i believe that when dealing with the military Congress should pass it hands down, no strings attached. If it wasnt for the military in this country we would be saying "God save the queen" as opposed to "God Bless America". Both Republicans and Democrats are loyal to the corporations and lobbist that support them. Instead of focusing on their next campaigns they should be focusing on if we will be invaded by mexico or why the value of the dollar is slipping and how we can fix everything in this country. Everything has a solution and solutions are on the table, people just dont want to put it in motion due to the special interest money that they earn yearly. Time to Clean Washington D.C.
I rate them as the most Big Business friendly ever , starting with Hill-A-Ree Clinton and ending with Senator Reid . Its like John Edwards says , Big Corporations are the ones running the Senate and , Sen. Clintons Money Machine.
Allready the Riches Man on the Planet ( Warren Buffet ) has come out to support
more of the same .....with .....Hill – A – Ree . Big Business has given her a Billion in Free Advertizement . If She wins , the Democratic Party will have another Free Trader on the backs of workers , just like Billy Boy who signed NAFTA ,
even though he know it would hurt American Labor .
As long as the Congress is run by the Wicked Witch of New York and The Clinton Business Machine .... Err , I mean Money Machine !
Harry Reid is the worst Dem leader ever. He refused to force the GOP to fillibuster the Webb amendment, which would have required the DoD keep their word on troop rest; he voted to censure MoveOn, which supports Dems while not censuring anything the right has said (he even THANKED Rush Limbaugh!); he capitulated on bad appointments; on the budget; on war spending-you name it.
He is weak, weak, WEAK!
What is he so scared of? Getting called NAMES by Bush? Ticking off Bush's powerful 23% supporters? WHAT is he getting out of capitulating on EVERYTHING? The Congressional approval rating somehow going even lower?
The GOP is still calling the shots. Pathetic. The GOP is bad for this country on every issue, but the Dems in Congress seem to want to cave on everything.
So what's the solution? Vote weaklings like Reid OUT IN THE PRIMARIES–while voting Dem in the general election. That is the only way we can get our country back on track.
Did the democrats do something besides complain about the Republicans? No, they have taking up space and failed to represent the American people and reach over the isle and get something done. Samo Samo, no change, too busy fighting with each other to do anything for those they are supposed to be representing. We lose again.
Jack, Pelosi's fingerprints are all over California's downfall, Grey Davis was the fall guy for her and Boxer and the rest of the mediorce socialist's in the state. To think an incompetent mediorce socialist could lead our nation's congress is absolutely ridiculous. The Speaker of the House should be wearing her hijab on the gallows at leavenworth, not in a terrorist enabler country like syria.
I'm giving them an F. A major factor is the distraction of the upcoming presidential election with so many legislative leaders focused on the election rather than the issues and needs of their constituencies. It seems most are not doing a very good job at either.
Jack, what difference does it make what we think? They don't work for us anyway.
It's a shame so many CNN people have trouble with third grade aritithmetic. It takes 60 votes to bring a vote to the floor of the Senate. Democrats do not have a large enough majority in the house to override a presidential veto. The Democrats are stymied by all those Republicans who blindly obey their billionaire masters. Give the Democrats a break. It will take a lot longer than one year to sanitize the pollution created from the past twelve years of Republican stupidity and corruption.
Jack, please: Democrats can't hold a gun to the heads of Republicans in Congress. You and the media have been blaming Dems for what is actually GOP obstinance over the past year. Go back and post how everyone voted on all the substantive issues of the past 12 months, and we can see who's really to blame.
John in Massachusetts
Nothing will get done until (1) Congress has a bigger Democratic majority and (2) A Democratic president is elected. A president who continues to defy the courts on issues such as illegal wiretaps or waterboarding is certainly not going to cooperate with the current Congress on any other issues no matter what they do. But having said that, this Congress needs to stop "giving in" to Bush's demands, especially for increased funding for the Iraq War. I don't care if refusing Bush's demands means "doing nothing"; it's infinitely better to "do nothing" (and show Bush some guts) than it is to cave in to his demands to continue funding this ill advised war.
Unfortunately, you've missed the point again, and have pointed the finger of blame at the wrong people. The Democrats in the Senate have had no problem with majority votes on all the important issues they campaigned about, but the Republicans have blocked each vote with a filibuster:. Whether it was the children's insurance program, voting to remove troops over time from Iraq, or just recently, voting to fix the minimum alternative tax and paying for it with closing loopholes on hedge fund manager income and offshore tax dodges, the Republicans blocked majorities forged by the Democrats! As for the alternative tax, after having their majority blocked, the Senate Democrats felt they had to go along with the Republican demand that the fix not be paid for–otherwise many Americans would have been hit by this tax this coming year.
"Yes, of course I’m disappointed in the lack of progress by the Democratic-led Congress, but I’m really disappointed in the way so-called mainstream media reports the story. There seems to be a reluctance to put the blame for the failure to achieve where it belongs-on the obstructionist Republicans in both houses aided by the veto pen of the Obstructionist-in Chief. Please, show a little fairness, Jack. Maybe it is true that it’s getting hard to tell the two major parties apart as I have heard you say often, but it is also true that it’s getting hard to tell CNN from Fox and you from Bill O’Peilly."(Norman Boyd, 2007)
While I agree with your last statements in reference to CNN and Jack beginning to resemble Fox and Bill O'Reilly I do not understand what you mean by "obstructionist Republicans in both houses", and I think the media is already bashing the "Obstructionist-in Chief" enough.
Of course it is the fault of President Bush and the Republicans. The Democrats are trying so hard but are helpless against the bad guys. Give me a break. President Bush rates higher than the Congress, which of course doesn't take much, however, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are pathetic beyond belief.
All I can say is Dem congress critters have let down those that voted demanding change from GOP ineptitude. They have just been a huge disappointment. I will seek an alternative candidate that will not cave in to a weak leader, AIPAC or loathsome lobbyist. I know I'll not waste another vote for the Democrats. We need strong leadership and the Congress has failed.
Well, Jack let me see?
I can't get past the last six years, two wars ect,, all the death and destruction the Bushie's have caused, are so-called leaders who have fought to preserve this "superpowers" God given right to use cluster bombs and Depleted Uranium missiles on and in civilian areas- simply because those civilians dare stand and fight on
THEIR own soil- to protect their own homes and families.
Impeachment must be put on the table. Period.
GOP are the party of nasty old men who have nothing left to stand for, and the "WAR ON TERROR' has always been an excuse for foreign imperialism and suppression of dissent and the democrats are joining in wholeheartedly, look at the Homegrown terrorist act of 2007, America is in deep trouble, and no leaders in sight. Thanks Jack, we love you.
I think our leader need preformance enhancing drugs so they can get their jobs done.
Stop listening to IT in the oval office and get the PEOLES work done.
My performance review would read something like this:
"Jonny" is not a team player. "Jonny" does not get along well with others.
I guess Jonny should be terminated.
After the not-so-windfall midterm wins by sprewing lies and impossible promises, they have proven only one thing. They are – regardless of party – narcissistic, big spenders, power hungry, unscrupulous and out of touch with the citizen sector. Their rate? Certainly no better, yet hard to say they are worse, than the decades of non-performance career politicians that will end up embalmed in the halls of Congress. The words "term limits" drip from my lips daily.
January, 2009, there will be a Democratic President and a Congress with a much large Democratic majority. Why, you ask? Bush has ruined this country in most Americans eyes and the Bushy Republicans in Congress won't let the Dems fix anything. The Republicans in Congress are filibustering themselves out of their seats and don't realize it. Thanks God!
Here we go again...
If the founding fathers of our great nation (who initially thought that Congress was to be a part-time job) could see what is going on in Washington, they would be rolling in their graves.
Being a Republican, of course I feel the usual raise taxes, be anti-military, engender reverse discrimination through quota systems and affirmative action, Democrats are doing a horrible job; I'm just surprised that anyone expected anything else.
But the really sorry thing here is it seems no matter what party is in power we suffer from the same gridlock; all of us suffer with this terrible gridlock: Republicans, Democrats, Whites, Blacks, Women, Men, and Children.
Instead of all this infighting, these politicians need to address the major issues that are hurting our nation: the ongoing war, energy costs, crime, immigration, taxes, unemployment, race-relations, and our relationships with foreign powers.
I rate the Democratic Congress low, but I also feel that all parties need to work with the President and each other before our problems become too much to handle.
A simple suggestion is term limits for Executive and Legislative officials; if the President had a single six-year term, and the Congress had limits on how long they could serve (and receive performance-based incomes), perhaps something would get done for all of the citizens of this great Republic.
JackI watch your show every night but I do not think this question can honestly be answered. I think a better statement would be why is this so called joke of a president vetoing everthing that the congress tries to get through. This man and Cheney are a couple of liars and should both be impeached. Maybe then we would get something done. But I think Obama and Oprtah are making a joke of the democratic nomination I will be joining Lou Dobb's forces and voting Independent.
If I'm going to be giving out grades this year, I'd be giving an A+ to Charlie Rangel (or should we say "Wrangle")! Other than that, how do you grade a class when half the class keeps getting up, disrupting the class and won't shut up until the end of the school day? In a school, perhaps such offenders would be sent to the principal's office. In the U.S. government, these kind of offenders are patted on the back and told "Job well done, you're a loyal Republican."
Disappointed with the performance of Congress.
A deeper look into things reveals the true problem. It leads back to the a minimum majority with Republicans more interested in division then getting anything accomplished. The remaining Republicans in Congress still haven't enough spine to disagree with W. He's a lame duck and his self serving party affiliates have made this Congress and country the same.
I think they thought they were going to waltz right into reform and was slapped right in the face by right wing Republicans. They seemed to forget as does the general public that it takes roughtly 60 percent not the 51 percent they had.
The democrats in Congress are doing exactly what everyone knew they would do - play politics. There is one agenda – and one agenda only -- win the White House at all costs. It's even to the point where the good of the American people is second fiddle to winning the White House and securing "power" - whatever that really is. In another 4 or 8 years, the country will tire of the abuses of this power by the democrats and the pendulum will swing back once again to the right.....look at the record -– Ford(R), Carter(d) , Reagan(R), Reagan(R), Bush(R), Clinton(d), Clinton(d), Bush(R), Bush(R) -- maybe it's finally time for something other than an 'R" or a "d".............
The Democrats are letting the Bush Administration know that the days of questionably legal acts are over by investigating its myriad of probably (or for some, blatantly) illicit exploits. In addition, they have put out major legislation on two of the issues that Americans deem most important - the war in Iraq and healthcare. Why weren't these passed?
Oh, right, they've all been vetoed.
The lack of progress in Congress is NOT due to the Democrats. It's due to filibusters and our President's veto pen.
I have to hand it to the Republicans, though. They're doing a great job making it look like the Democrats aren't doing anything. That's their strategy, in fact. It doesn't matter if America suffers for two years; it's a little known indulging partisan resentment is actually much more important and helpful than actually doing one's job. The bottom line? Congressional Republicans are deigning to desert the people they serve for petty politics.
Don't believe me? Rep. Ray LaHood (R-IL) admitted it this week.
"The strategy is to lay low and then blame them for not getting anything done. The truth is, we all lose."
Disdainful. Absolutely vile. This negligence of the American public's needs is exactly why the 2006 elections turned out so favorably for the Democrats. I'm repulsed. I understand that Washington is rife with partisanship, but this is a new, utterly appalling low.
I've lost hope for the United States. Our Federal, and most State governments are owned, in whole, by corporate interests, much of it oil or oil-producer related. We are no longer the country that the world looked up to; we are now the country led by the religious right and big-money interests.
I've not missed a local, state or national election since I was first old enough to vote, in 1972. We began our long slide toward disunity with the Nixon White House, and it's been downhill since.
It says, WHAT A MESS!!!! I don't think any of them know what they are getting into, thay just want the title, without having a clue what the job entitles. Therefore, they say anything they can, no matter the consequences. "Sorry" does not cut it, it shows also their inexperience. This election seems to be more about the color of your skin, your sex, and your religious believes, exactly what the founding fathers were trying to avoid, what this country became to be with the last administration.
I am enclined to go with Joe Biden, he seems to be the most honest of the dishonest, and the only one who hasd not have to say "I am sorry", that shows maturity, knowledge, and experience as well as self respect.
In evaluating Democratic performance as leaders of Congress the headline should read, "Republicans have record year for Filibusters." You can't pass laws if you can't vote. The Grand Obstructionist Party has said that if we can't be in the majority we won't let you pass anything. And so it goes. No progress.
What? You mean they changed, there is no difference is Washington who is running this government.
Personally, I believe we need to get rid of EVERYONE in both parties.
They act like little children tattling on everyone and doing absolutely
The two- party system has reached the end of its usefullness. I believe it is time for America to look at the multi-party, coalition style of government that so much of the world has, it is much more representative of the will of the people than the them/us, either/or partisan side-taking that polarizes us now.
Tina December 13th, 2007 3:45 pm ET
Democrats always play this stupid game. What worries me is that half the country are a bunch of idiots who follow suit right in line with the democrats who do nothing but destroy this country.
Can you believe this half the country idiots? Well that’s nice. a guess they would have to be. They let the Supreme Court put bush in office
I just would like to say. If George Bush was a Democrat the Republicans would already be calling for his impeachment. The Democrats are a bunch of spineless wimps. The Republicans are Morrally and Ethically corupt. How about we put up the numbers for the federal dept and what the intrest payments are. Let both parties see those numbers on TV everyday along with the people of this once great country. Their both leading us down a slippery slope to disaster.
The Democratic House led by Nancy Pelosi has been as big a disgrace as Bush. A pox on both parties!
the only leadership in congress is j.w. bush and his minority,the democrats have lost my faith in the system we really do need a third party one that has enough balls to stand up to an out of control goverment i will never vote democrat again
It's simple, you can vote the minority party into power over protesting a war that half the American people never understood because they couldn't get over gore and kerry, and so, to expect anything more out of a mid-term protest vote is simply what it is!
I would rate "Congress" as a whole poor, but the Dems are not the problem here, the GOP and a veto-happy President are to blame. Anyone with a simple knowledge of how things in Washington work should know this. You need a "majority" to override vetoes and the Dems do not have that in Congress. The GOP and the President are the "obstructionists" here, they are the ones preventing Congress from getting anything done. The Republicans support the President's vetoes instead of doing what is right for this country. I think they forget that they work for us and not for Bush. Come this November maybe they will remember when they get the boot.
See, they hope that we're stupid so that when we hear "do nothing Congress" we blame the Dems when it's really them. Want to see Congress get some work done, vote Democrat, give them the majority they need and or the White House and then ask this question again after a year.
I will however still like to see the Dems develop some backbone, if the GOP want to filibuster a bill, let them. If that's the game they want to play with issues that are important to Americans, then they play it at the risk of their own jobs.
The democratics would do great if they had a majority. Why dont the people wise up give the democratics a majority and the can run this country
I think this congress has been a huge failure because they have been too busy trying to make the President look bad to really accomplish anything. I am sick and tired of Pelosi and Reid constantly harping against the President instead of trying to actually pass legislation. I also think congress has no business conducting hearings on the baseball/drug abuse problem. Major league baseball is taking care of its own problems. Congress needs to take care of its own instead of sticking their nose into every other concern because they think it will gain them face time on TV.
I find it a bit annoying when someone is rated unfairly. Just like an employee being rated on their job performance you simply can't blame someone on what other people do that adversely impacts their performance. How would you be rated by your supervisor if you were given tasks, but not the support necessary to reach a successful conlusion? In the case of this Congress you need to examine all sides of the situation and both sides of the aisle. The House being more democrat than republican was able to pass an assortment of forward thinking bills. The Senate on the other hand was in a state of stalemate with a "theorhetical" democratic majority with Lieberman sitting on their side, but in reality when it came time to vote he always went with the republicans. Thus the Senate was unsuccessful in reaching any consensus while the House was largely successful. But all this fails when faced with an Administration unwilling to talk and reach consensus with the Democratic Majority in Congress. Bush leveraged the republicans in the Senate and House to prevent any bill but one from becoming veto-proof. This obstructionist and combative republican minority enabled the Bush Administration to continue failing the American People. This is the true place to give a failing grade. When faced with a new majority in Congress the Bush Administration took the road of obstruction instead of collaboration to meet the needs of our country. The Democratic Leadership had two choices, either allow the minority to hijack the agenda and allow them to continue to run our country into the ground or they could force these problems into the light for all of us to see... a dysfunctional republican-led government.
Telling it like I see it,
Wynter, Loudon, NH
I thought the last Congress held the record for lack of accomplishements. Appears that this Congress would like to set a new standard. The performance of our Congress has been dismal and unacceptable for many years now. Weird how each member of Congress tells his/her constituents it is the other guys fault. Vote the bums out and break the hold of the lobbyists as well as the "good ole boy" clubs!
I think the performance of our entire governmental-Federal and State, Local–system needs a good shot in the arm. Unfortunately, there is no vaccine to prevent greed, self-interest, or corruption which pervades the system, making honest government impossible.
It's ironic that Democrats in Congress are doing their best to help Republicans look good for the next election. This is one of the worst congresses in years. All they want to do is bash Republicans - what kind of platform is that? The American people want positive, tough actions based on personal conviction, not this trash.
led? as defined by to go before or with to show the way. and that "leadership" would be by whom? reid, pelosi, schumer, emanuel, clinton, lieberman, etc., ad nauseum, with many names not included have failed to heed the voice of the people.
the majority of the current crowd of "democowards, each of which lacks the inherent courage of their convictions and seems to be "led" by corporate america and MUST consider taking vast quantities of a supplement labeled, "spineocrat." it has worked wonders for Pres. Al Gore. http://www.markfiore.com/spineocrat
we need not a third party but a second party that recalls it is a government for, by and for the PEOPLE not corporations.
please keep your voice loud and clear, jack. you, as is your wont, totally rock!
I had a great awaking, as a former registered democrat. The democratic party is a party of do nothing. George Bush is a man of honor and integrity. The democrats are people of dishonor and dishonesty.
I can't believe how many people are putting the blame solely on the Republicans – the Democrats are afraid of conflict, of forcing the GOP to actually filibuster the bills, to fight it out on the floor and let the people of the nation decide who's right. Instead, they go belly up at the first sign of conflict, at the first sign of displeasure from the special interests that fund the entrenched hierarchy (on both sides) in congress.
Unfortunately it would take a sea change to resolve this; the leadership won't give up their power and the feckless Democrats that are 'in charge' are just going to keep doing what they've been doing.
BTW, none of the presidential candidates are worth voting for – Obama is Lieberman lite ™, Hillary is too much of a beltway insider (as are the majority of the other Dem candidates), and the Republicans seem to be right wing nutjobs to a man.
The root problem still is money, power, control and sex. Nothing will change until there is a collective interest in true representation. First redress the errors omissions, and lying of the present. Focus on fixing the current elected folks by demanding admissions of responsibility and probes into illegal acts. No trust exists in a system that has no representation, no attention to our internal needs. Present administration and congress is not in touch with America. Spend money you collect on America, not on a wasted foreign debacle. Second, Vote out everyone that forgets what their job rreally is. Nothing will be different if nothing is different.
The way I see things is you have to branchs of power, the congress and the senate, one works for the people and one works for the president. It does not make a dam bit of difference what we want as a people as long as the president has the right to veto bills put forth by over a hundred good men who think a bill is right. The Government has failed the American people and failed America. Bush wants to give America to Mexico, he wants to attack any country who he does not like, and he doesn't mind killing hundreds of soldiers to keep his cronies happy and making money off the war. I asked my commanders in Viet Nam, why won't they let us win this war? They couldn't give me a straight answer and many of my friends died. Its time to ask that question again, why won't they let our boys win this war, Politicians in washington cannot run a war, it has to be done by the generals in the field and giving ground back to the enemy doesn't get the job done. You fight and bring the enemy to thier knees, then you negociate.
the populace deserves the congress they vote in power. and vice versa.
As a lifelong Democrat, until now, I have to grade the whole system as broken, possibly beyond repair. Republicans claim to be fiscally responsible, until they got their hands on the cookie jar.then katey bar the door. There was ay Republican congressman with a pork barrel addition to every bill passed. Democrats take over promising change by refusing to add pork barrel spending to the bills they passed. That lasted for about six months. Then their speacial interest groups demanded a cut of the action for helping win the congress back. They acted surprised when emails from their constituents back home flooded the system causing in some cases complete overlaod of the system. When the tried to force the comprehinsive immigrationreform bill. (amnesty) They couldn't see how the added twenty million workers had prevented stalled wage increases for citizens. The Who had a song written in the 60s Meet the new Boss same as the old boss.
There was a time when compromises took place, when getting the work of the people done was congress's job. That was prior to the ideology wars. Both parties were guilty and the buisness of the people became number two priority. Special interest groups whose ideology may have differed from constiuents financed the elections. We the people have suffered ever since. Several sessions of elected officials hsve forgatten who they work for. The process is broken and doesn't operate under the guidlines of our constitution .I wish we could flush the whole bunch and bring back representatives of the people, for the people and for the people.
I love ya Jack, but how about being a little more helpful and factual about the state of our government. The GOP has made it their POLICY AGENDA to block and veto the entire process of governing. It may be fun bashing the Democrats, but it's the Republicans that have been doing, and are doing, the most damage to our country. If you really care so much about this, shine the light on that. I'm starting to lose faith in you because it seems that you have allowed yourself to become a pawn in the GOP machine, they can stand back and let you do their dirty work for them. Deflect attention from them, and of course blame the Democrats.
The Democratic Congress has its hands tied with the small majority, but with all the gutless republicans who are unwilling to stand up to w. that are instead bailing right now maybe they are tired of w. and cheneys B.S. They both should have been impeached, but not enough votes. W should go back to crawford and sling cow patties for that seems to be his best atribute for it does not require lieing . He should also take cheney with him, as he is an excellent reciever, or is it the other way around??????
This blog is loaded with simple idiots...It reminds me of old saying," They professed to be wise and thus became fools!" If the Democrats had real ideas, good ideas, and relevant ideas, the American people as a whole would back them. However, you just scream Bush lied and point your fingers. Let's have some real ideas! Your leaders need them.
Well Nancy and Harry don't go patting yourselves on the back yet, And you Republicans are abstructing themselves right out of office. Don't you realize there is at least 20 years of work to do just to repair what the Bush Administration has done? Thats if it can be repaired.This Administration has committed so many crimes against humanity, destroyed the american economics. He has artificially made the price of oil go up so high it has influenced prices on everything we use in America. As you know once the price goes up it never comes down. He is war time profiteering. The list goes on and on. You guys take your Christmas break, and come back swinging. First Impeachment of the Bush /Cheney Whitehouse, Restore the Presidential Records Act, so what Bush has done to this country is not lost forever. Start fixing America now we can not wait one more year. Make Bush accountable for what he has done to America
It is getting to the point where we should just launch the "No Incumbent" Voting Campaign for 2008.
It is not just Congress, but sensibility is lost with the current incumbents.
With the FDA, DOE and other government agencies unable to fulfill their missions and deliver value to our citizens and society, the Democratic Congress' agenda to legislate more responsibility into an ineffective, underperforming federal bureaucracy is simply nuts!
Thanks for letting me vent!
This is pretty simple. People voted Democrats into office because they wanted an end to the war. One year later, a majority of Americans still want an end to the war. For some reason, though, the Democrats continue to give the president more and more money.
Rather than worry about whether they'll be blamed for "not supporting the troops," the Democrats need to remember why they were elected and cut off additional funding for the war, like the country wants and expects them to do.
I am disappointed by this congress, but they atleast they have brought back "checks and balances". Unfortunately, they have a slim majority and cannot get 60 votes to move forward. And when they have a bill that has been okayed by the house and senate, the president vetos the bill. EX. SCHIP and others....The republicans have held this country hostage and this president and his administration are corrupt.
Jack, Members in Congress and the Administraion have got extreme positions on how to deal with very complex problems. We are getting what the Constitution intended, checks and balances. Don't blame Senators and Congressmen for doing what they feel is right for America.
It surprises me that some of you people forget we had 8 years of bill clinton his nafta & open borders pro illegal bs that got us in this mess, now you want to elect
people that want to give health care, college, & everything else to illegal immagrants & charge us the US taxpaying Citizen for the bill.
Democrats got nothing done. They spent the year trying to make us retreat from Iraq and now their big play is to raise taxes to pay for everything. They care not one iota for the country. They only care about who they are pandering to.
Their poll numbers are lower then Bush's. Both Pelosi and Reid need to resign and someone who can talk with the other side of the aisle be put in place.
I am a lifelong Democrat!! I cast my first vote tor President for MR.Truman in "48"!!
I have an idea on how too get better Government. IE: In the middle of the night arrest all 535 members of Congress and replace them with the 535 worst ConMen in the Federal Prison System Then we would have a chance too have Honest Government.
Rt Rev. Carlos
Jack blaming the Democrats for the log-jam in congress, is like blaming the cat because she can't get through the rat hole, and catch the mouse that's eating your lunch. Stop blaming the cat and blame the rats, that would be the Republicans that are hanging to Bush like suckling pigs, or perhaps suckling rats.
Amazingly disappointed. I don't trust Dems. any more. I'm going to join Independent party with my best friend Lou.
This is a reminder of what harm the "Republican Revolution" did to government: the essence of democracy is compromise, and the Republicans don't. Democrats lose their nerve, and behold! the Republican minority is still running the show. It is vitally important for the Democrats to control Congress and the Presidency in order to halt the conservatives, but it will take more than that to repair the damage.
By the way: if the Democrats are trying to make Bush look bad, they needn't bother, history will handle that nicely. We live in an age where the facts have a liberal bias. What can you say about an administration that can only defend itself against charges of dishonesty and corruption by pleading incompetence?
They act like a whipped wet cur dog, yellow, gutless, smelly, and not representing the American Citizen. Yet they have their bellys full of treasure from their corporate elite masters.
Every incumbent, who is up foe re-election, in the House and Senate, should be sent home in the 2008 election.
This is an election that everyone should disregard party affilitation, and vote for any incumbent's opponent.
Especially, if they won't come out and take a positive stand on clean elections.
If Democrat & Republican elected officals would
forsake corporate interests, support clean elections,
keep jobs in the USA, put America before party,
obey the Constitution, support an Article V
convention, they would become Independents.
Lots of us Democrats are not pleased on Speaker Pelosi's flip flopping re her contradiction of statements to the funding of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. I have written letters to the Speaker and the Honorable Boxer viewing my opinion that we have voted a Democratic State last November but it seems that we were had.
How can we trust the Democrats now if the rule the world?
It will detrimental if some of the votes this coming 2008 will be going to the Independents, if ever Lou Dobbs chooses one, because we cannot expect the present Congress Majority to stick to their guns.
Nancy Pelosi and Dingy Harry are two of The Democrats biggest Problems.
The Democrats since Pelosi came to town with her Pelosi Perks and her defiant impudent attitude that has a (-lets get even mind set -) has caused the People of this great country to get close to no performance as to why they were elected. She started out with some stupid statements if she wanted to get along. So Now we as a country are suffering from her almighty hand. She is a divider and not a uniter. She does not handle her responsibilitys in fashion that is prone to make head way. She is just to dam combative to accomplish anything. You know-/my way /-or the hiway mentality. That kind of leadership is akin to kids playing in the school house lawn at recess time. Bottom line the Democrats should be quite ashamed of the way they are getting anything done.
Independant from Iowa,
It does not matter what Mr. Cafferty thinks of the Democratic Congress. What does matter is what the American people think of the Democratic Congress, and that is not much.
The Speakers of both branches of Congress should be replaced immediately. They are afraid of Bush/Cheney and every other W installed department head. The Democrats are gutless and I tire seeing them tuck tail and run from every Bush veto threat that Bush threatens. I concede the 2008 presidential election and control of congress back to the Republicans. A year after we gave them a mandate to stop Bush, the democrats have accomplished zip.
I am ready to move to another country. This is not the same pklace I grew up and loved. I weep. I'm sad. Time to go.
Jack Cafferty sounds off hourly on the Situation Room on the stories crossing his radar. Now, you can check in with Jack online to see what he's thinking and weigh in with your own comments online and on TV.
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