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House vs. Senate

From the White House's perspective, it would've been much better for Republicans to capture the Senate than the House. The institutional barriers on action, the fact that Susan Collins would chair the committee charged with investigations in the Senate while Darrell Issa will control it in the House and the relative moderation and autonomy of the members all make an opposition Senate less troublesome to the majority party than an opposition House.

By Ezra Klein  | November 3, 2010; 9:00 AM ET
Categories:  2010 Midterms  
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Comments

Thats true in so far as Darrell Issa and Joe Barton will make their life miserable with silly "hearings" about the color of the napkins used in the White House or any other fake scandals, but as far as if Justice Ginsburg retires, or the pile of other nominations that have been held up in lower courts and administrative positions, I wonder if we wont see more productivity on that front....if for no other reason than nothing else will be happening.

Posted by: zeppelin003 | November 3, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

"From the White House's perspective, it would've been much better for Republicans to capture the Senate than the House." Absolutely! Loss of the House, the chamber which must originate revenue-raising bills and which may impeach judicial and executive officials, is a nightmare for the President.

But the greater nightmare is the loss of statehouses. In ME, NC, AL, WI, NH, IN, PA, MI, OH, MT, CO, MN, TX, and TN, Republicans now have (or essentially have) control. When these turnover added to statehouses already under Republican control and to statehouses (like those of VA, where all but a handful of Democrats voted to nullify the PPACA) containing patriotic Democrats, there are enough to call Constitutional Convention.

It's quite an achievement for Democrats: Pelosi and her Progressives have united Americans in a way not seen since 1948. In fact, the unity that the Obama/Pelosi Regime has fostered conjures memories of the Lochner Era: certainly NC and AL now see statehouse majorities not seen since the 1870's.

Posted by: rmgregory | November 3, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

i'm thinking they now won't be holding up the hearings for Rangel and Waters because heaven forbid they happen under Republican control. Those hearings delayed for sometime will now speed up and prove the hypocrisy that is on the way out.

Posted by: visionbrkr | November 3, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Ezra,

With all due respect, I disagree with you that, "it would've been much better for Republicans to capture the Senate than the House."

Here's why I disagree.
1) We've had an active House & do nothing Senate & only the Prez got blamed.

2) House says they'll waste millions investigating the Prez -- they tried that with Clinton & the Republicans looked BAD - they'll look worse this time.

3) House says they'll shut down govt. They tried that under Clinton & it backfired on them - it will backfire even more this time.

4) If we have a do nothing House - then the GOP get blamed - as they should.

Posted by: beer2_go | November 3, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

rmgregory:
"It's quite an achievement for Democrats: Pelosi and her Progressives have united Americans in a way not seen since 1948."

Astute comment. When Obama got elected, he promised to bring unity back to our 'partisan' government. I'm not sure the unity we are now seeing is what he had in mind, but I'm not complaining :o).

Posted by: dbw1 | November 3, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Ezra is fond of tinkering with Senate and House rules to try to make it easier for progressives to ram unpopular legislation through. How about this idea for a new rule:
between election day and the day the new Congress is sworn in, no legislation shall be passed without at least 5% of the minority party voting in the affirmative.

That would allow for real, serious business to still be accomplished, but prevent sore-losers from jamming last-minute pet ideaological issues through.

Brace yourself over the next two months for last-ditch-effort progressive policies to be rammed through. They proved before they don't care what the populace thinks, so why would they start now?

Posted by: dbw1 | November 3, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse


"From the White House's perspective, it would've been much better for Republicans to capture the Senate than the House."

In other words, the filibuster is your friend. :)

Posted by: bgmma50 | November 3, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Here's what I don't understand...the GOP has been blamed time and again the past couple years for standing in the way in the Senate, otherwise Obama would have been able to do more.

Bush never had the majorities that Obama has enjoyed the last two years, so does it not logicially hold that every time Bush is blamed for not doing more to prevent the economic crisis, blame can be passed squarely to the Democrats in the Senate who 'stood in the way' when they were in the minority?

I know it's a stretch to ask progressives to think logicially, but thought I would give it a shot....

Posted by: dbw1 | November 3, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Poor Ezra must be really rattled this morning. Usually by lunchtime he would have posted 3-4 enlightening progressive-skewed charts by now.

C'mon Ezra, where's one of those humorous daily posts about how a +70% increase in government spending since 2001 has nothing to do with the deficit?

Posted by: dbw1 | November 3, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

TO: dbw1

YOU WROTE:
Bush never had the majorities that Obama has enjoyed the last two years, so does it not logicially hold that every time Bush is blamed for not doing more to prevent the economic crisis, blame can be passed squarely to the Democrats in the Senate who 'stood in the way' when they were in the minority?

ME TO YOU
The biggest causes of the Global Economic Meltdown under W were:
1) Tax Cuts in 2001 & 2003 -- Tax Cuts that the Republicans passed via Reconciliation.

2) De-Regulation on industry happened in 2000 when Sen. Phil Gramm (R) SLIPPED that legislation in the Budget Bill.

December 15, 2000.
It was an especially tense time in Washington. Only two days earlier, the Supreme Court had issued its decision on Bush v. Gore and appointed W as Prez.

President Bill Clinton and the Republican-controlled Congress were locked in a budget showdown.

As Congress and the White House were hurriedly hammering out a $384-billion omnibus spending bill, Gramm slipped in a 262-page measure called the Commodity Futures Modernization Act.

That's how it happened.

Posted by: beer2_go | November 3, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

TO: dbw1

YOU WROTE:
How about this idea for a new rule:
between election day and the day the new Congress is sworn in, no legislation shall be passed without at least 5% of the minority party voting in the affirmative.

ME TO YOU
Tell ya what, the ONLY way I would agree to that is if YOU can tell me, with honesty, WHY the GOP has REFUSED the following.

1) Why has the GOP has REFUSED to hold hearings on over 70% of President Obama's nominees.

2) Why has the GOP filibustered
- the Small Business Bill,
- Campaign Finance Bill,
- Disclose Act
- a February 2010 Jobs Bill that including a measure exempting businesses hiring the unemployed from Social Security payroll taxes through December and giving them another $1,000 credit if new workers stay on the job a full year

Those are just a 4 of the Bills the GOP have filibustered out of over 140 Filibusters.

Now, as I said, YOU explain to ME WHY the GOP filibustered those 4 Bill using FACTS ONLY and then I will agree with your 5% notion.

As I see, right now, the GOP have ONLY OBSTRUCTING THE PEOPLE'S BUSINESS IN MIND.

Posted by: beer2_go | November 3, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

"Pelosi and her Progressives have united *selfish old* Americans in a way not seen since 1948."

Nice work on capturing the mobility-scooter crowd, rimjob.

Posted by: pseudonymousinnc | November 3, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

beer2_go:

This is going to be fun going through your points. I may have to break it up in pieces.

"The biggest causes of the Global Economic Meltdown under W were:
1) Tax Cuts in 2001 & 2003 -- Tax Cuts that the Republicans passed via Reconciliation."

FALSE. Tax Revenues have steadily increased throughout the last decade, in spite of the economy or the Bush tax RATE cuts (note: cuts to tax RATES do not necessarily equal cuts to tax REVENUES). Last time I recall looking, from 2001 to 2010 tax revenues are up 33%. Spending was up over 70%. Tell me again what caused the deficits, Ezra?

"2) De-Regulation on industry happened in 2000 when Sen. Phil Gramm (R) SLIPPED that legislation in the Budget Bill.....called the Commodity Futures Modernization Act."

Wait a second, I thought it was Phil Gramm's financial deregulation (1999) that caused the meltdown? At least that's what Obama and progressive economists have held. You progressives really need to get on the same page. (by the way, "Gramm's" financial deregulation included Yes votes from the vast majority of Democrats, was championed by Robert Rubin, and signed into law by Bill Clinton).

It's funny that while everyone agrees the meltdown was largely caused by the mortgage crisis, Democrats don't want to talk about Fannie and Freddie, the 800 lb gorrilla in the room. Fannie/Freddie was responsible for giving banks incentives to ignore decades-old financial rules for approving rules.

Fannie/Freddie of course is a government creation by liberals who thought they could override natural market forces in the housing industry, and they have failed miserably.

Posted by: dbw1 | November 3, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

beer2_go:
"....YOU explain to ME WHY the GOP filibustered those 4 Bill using FACTS ONLY and then I will agree with your 5% notion."

While having nice-sounding names, those bills all had either:
1) lopsided provisions that favored one group over another (the Disclose Act only applied to corporations, not labor unions), or
2) were loaded with non-related pet-issues. (I may cite the wrong one, but I think it was the "Small Business" bill to which Democrats tried to attach a bailout for underfunded teacher-union retirement funds; this bill passed, in fact, after Democrats were forced to remove the objectionably pieces)

As for judicial appointees, do some googling. Democrats held up Bush's appointments for more than twice-as-long as the Republicans have Obama's. And when it comes to judicial appointees in general, Obama has no excuses. I gleefully paste the link below to Obama's reasoning for voting against John Roberts, IN SPITE of him acknowleding Roberts gleeming credential.

Never, ever, will Obama have standing to complain about Republicans holding up or voting against any of his judicial nominees.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124390047073474499.html

Posted by: dbw1 | November 3, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, it was the extension of unemployment benefits, not the Small Business bill, to which Democrats wanted to attach the bailout for teacher unions.

The problem with the Small Business bill was that the Democrats tried to strong-arm the GOP and not allow GOP amendments. Olympia Snowe is the biggest RINO in the country, always looking for reasons to side with Democrats. Yet even she was furious with how Reid handled the Small Business bill, and refused to break the filibuster.

Posted by: dbw1 | November 3, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

I completely agree, especially because it would remind Republicans that they hate the filibuster.

Posted by: tomveiltomveil | November 3, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

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