Monday, October 15, 2007

Sloth Earns Its Just Reward

Remember how the Democrats were going to make Congress "work for the people" again by instituting an honest-to-Gaia five-day workweek? How the days of lazy, corrupt Republican rule were over, and the national legislature would once again be one in which "the people's business" was conducted diligently, ethically, and responsibly?

It hasn't much worked out that way, has it? Instead Donk leaders in both chambers have squandered their time in anti-war agitation, Bushophobic harassment, re-opening the "culture of corruption under "new management - Democrat managment," and all-around extremist grandstanding. And now, even the "work ethic" gimmick is going by the boards:
Rank-and-file members of Congress are grumbling about the five-day workweek instituted this year by House Democratic leaders, complaining that it leaves little time for campaigning and allows few weekdays to deal with business back home.

“We have a long list of meetings that can’t be scheduled because I’m never back in the district,” said freshman Representative Jason Altmire (D-PA). “Part of it is related to the campaign, and part is simply doing my job back at home.” ...

With that longer schedule, though, lawmakers often have only the weekend to spend back in their districts. For those with long commutes, it can be even less. And for freshman members, it’s a particularly sensitive issue because the first reelection fight tends to be the most difficult.
One can somewhat sympathize with freshmen neoBolsheviks like Altmire, actually. Their first re-election fights will be all the tougher given that they've accomplished virtually nothing, kept none of their major promises of last year's mid-term campaign, and....well, how many other ways are there of saying that they couldn't inflict defeat upon the United States in the War Against the Global Islamist Caliphate? Even if alternate gambits do succeed in completing Iraq's Vietnamization, Dems in "red" districts will have a tougher timing claiming any of the "credit" for it, or otherwise overcoming their party's collective subterranean approval rating. And that's without factoring in the (alleged) Anchor that will be heading their ticket. Who, then, can blame them for wanting to free up time in order to get a much-needed leg up on their GOP challengers?

If this dynamic wasn't plausible before, it for damn sure is in light of this story:
A majority of Americans trust Democrats to handle the issue of children's health insurance more than President Bush, but they agree with the President that government aid should not go to middle-income families or those with private insurance, a new USA Today/Gallup Poll shows.

Three days before the Democratic-controlled House attempts to override Bush's veto of a five-year, $35 billion expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), the poll shows that Americans' opinions on the issue are mixed.

Of those polled, 52% said they have more confidence in Democrats to deal with the issue, compared with 32% for Bush. But majorities also supported two positions at the core of the President's opposition.
By twelve percentage points (52%-40%), to be precise. And remember that this survey is not of "likely voters" or even "registered voters," but merely "adults." Tighter screening of the sample population would certainly boost the size of the majority in favor of sustaining Dubya's veto.

Now that doesn't at all mean that a dozen or two House 'Pubbies won't panic and switch sides anyway, facilitating a veto override; GOPers are as notorious for their vulnerability to Beltway Echo Chamber Syndrome as they are inbred political cowardice. But these poll numbers suggest another PR opportunity for Republicans to turn the tables on their foes' SCHIP demagoguery a la HillaryCare v. 1.0, which was arguably the biggest factor in the rise of the Gingrich Revolution of 1994.

You can bet nervous Donks like Jason Altmire are aware of the storm(s) a-brewing in the next thirteen months. They may need every waking moment just to hold onto those seats - and you can bet their leadership will give it to them.

'T'will literally be the least they can do.