The problem for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi isn't just President Bush. It's the Senate.
Pelosi sounded more apologetic than celebratory Friday when she announced with her Senate counterpart, Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democrats' list of accomplishments six months after they seized control of Capitol Hill and promised "a new direction" in Washington.
"I'm not happy with Congress, either," Pelosi, of San Francisco, conceded.
She pinned the blame on "the obstructionism of the Republicans in the United States Senate."
"The Republicans are doing what the Democrats did," said Julian Zelizer, a history and public affairs scholar at Boston University. "They're using the power of the Senate filibuster, and the power in the House when you have narrow majorities, to make a do-nothing Congress -- even when there's a lot of issues on the table, even when there's a lot of interest in accomplishing things."
The Democrats in their years in the minority made a filibuster-proof 60-vote supermajority -- rather than a 51-vote simple majority -- the threshold needed to pass any legislation in the Senate. Democrats routinely blocked all but the most noncontroversial bills. They created a Senate crisis in 2005 by filibustering Bush's judicial nominees, provoking Republican leaders to threaten to do away with the filibuster. That showdown was averted only by the intervention of a dozen moderates in both parties.
I like the fact that Congress can't get anything done. Every time they try to "fix" something it winds becoming worse, not better.
The Immigration debate is a fine example of this. We have laws on the books that are not being enforced. There are only a few things that needs to be changed. A fence to keep any more from coming needs to be built. A plan to deal with the ones that are here needs to be established. A system to control the " guest workers" that are here. Each of these issues need to be dealt with separately. We do need to control the borders first!
On a more lighter note: I find it nice that, according to this article, the Republicans have been using the Democrats own tactics against them.