As they prepare to take control of Congress this week and face up to campaign pledges to restore bipartisanship and openness, Democrats are planning to largely sideline Republicans from the first burst of lawmaking....What happened to putting aside partisanship, to finding common ground, to moderation, to doing the right thing?
But instead of allowing Republicans to fully participate in deliberations, as promised after the Democratic victory in the Nov. 7 midterm elections, Democrats now say they will use House rules to prevent the opposition from offering alternative measures, assuring speedy passage of the bills and allowing their party to trumpet early victories.
Locking out the Republicans is the wrong move; in a word, it's bull. And, just because the Republicans might have done it previously is no reason to do the same.
Perhaps the Democrats heard the wrong message; perhaps what they heard was that Americans didn't want the Republicans being heard. While I don't spend much time inside the Beltway, that's not what I heard. What I heard was that Americans want a new set of rules in place; we want moderation; we want bi-partisanship. We want our elected leaders to work together.
Perhaps that's asking too much? But, I'll predict this: if the Democrats don't figure out what America is really asking, they'll find themselves out of control (in more ways than one).