March 22, 2019

Politics, Not Policy

The price of a check on power

by Chris Thomas

Photo by Jason Rosewell on Unsplash

If you’ve been paying attention to politics for the last few months you may have noticed a shift in tone. I’m not talking about AOC or how centrist Democrats have suddenly started extolling the virtues of a progressive agenda now that the 2020 primaries are on the horizon; I’m talking about good-old-fashioned Washington, DC mudslinging. Cries of anti-semitism, socialist-doom-saying, and the like.

This time last year there wasn’t a lot of that in the news. The difference between then and now is simple: Democrats control the House of Representatives. No, this isn’t the Democrats’ fault or, really, the Republicans’ fault. It’s about filling air-time and column inches.

Most reporters would prefer to write on policy and legislation but the chances of that have long evaporated. Republicans still hold power, but nearly every path they have to enact significant change is blocked: Democrats control the House, the government shutdown only strengthened their position, and the imaginary-emergency is tied up in the Courts.

Likewise, while Democrats have a long list of policies they’d like to enact, the hard truth is that none of them will receive a vote in the Republican controlled Senate. Most Americans favor, and Democrats have bills pending in the House to address election reform, prescription drug price reductions, climate change, firearms background checks, and a host of others besides, but there’s not much point in wasting ink covering legislation that will never see the light of a Senate floor vote.

As a result, the stories that can be covered are those of personal attacks, innuendo, and partisan mudslinging. It’s not that it wasn’t going on last year too; it just wasn’t getting covered.

So all of this embittered bickering, sniping, and the partisan gnashing of teeth? That’s the sound of divided government. It’s the brakes squealing on the Trump Train and that’s not such a terrible sound.

Tell Congress What You Think

Republicans are meeting resistance in Washington, DC but that doesn’t mean voters can let up the pressure. President Trump is still able to advance much of his agenda through executive orders and the declaration of imaginary emergencies; it’s up to Congress to remain constantly vigilant and they need to be reminded to do it. You can remind your Representative or Senators by sending the word Resist to the Resistbot on Facebook Messenger, Telegram, or as a Twitter direct message. If none of those work for you, Resistbot also supports old fashioned SMS: text RESIST to 50409 to get started. It takes 2 to have your say. 🤖📣

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