The greatest show on earth: the GOP agenda

The Greatest Show On Earth

by digby

One of the worst kept secrets in DC right now is the GOP's plan to dominate the agenda with activity solely designed to help their 2012 campaign. One hopes that the Democrats understand how to parry these tactics, but I think they might be a bit more sanguine than they should be:

"They're pushing through a lot of bad policy at the executive level," DeMint said. "We need to figure out how to rein it in."

Democrats aren't terribly worried. But they're definitely annoyed. In an interview Wednesday, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) -- outgoing chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee -- laid it out.

They can pass legislation, presumably through the House where they have a strong majority, but I can't see them getting 60 votes [in the Senate] on a lot of what they say they want to do. They can attach amendments to the appropriations bills, but I don't see how that would be successful because the President can refuse to sign it, the Senate refuse to pass it. They could use the ... Review Act. Force votes. If they got a majority, the President could veto it.

"I think what they're going to do is try to keep on dramatizing the issues that they think are helpful to them," Waxman said. "The next two years I expect all their actions to be campaign oriented.... They're all about messaging, they're all about power, they're all about politics. What they don't seem to be concerned about is governing."

There's a lot to that critique. But it won't deter the GOP.

"We need to make sure Americans know what's going on," DeMint said.

According to article, they are going to be using some obscure rules to hem in his executive power which, in the wake of the Bush administration, says everything you need to know about their intellectual consistency.

But the idea that they are going to be putting on a non-stop campaign pageant in the congress tracks with what Alex Castellanos said on CNN last week:

BORGER: They are -- they're going to call for the repeal of health care.

CASTELLANOS: Sure, they're going to call for the repeal of health care. And it's going to be a big vote.

BORGER: The job-killing health-care bill.


CASTELLANOS: And it will pass the House and it won't pass the Senate, and then there will probably be a series of test votes throughout the year, repealing the parts that you don't want to keep, keep the parts that work. Veterans, things likes that. Deductibility.

Obviously, the president is not going to agree to kill his own baby. But real bills will have to be passed to fund the government and the question is whether or not they'll be able to package things in such a way that health care is held hostage so they can get the other things they want. It's going to be up to Harry Reid to keep the Senate in line --- and hope that the president isn't backed into a corner where he must choose between his baby and something else.

Meanwhile get ready for the Oscar worthy performances in the congress as the Republicans put on the greatest show on earth.