Politically Driven Recalcitrance

What should we make of this Politically Driven Recalcitrance? Gwen Ifill used that phrase on Washington Week tonight. How’s that for journalistic diplomacy?

You’ve got all of those Blockers in the House of Representatives. They passed how many bills that the Senate and most of the country care not a whiff about? From the AP: A few weeks earlier, Boehner suggested a new standard for Congress. "We should not be judged on how many new laws we create. We ought to be judged on how many laws that we repeal," he said as Republicans voted for the 38th and 39th time since 2011 to repeal or otherwise neuter the health care law known as Obamacare. Reaching for a round number, they did it for a 40th time on Friday.” No Immigration Reform, no appropriations, no Farm Bill, no Snap. Ted Cruz thinks his party is “too scared” to fight Obamacare. How about too rational? I’m with Harry Reid: The least productive Congress ever! And worst!

In an attempt at understanding and empathy, on the same show, Slate’s John Dickerson said that political progress does not matter to these people; moral progress does. So they have no qualms about, say, halting the work of the entire United States government. I mean, what does establishing justice and ensuring domestic tranquility when the freedom to concentrate wealth is at stake?

And a well written blog by Alexandra Petri in the Wash Post could not fathom “that 16 percent of New York Democratic primary voters still, for reasons completely indiscernible to any other sentient being, support the shambling, expletive-spewing mess that is the Weiner campaign. And somebody posted in Time.com, “Americans need to grow up and realize that a politician’s ‘sexual morality’ has nothing to do with his/her suitability for office.”

A comment on morality is needed here. Morality is about actions that lead to the greater good. Yes, character does matter when it comes to politics. And governing is not supposed to be a destructive act. These politicians – on either side – don’t need to be understood, they need a boot! Since when did recalcitrance become a virtue?

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About Jim

I've been leading outdoor environmental education in the YMCA since the 1970s. I love teaching nature, history, current events, being a dad, fixing stuff, groups, and general thinking.
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2 Responses to Politically Driven Recalcitrance

  1. JP says:

    I say we judge Speaker Boehner by his own standards. The current congress has passed fewer than 15 bills that have become law. That is in rarified historic low territory. But Boehner says he should be judged rather by how many laws he gets repealed. And how many laws has his congress successfully repealed, you know, taken laws and made them no longer laws? Yes, that’s right; zero, nada, not a one. It’s a strange man who says, do not judge my on performing my job in the way always understood in my job description, rather, judge me by this other thing. And then the other thing is even worse! So, by Boehner’s own standards, he has accomplished absolutely, completely, nothing. He must be so proud.
    How much will the country have to suffer before some voters wake up to the fact that our government is supposed to govern, not anti-govern?
    With several of the most conservative senators being primaried from the right by tea partiers, 2014 is the perfect chance for voters to say ENOUGH! And no, I’m not holding my breath.

    I’m sure you saw Gwen Ifil’s “politically driven recalcitrance” as inflammatory and wrong. I say it is simply calling a spade a spade and reporting the facts. If someone is being recalcitrant, saying they are is called reporting. Using some euphemism to sound less inflammatory is not reporting, it is telling them they can get away with being recalcitrant and not be called on it.

  2. Jim says:

    JP, I thought Gwen’s comment was brilliant, insightful, and a little bit diplomatic; if anything, not stern enough. I agree the facts bear those words out. That’s why I called it “journalistic diplomacy.”

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