Word has been leaking out that the surge in Iraq is working better than anyone – except perhaps General Petraeus – expected. The military progress has been so good that mainstream media is no longer able to keep a lid on it. But now that the first few days of shock have worn off, the Dems and the media elite have a new mantra: military progress is great, but we need political progress. (though back when elections were held and constitutions formed, the same pundits pointed to a lack of military progress)
Historical rhetoric aside, I find it pretty ironic that this Congress thinks it can school other politicians on progress. Let’s take a look at what our congress has accomplished:
- “1st 100 Hours” Promises were broken within a week (congress was going take less time off and work more)
- Of the “Six for ’06” bills touted by House Democrats, only one has become law. And that one, which raises the minimum wage, passed not on its own, but only because it was tacked onto the Iraq funding bill.
- The Dems have refused to follow their personally dubbed “voter mandate” to end the war in Iraq.
- Majority Leader Reid is working hard to remove all mentions of earmarks from the ethic rules revision (earmarks ie personal pork was a linchpin of the “culture of corruption”)
- Achieved an all time record for lowest approval rating ever. (14% for the official poll, though Zogby now has them at 13%)
So compared to the greatest democracy on the planet, I’d say the Iraqi government is really getting into the swing of things with delays and silly political drama. A secret of democracy, though, is that it tends to distract all the “leaders” of the country with politics, which leaves them much less time for indiscriminately killing the citizenry.
But perhaps the Democratic congress referring to the area where they have made a lot of headway: starting investigations!
According to White House spokesperson Scott Stanzel, the Democrats have launched over 300 investigations, had over 350 requests for documents and interviews and they have had over 600 oversight hearings in just about 100 days.
ASIDE: Unfortunately for the Democrats, none of these investigations have found ANYTHING. Which can lead to only one of two conclusions. 1) The Bush Administration is one of the most well run and ethical administrations ever and the Democrats should stop wasting their time investigating them. 2) The Bush administration though vile and corrupt is quite effective at hiding any and all evidence of their crimes from the inept investigations of congress. Therefore the Democrats should stop wasting their time investigating them. Either way you end up in the same place. The Dems should really get back to the business of protecting social security from privatization and making sure illegal immigrants don’t have to pay out-of-state tuition.
I would agree with the argument that we must get our own house in order before we can start criticizing their house, except for the fact that we are funding and facilitating their house our soldiers are offering their lives to bolster the credibility of the Iraqi house. No matter how big the plank in our eye is, we do have a right to expect more out of them.
And as for lack of progress, I can’t say I ever expected much out of Pelosi, Reid, et al. However, as little as I expected, I am surprised and sickened by their tremendous inability to live up to even my cynical expectations. But lets not act as if this lack of progress is peculiar to the democrats. Of the several major domestic initiatives that Bush originally campaigned for way back in 2000, the only one he managed to pass in any form resembling his original design was No Child Left Behind. He did pass a prescription drug benefit, but a weak and watered down version of his original aspiration. On top of which, the current freefall of the administration is based largely on Iraq policy, but let’s not forget that the catalyst in public opinion was his smug, didactic, condescending, and ultimately doomed publicity tour for the privitization of social security. I say all this not to emphasize that Republicans are bad at progress too, but to say that it six and a half years, the President has made no major advances in domestic tranquility. That’s along time to not get anything done, no matter what your party affiliation is.
And one other not on NCLB, it is also in danger…and I couldn’t be happier. It is an insult to teachers, an insult to students and most of all an insult to standards. I’ve worked in schools since its inception, and I can tell you that it doesn’t work. In fact, we just heard this week that SAT scores are the lowest since 1999.
Still, and in all sincerity, it’s good reading your blog. I haven’t gotten to disagree with you in a while. And I agree, that cigar tax is unbelievable.
Thanks for the compliment and the comment… sorry it takes a while to approve comments, the comment spam is just about overwhelming.
In regards to NCLB, I will side-step the effectiveness of the implementation of that program as that would be long post by itself. I will say that I like the some of the basic ideas behind NCLB. Those being A) the requirement of teachers to have an educational background in the subject matter and B) a standardized testing of students to allow school to school comparisons. Both are worthwhile, moving beyond that it quickly gets complicated.