Bill Murchison

And so, according to polls, talk shows, blogs, water-cooler exchanges and scholarly examination of New Mexican bat entrails, the American people want Congress to reform health care.

I'm a little confused. Isn't this the same Congress that reduced debate on the immigration bill to competing sets of talking points aimed largely at the appeasement of home constituencies and the deployment of talking points for the 2008 elections? So I seem to remember things.

There wasn't much chance Congress really would move with authority and a sense of direction on immigration, given all the contrasting viewpoints on what to do: round up the illegals, or move them toward stability as a presence in modern life. Democrats threw up roadblocks. Republicans could be seen praying the whole thing would go away. Result: nada .

And isn't this the same Congress that has reduced consideration of Iraq policy to a series of exercises reminiscent of the above; namely, a) blaming George Bush for the whole mess, or b) scurrying from Bush's side just as fast as possible to avoid a share of the blame?

The cold war bipartisanship that obtained as to foreign policy is itself cold. Every time the leader of the Senate's majority Democrats, Harry Reid of Nevada, opens his mouth about Iraq, out pours a torrent of scorn and abuse more likely to inspire al-Qaeda than the 160,000 troops giving the war their last and best shot.

A few days ago, the noted Democratic statesman and Delaware Senator Joe Biden pronounced the president "brain dead." We all have to admire the senator's gift for delicate and constructive expression.

Not -- I'm sure you understand -- that our Congress lacks all taste for combat. Just consider the subpoena war the ruling Democrats are waging with the Bush administration over those federal prosecutor firings. You know, the firings everybody is talking about? You don't? Never mind. Congress is on the job, with the Judiciary Committee's chairman, Democratic Sen. Pat Leahy, talking of criminal charges if the White House doesn't hand over documents relating to the firings that so excite us.

Bill Murchison

Bill Murchison is the former senior columns writer for The Dallas Morning News and author of There's More to Life Than Politics.
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