In his marvelous book "Decision Points," former President George W. Bush cites the comment of a general during a review of flagging American policy in Iraq. Bush quotes the general as saying, "Don't get stuck on stupid." U.S. strategy there, he said, needed changing to something different and more successful.
The Democratic Congress is now embarked on a lame-duck session that ought to be history's last.
This is the same Congress that gave the nation a program of socialized medicine it doesn't want and various "stimulus" measures that haven't worked -- spending measures that hardly have nudged the needle on unemployment or economic recovery.
It is the same feckless Congress, boasting lopsided Democratic margins, that during the regular session failed to pass a single appropriation bill for the fiscal year that began more than two months ago.
And it is the same Democratic Congress that declined to address the expiring Bush tax cuts before the November 2 electoral firestorm because its leaders, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, explained, the fate of the Bush tax cuts could be resolved more easily in the elections' aftermath.
Polls on election day and throughout November have been unequivocal: If there were national referendums, ObamaCare would be (in the words of one poll) "repealed and replaced" and the Bush tax cuts would be extended for all income brackets. But President Obama and the tin-eared congressional lame-duckers are already stuck on stupid.
Here, for instance, is The Wall Street Journal's Kimberley Strassel:
"According to (Nevadan Harry Reid), Senate Democrats are going to confirm judges, rewrite immigration law, extend unemployment insurance, fix the issue of gays in the military, reorganize the FDA, forestall tax hikes, re-fund the government, and ratify a nuclear arms treaty -- all in two, maybe three, weeks. This is the same institution that needs a month to rename a post office."
And if the Democrats cannot get their game together and extend the Bush tax cuts (in both houses they have ample majorities to do so), nearly 100 taxes will rise come January 1.
A MONTH ago, the nation's voters did not cast their ballots the way they did because (as the president said the day after) they were victims confused by Obamian rhetoric falling short of Ronald Reagan's "Great Communicator" model. Rather, they were angry about a federal administration taxing too much, spending too much, and too much an intruder in their lives.
That's angry. They understood his and the Democratic Congress' policies only too well. Less than a year after putting a Republican in the Kennedy Senate seat in Massachusetts, they put a Republican in Obama's Senate seat in Illinois.
Ross Mackenzie lives with his wife and Labrador retriever in the woods west of Richmond, Virginia. They have two grown sons, both Naval officers.
Be the first to read Ross Mackenzie's column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com delivered each morning to your inbox.