I met with two senior GOP Senate aides late yesterday, and each expressed astonishment at the degree to which Democrats in Congress remain profoundly out-of-touch with the will and priorities of average Americans. To wit: Having just gotten their clocks cleaned for obsessively pursuing unpopular policies
at the expense of jump-starting a lethargic economy
and fostering job growth, Senate Democrats kicked off the lame duck session by pushing two critical issues:
(1) The Paycheck Fairness Act, which critics say is a gift to trial lawyers and unions, and (another) massive government intrusion into private sector businesses -- all in the name of "fairness," naturally.
(2) The Food Safety Modernization Act, the flaws of which have been exhaustively exposed by Jillian this week.
Harry Reid has also been making noises about a lame duck jam-through
of the DREAM Act, a form of Amnesty Lite
that grants citizenship to certain "undocumented" children of illegal immigrants. Another group of Democrats is calling for a "full court press"
on repealing "Don't-ask-don't tell." Reid has pledged to file for cloture on a defense appropriations bill with DADT rescission language embedded in it.
Republicans, on the other hand, have beaten one issue
like a drum: Preventing the largest tax increase in American history
from taking effect on January 1st, which will automatically take effect if this
Congress does not act. Providing Americans with a guarantee that their taxes will not hike up in 2011 would inject instant, much needed certainty into the financial planning processes of millions of families and small businesses across the country. As others have pointed out, economic uncertainty stifles growth and depresses consumer confidence. Republicans are begging to slay that uncertainty, while majority Democrats are boldly moving on food safety, paycheck "fairness," amnesty, and DADT.
As one top Republican staffer summarized, "Did they learn nothing
[on November 2]?" For what it's worth, the Senate aides conceded that despite Reid's bizarre priorities, and President Obama's misplaced focus on the harmful new START treaty
with Russia, House Democrats still claimed the out-of-touch cake by re-electing Nancy Pelosi
as their caucus leader.