In fairness, no one ever accused this crew of being civics experts, but they are obviously fully aware that the United States Congress is comprised of two co-equal chambers. Pay attention, Lefty spinmeisters -- this stuff's pretty elementary: One legislative body is called "The House of Representatives." It is currently controlled by Republicans, thanks to last year's wave election. The other chamber is known as "The Senate," where Democrats hold an effective 53-47 majority. With that pedantic explanation out of the way, behold the Democrats' (latest) Orwellian rhetorical adventure:
President Obama and Democrats on Capitol Hill are increasingly referring to the Congress as “Republican” even though their party controls one-half of the unpopular institution. Obama and his allies have started to deploy the phrase “Republican Congress” in what some experts see as a clear attempt to gain a political advantage. “I’m the first one to acknowledge that the relations between myself and the Republican Congress have not been good over the last several months, but it’s not for lack of effort,” Obama told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos earlier this month.
“It has to do with the fact that, you know, they’ve made a decision to follow what is a pretty extreme approach to governance,” he said. And other Democrats have used the term. “I’m sure the president would like it to be creating jobs more quickly. And if the members of the do-nothing Republican Congress would actually put a couple of oars in the water and help us, [we could] do these things like [Mississippi] Gov. [Haley] Barbour mentioned that make so much sense,” Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” earlier this month.
In short, the new Democrat messaging strategy is centered around employing intentional dishonesty to manipulate marginally engaged voters. Imagine that. Here's a Democrat pollster extolling this deceit campaign as just wonderful:
Is it a harmless slip of the tongue, or a subtle messaging strategy? Political experts believe it’s the latter. “I think it’s to convey a message and I think it’s great they’re doing it. There’s so much dissatisfaction in Washington. It’s very important for Democrats to label that dissatisfaction. It’s important to say who’s being the obstructionist and who has real plans,” said Democratic pollster Celinda Lake.
Oh yes, it's very important for Democrats to affix the "Republican" label to all that "dissatisfaction." Who cares about, you know, actual facts? Perhaps conservatives should borrow from this playbook and ask voters to return America to the flourishing days of the mid-to-late nineties, when Republicans controlled both houses of Congress and the White House! (They only had two of the three, of course, but who's counting? It's all about applying politically convenient labels, baby).
Up next: Who's responsible for this, er, "Republican" Congress' alleged do-nothing approach? The Republican-held House has passed over a dozen jobs bills this term. Most of them deal with excessive government regulations because -- I know this is crazy stuff -- business owners overwhelmingly cite excessive government regulations as their top barrier to growth. Those Republican efforts have run into a brick wall: The do-nothing *cough* "Republican" Senate. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's office has a helpful chart to illustrate this point. That's the same do-nothing Democratic Senate that has blocked multiple elements the president's terrible jobs bill on a bipartisan basis, in case you'd forgotten.
One last note. This "Republican" Congress actually has passed several elements of the president's overall jobs plan. They've approved three free trade agreements, they've passed patent reform, and just today, the House approved a three-percent withholding rule repeal -- a move the Obama White House has advocated. Do these bipartisan accomplishments also count as "doing nothing," or should all of the credit go to the Democrat minorities?
Parting thought: Guess who's still the least popular Congressional leader in Washington, DC?
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography