Wednesday, November 13, 2002

Compounding the problem

Reason Daschle should give up the majority leader position #50: The Homeland Security Department is going to be created, with very few concessions by the White House.

Sure, I know that Bush waited until after the election to come to a compromise with the Democrats. Of course he would. He ran all over the country (on the taxpayer's dime, remember) saying that Democrats don't give a damn about the protection of the country and he needed the Senate to be filled with Republicans. He got to say that because Democrats wouldn't pass the bill that created the Department of Homeland Security -- ostensibly due to their desire to protect workers rights.

And yet, now the Democrats are willing to approve a bill that tosses less than a crumb to workers: "Unions would have the right to object within a month of (work rule) changes, and federal labor mediators could review the changes over an additional 30 days. But the administration, in the end, could impose the modifications even if the mediators recommend otherwise." This is the compromise for which they were holding out? For this little piece of lint they took up needle and thread and personally sewed on Bush's political coattails?

Now Democrats are giving in, getting nothing and looking even weaker than before. If they would at least fight this during the lame duck session, they could still walk away with their principles intact. Instead, they'll bend over, let Bush do what he will with them and make the whole thing look like it was just a stupid, stupid political ploy in the first place. And Bush gets to look like the "uniter" he said he would be.

Postscript - And now they're giving Bush his judges. May I suggest to the Democrats in the Senate that, if they're going to act like punks they do it well? I suggest they listen to the This American Life episode in which Larry Distasi reads from ex con Stephen Donaldson's pamphlet, "Hooking Up: Protective Pairing For Punks." They'll learn how to "hook up" with a stronger man -- a "daddy" or "jocker" -- who'll provide them protection in return for other favors. Vote trading, for example.


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