Thu, 13 December 2012
The Fiscal Thingy debate is reported to be raging on, though once again there's no evidence of it on C-SPAN, because the House isn't doing a damn thing. They're keeping the lights on with minutiae, while John Boehner negotiates on behalf of a Republican caucus that might not even be on his side, when all is said and done. Greg Dworkin joined us to discuss polling that pretty clearly establishes that, despite (once again) the pronouncements of the pundits, the President really does have a mandate on issues critical to the Fiscal Thingy. At the same time, Republican voters are counseling their elected representatives not to give an inch on a single thing, even as a clear majority of the country demands the exact opposite. Branding problem? Recipe for disaster? Both? And as the fight over the so-called "Right to Work" issue rages in Michigan, the Orwellian naming of the bill brought us back to Newt Gingrich's days as a Republican leader, and his behind-the-scenes work to teach Republicans exactly how to cast issues in the light most favorable to them, right down to prescribing lists of words they should use to describe themselve and their policies, as well as Democrats and their policies, no matter who or what they may be. And as usual, we turn in the end to filibuster reform, this time to discuss an open letter from eminent academics to Senators, clarifying the constitutional grounds and Senate precedents for changing the rules by majority vote.