DFW Promotes Democratic "Bipartisanship" But Hides Truth

As was to be expected, The Dead Fish Wrapper (along with the rest of the MSM) was drooling all over itself in its excitement that the Democrats control both houses of Congress. This is in stark contrast to the way they treated the Republicans when they came to power in 1994.

In addition, they trumpet the Dems talking about how they will work with the Republicans, but yet they hide the truth about how in reality they will be excluding the Republicans.

As with almost all Fish Wrapper articles in the front section, they come from the various wire services. The front page article was headlined "History reserves seat for Pelosi", and goes on and on about how the day belonged to Pelosi and all her quotes about partisanship.

In a well-received speech before handing over the gavel to Pelosi, Boehner, the House Republican leader, praised the election of the first woman speaker saying, "Whether you're a Republican, a Democrat, or an independent, today is a cause for celebration."

He called for a respectful debate between the parties, telling Pelosi, "May the best idea win."

Pelosi, grinning, waved the gavel and said "I accept this gavel in the spirit of partnership, not partisanship."

So, just out of curiosity, with the MSM being so unbiased (yeah, right), how did they treat Newt Gingrich and the Republicans when they took power in 1994? The answer is, not very well at all. As documented by NEwsbusters here and here, their treatment of the Republicans was quite different.

Katie Couric to Bob Dole: "Is someone, anyone, going to have to muzzle the new Speaker a bit?...But should Newt Gingrich watch himself?"

Bryant Gumbel to Newt Gingrich: "You are sounding very moderate this morning. You and I both know that a lot of Democrats and, frankly, some moderate Republicans are suggesting that ultimately your tongue will cost you."

Gumbel to Rep. Dick Gephardt: "Mr. Gephardt, you called Gingrich and his ilk, your words, 'trickle-down terrorists who base their agenda on on division, exclusion, and fear.' Do you think middle class Americans are in need of protection from that group?"

Couric to Tim Russert: "By June or July, though Tim, this 100 day edict will be long gone. Is this smart to put the 100 day deadline on the House of Representatives. Are they trying to have expediency at the risk of well thought-out legislation?"

Hmmm, it just isn't quite the same, is it?

In addition, what was conveniently left out this time were the Democrat plans to exclude the Republicans from having any input at the beginning.

As they prepare to take control of Congress this week and face up to campaign pledges to restore bipartisanship and openness, Democrats are planning to largely sideline Republicans from the first burst of lawmaking.

House Democrats intend to pass a raft of popular measures as part of their well-publicized plan for the first 100 hours. They include tightening ethics rules for lawmakers, raising the minimum wage, allowing more research on stem cells and cutting interest rates on student loans.

But instead of allowing Republicans to fully participate in deliberations, as promised after the Democratic victory in the Nov. 7 midterm elections, Democrats now say they will use House rules to prevent the opposition from offering alternative measures, assuring speedy passage of the bills and allowing their party to trumpet early victories.

Wow, nothing like following through on promises, eh?

The episode illustrates the dilemma facing the new party in power. The Democrats must demonstrate that they can break legislative gridlock and govern after 12 years in the minority, while honoring their pledge to make the 110th Congress a civil era in which Democrats and Republicans work together to solve the nation's problems. Yet in attempting to pass laws key to their prospects for winning reelection and expanding their majority, the Democrats may have to resort to some of the same tough tactics Republicans used the past several years.

So what's important is winning reelection and expanding the majority, not doing what's best for the country? Well, at least the Washington Post isn't shy about demonstrating where its sympathies lie.

"There is a going to be a tension there," said Rep. Chris Van Hollen (Md.), the new chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. "My sense is there's going to be a testing period to gauge to what extent the Republicans want to join us in a constructive effort or whether they intend to be disruptive. It's going to be a work in progress."

Gee, you mean the way the Democrats have been for the last 12 years, Mr. Van Hollen?

For several reasons, House Democrats are assiduously trying to avoid some of the heavy-handed tactics they resented under GOP rule. They say they want to prove to voters they are setting a new tone on Capitol Hill. But they are also convinced that Republicans lost the midterms in part because they were perceived as arrogant and divisive.

"We're going to make an impression one way or the other," said one Democratic leadership aide. "If it's not positive, we'll be out in two years."

Well, one can only hope...

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