Lame Duck Democrats Get Healed?

If Democrats had been this effective the previous two years, would they have lost as badly in November?

Okay, this is getting ridiculous.

With overwhelming majorities in the House and Senate plus control of the White House, Democrats basically spent two years passing an unpopular bailout of failing industries and a popular set of reforms to the healthcare system, along with some less popular parts.

Since getting shellacked in the elections six weeks ago, losing control of the House and weakening their position in the Senate, they’ve managed to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell; ratify New START; extend unemployment benefits;  pass middle class tax cuts; enact 9/11 responders relief; and goodness knows what else.

They’ll probably repeal the law of gravity and cure the common cold during the week between Christmas and New Year.*

Riddle me this:  If they’d been this effective the previous two years, would they have lost as badly in November?

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*Actually, they’ve apparently adjourned for the session.  But maybe it’s just a sneaky trick?

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2010, Quick Takes, US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Andyman says:

    Sigh. Everyone was so scared of the Wrath of the Tea Partiers that they more or less clammed up. Now there’s a deadline; do it now or wait until 2013 or later. I tend to agree that a more assertive majority party would have done better. It’s a question that will be debated in the future to be sure.

  2. Mithras says:

    The Senate GOP filibustered everything before the election. Now they have a chance to get stuff done before Boehner takes over the House and everything grinds to a halt with investigations, grandstanding on health care, and culture-war nonsense.

  3. At this point I am not sure if what we have seen should be seen as a critique of the parties (both, as I think that what we are seeing is not just Democratic behavior, but Republican as well) or a critique of the general legislative process, as somehow it is simply easier to work post-election

    It bears some thought, but I am not ready to reach a conclusion (or even make a coherent argument at the moment).

  4. An Interested Party says:

    “If they’d been this effective the previous two years, would they have lost as badly in November?”

    If the economy had been the same at the beginning of November, of course they would have…

  5. tom p says:

    >”Riddle me this: If they’d been this effective the previous two years, would they have lost as badly in November?”

    Probably not, still lose, but not as bad. Like ST I think it is a commentary on both parties. The Dems have nothing to lose by getting this stuff done, The Reps have nothing to gain by stopping it.

  6. Herb says:

    “If they’d been this effective the previous two years, would they have lost as badly in November?”

    On the flipside….if Republicans were as interested in blocking the Dem agenda as they were in winning the election in November, would this last minute flurry have even occurred?