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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Hastert Bans Bipartisanship

Sorry for the lack of posts, but I’ve been celebrating Thanksgiving with my extended family, and hope you’ve had the chance to do the same.
Getting back to the newspapers today was like a slap in the face. There’s a Charles Babington article in the Post today that makes it clear that House Speaker Dennis Hastert put the kibosh on the 9/11 commission bill because he’s applying a general principle that he won’t bring anything to the floor unless a majority of House Republicans support it.
Like a lot of Democrats, I tend to view Hastert as a mild-mannered, inarticulate high school wrestling coach who’s sort of a figurehead for the real power in the House, Tom DeLay. But Hastert has gone considerably out of his way to put his personal stamp on this Republicans-only policy, and to make it clear he’s doing this to protect his own position in the House. Whether he’s the organ-grinder or the monkey on this decision, it shows exactly how far today’s GOP is willing to go to make narrow partisanship a higher priority than good government, loyalty to the alleged views of the president, or even patriotism. To put it another way, unless things change, the wingnuts in the House GOP caucus now have a virtual stranglehold on the government of the United States of America. And that gives me far more heartburn than yesterday’s Thanksgiving leftovers.

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