In Wednesday’s “Good Feeling Gone, In Congress, Anyway,“ New York Times reporters Jennifer Steinhauer and Carl Hulse suggested it was unseemly for Republicans to not accede to President Obama on domestic issues, after the killing of Osama bin Laden by Navy SEALS in Pakistan.
The article superficially appears to be an even-handed “pox on both houses“ story, but the text provided a tableaux of Democrats fuming over Republican actions or lack of same, as if Republicans had reacted to the unifying national moment of Obama’s capture with stubborn partisan obstruction. Two photo captions demonstrated Democrats seeing a "spirit of unity" dashed by the GOP:
Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, complained about the “excessive regulation” of business.
Senator Harry Reid, the majority leader, said he hoped a “spirit of unity” would prevail, but there was little sign of it Tuesday.
The Times reporters lamented:
Whatever sense of unity the nation might have felt after the killing of Osama bin Laden, it did not extend to the pressing domestic policy issues that divide Congressional Republicans and Democrats, who returned to work in earnest Tuesday.
Lawmakers were quickly back to arguing over economic and health care policy, trading blame for high gasoline prices and positioning themselves for the fight over raising the federal debt limit. The Senate found itself at multiple impasses over a small-business bill and judicial confirmations.
There was even division within Congress over whether to pass a resolution recognizing the military and intelligence operatives who pulled off the strike on Bin Laden....
While the Senate approved the measure, House Republicans, "citing new rules against such purely honorary acts, declined to follow suit."
The House majority did forge ahead with its latest bill to dismantle a piece of the health care overhaul, with Speaker John A. Boehner saying Republicans were taking aim at health care “slush funds.”
Mr. Boehner, who has been supportive of President Obama’s handling of the Bin Laden assault, said Tuesday that he saw no dissonance between backing the president on his terrorism policies and differing with him so strongly on the domestic matters.
“You are talking about apples and oranges here,” said Mr. Boehner, who noted that he had twice congratulated Mr. Obama on the Bin Laden operation. “On other issues, we might not see as closely, as eye to eye on.”
The Times then quoted Democratic leader Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, who equated national unity with liberal legislation, accusing “Republicans of undermining job creation and said he wished the national mood that followed the killing of Bin Laden could have some staying power and lead to more Congressional comity.”
Later the Times quoted liberal Rep. Harry Waxman “fuming” over Republican legislation he says “is going nowhere” -- the House repealing parts of Obama-care. Steinhauer and Hulse also emphasized “Neither bill is expected to pass in the Senate.”