Wa. Post: Good Hearted Dems 'Torn' about Shutting GOP Out

January 2nd, 2007 7:17 AM

This morning the Washington Post published a story about how the Democrats are going to exclude Republicans from participating in the "First 100 Hours" plan that the Democrats intend to implement when they officially become the majority in the House of Representatives this week. And, while they do clearly state that the Democrat majority is going against a campaign promise to be less partisan, the Post just cannot help but make it seem as if it pains those poor Democrats that Republicans are so mean that they cannot include them in compliance with their promises.

Democrats To Start Without GOP Input

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, breaking a campaign promise before they even take the reigns of power! But, wait... the Post papers over this promise breaking by saying how bad the Dems feel about this lapse.
Democratic leaders say they are torn between giving Republicans a say in legislation and shutting them out to prevent them from derailing Democratic bills.
Gosh. That must make it all OK. Those poor, sad Dems must really be broken up over this. Why, if Republicans weren't so evil and all, the Dems COULD let them join in the legislation process. It isn't like the Republicans were really elected fairly, anyway.
"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."
Um, you mean disruptive like the Democrats have been for a decade, Mr. Van Hollen?

And, Pelosi spokesman Brendan Daly is already priming the pump for their "Fist 100 Hours" plan to fail with no complaint or comment about such backtracking from the Post.

"The test is not the first 100 hours," he said. "The test is the first six months or the first year. We will do what we promised to do."
And after telling us how the Democrats intend to have secret meetings closed to the public and won't allow the GOP to participate in the process if they can help it, the Post assures us that:
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.

When all is said and done, and despite the rather soft sell the Post tried to spin what is the coming Democrat Power grab, there will be no "change in tone" in Washington. Especially from Democrats who have, historically, been far more prone to mean-spirited power plays.

"If you're talking about 100 hours, you're talking about no obstruction whatsoever, no amendments offered other than those approved by the majority," said Ross K. Baker, a political scientist at Rutgers University . "I would like to think after 100 hours are over, the Democrats will adhere to their promise to make the system a little more equitable. But experience tells me it's really going to be casting against type."
At least one quote in the piece was right on.

Naturally, Mr. Baker does not work for the Washington Post.