Posting has been sparse lately, a combo of work, out-of-town guests, the holidays, and some plain laziness on my part. But with work behind me for the next five days (sort of), I wanted to take a second to applaud the Senate and House.
That’s a phrase I didn’t think I’d be writing before 2013…
But if we look back at the legislative action over the past few months, there is a lot to be happy about: the beginning of the end for DADT, tax cut and unemployment extensions, a nuclear arms treaty, health care for 9/11 responders, and a bill that focuses on providing healthy options for school lunches. Not bad, government.
That’s not to say this has been perfect. I would have liked to see the tax cut deal go through without the tax cuts for the top earners, because I think that the cost of that tax cut (in terms of reduced future tax revenues) and its impact on the deficit will be used to argue for cuts in important programs. And it would have been great if it hadn’t taken until the last possible second to get DADT repealed.
For the first time in a while, though, I’m beginning to buy back in to the Obama method. Though I might have liked to see this play out differently, I must admit that during the past three weeks I have not passed even ONE major piece of legislation. It’s easy to sit here on the sidelines and snipe with hypotheticals about how a bunch of alternative scenarios would have played out: whether a harder push would have passed DADT sooner or a few more high-profile speeches would have embarrassed the Republicans into letting the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy expire. At the end of the day, I have to say that if I had to give an up-or-down-vote to the entire body of legislation passed during the lame duck, I would give it an enthusiastic yes. So congratulations U.S. Government. You’ve given me a little hope for the coming year.
Let’s see if it lasts through January.