CBS News Poll taken November 7-10, 2010 (after the mid-term elections which produced the Republicans control over the House of Representatives)
“Of all the problems facing this country today, which one do you most want the new Congress to concentrate on first when it begins in January?”
56% – Economy and JOBS
14% – Health care
4% – Budget deficit / National debt
2% – Immigration
2% – Education
2% – War / Iraq / Afghanistan
2% – Taxes / IRS
9% – Other
9% – Unsure
Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH-07) opening remarks at the start of the session January 5, 2011
“We gather here today at a time of great challenges. Nearly one in ten of our neighbors are looking for work.
The American people have humbled us. They have refreshed our memories as to just how temporary the privilege to serve is. They have reminded us that everything here is on loan from them. That includes this gavel, which I accept cheerfully and gratefully, knowing I am but its caretaker. After all, this is the people’s House. This is their Congress. It’s about them, not us. What they want is a government that is honest, accountable and responsive to their needs.
We will dispense with the conventional wisdom that bigger bills are always better; that fast legislating is good legislating; that allowing additional amendments and open debate makes the legislative process ‘less efficient’ than our forefathers intended.
CBS News Poll taken June 24-28, 2011
“What do you think is the most important problem facing this country ?”
53% – Economy and JOBS
7% – Budget deficit / National debt
4% – Health care
4% – War / Iraq / Afghanistan
2% – Education
2% – Misc. government issues
2% – Politicians / Government
2% – Big government / Bureaucracy
2% – President / Barack Obama
18% – Other
4% – Unsure
Speaker Boehner’s statement of June 24 :
“The American people voted for a new majority in the House with clear orders to end the spending binge in Washington. The American people will not accept an increase in the debt limit that is accompanied by job-crushing tax hikes and fails to dramatically cut and reform government spending.”
November or now, the Republicans continue to exhibit OOT tendencies … Out Of Touch. The polls say JOBS … instead the Republicans focus on denying raising the debt ceiling and preventing changes in the tax system including closing tax loopholes.
Case in point, the Republicans Cut, Cap and Balance Act of 2011 … authored on Friday and voted on Tuesday … no committee hearings, no public input, no amendments, no cost impact study from the Congressional Budget Office …. clearly a perfect example of Speaker Boehner’s concern “that fast legislating is good legislating”. The legislation neatly included an exemption for the Tricare for Life program (no Republican wants to anger the influential military veterans interest group … read this for background) while setting the max budget back to cut federal spending to pre-2008 levels … something that the Republican-managed House could do within the current appropriations process. The impacts of this approach could be devastating … as The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that this would lower by 700,000 the number of jobs created and cut economic growth by nearly three-quarters of 1 percent.
Another showcase vote for an Out Of Touch Congress.
But that was this week … last week it was the BULB Act that got the “fast track to nowhere” whereby the Republicans offered a bill that required 2/3rds majority knowing that the real intention was to showcase an issue for 2012 election purposes.
But it’s not just in their elected responsibilities that Republicans are Out Of Touch, but also in their approach to what the public should be focusing on … while the polls said JOBS … Donald Trump was dominating the discussion … using programs like The View :
DONALD TRUMP: I want him to show his birth certificate. I want him to show his birth certificate.
WHOOPI GOLDBERG (co-host, The View): Why?
DONALD TRUMP: There’s something on that birth certificate that he doesn’t like.
Trump’s antics caused other Republicans to weigh in including Michelle Bachmann (R-MN-06) … “I’ll tell you one thing, if I was ever to run for President of the United States, I think the first thing I would do in the first debate is offer my birth certificate, so we can get that off the table.”
Potential Presidentress Bachmann has been dragged into these controversies before … such as by her association with Bradlee Dean and his assertion that President Obama is not a Christian.
Now, the focus seems to be on Ms. Bachmann herself … from Marcus Bachmann setting off “gaydar alarms” to her own personal health history including stories that she suffers from “debilitating” headaches that have required hospitalization and could impair her ability to serve as President.
To address the migraine issue, Ms. Bachmann utilized the taxpayer funded (budgeted at $3,805,000 per year and is not part of the Congresswoman’s health insurance coverage … just an extra perk) Office of the Attending Physician and offered a letter
“Dr. Brian Monahan wrote he has extensively evaluated Bachmann, in consultation with a neurologist, and found that she is able to control it with as-needed doses of sumatriptan, which is used to treat migraine pain, and odansetron, an anti-nausea drug… Monahan described Bachmann’s diagnosis as ‘migraine headaches with aura,’ a reference to the minority of migraine sufferers who experience perceptual disturbances, such as visual changes or strange smells, in advance of their attacks.”
IMO, Dave Mindeman wrote an excellent commentary … first addressing the medical condition as a pharmacist … and then as a concerned American voter … asking why is the focus on Bachmann’s migraines instead of on Bachmann’s vision for America.
Yet, that did not prevent Soon-To-Be President Tim Pawlenty from weighing in … virtually announcing a “No Migraines” prerequisite for serving as President.
Ms. Bachmann has given plenty of Minnesotans “headaches” but she does not deserve this attention … yet, somehow don’t be surprised if Ms. Bachmann doesn’t turn this around to “blame the media” … yet these attacks just emphasis the focus on unimportant matters trump what the American people want the politicians to be focusing on … JOBS.