March 21, 2005


Off to a Running Start, How Far Can GOP Go? (Janet Hook, March 20, 2005, LA Times)

Less than three months after starting their new terms, President Bush and GOP leaders have scored a remarkable series of legislative victories, many involving measures that Republicans had been trying to move through Congress for years.

Even while spending a huge amount of time and political capital to keep his Social Security plan alive, Bush and congressional leaders have managed to whisk through business-backed legislation to crack down on class-action lawsuits and consumer bankruptcy filings. The Senate has cleared the way for Bush's plan to expand oil and gas drilling in Alaska. Antiabortion forces have won their first test of strength in the Senate.

And even though the president's effort to overhaul Social Security has gotten off to a halting start, the fact that this once-verboten topic has been thrust to the forefront is a measure of how much the winners of the 2004 elections have redirected the nation's public policy priorities.

Here's a more significant indication of how the President has shifted those priorities:
Despite protests from some Democrats who accused Republicans of inappropriately injecting Congress into medical decisions related to the severely brain damaged Florida woman, the House voted 203 to 58 for the bill at the end of four tumultuous days and an emotional debate that began Sunday night at 9 and ended shortly after midnight.

Voting yes were 156 Republicans and 47 Democrats, while 53 Democrats and 5 Republicans voted no.

When Democrats are afraid to be seen as pro-Death it's real progress.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 21, 2005 6:50 AM
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