Ellison’s Must Read of the Day

• January 29, 2015 11:01 am


My must read of the day is "The great GOP overreach," by Brent Budowsky, in the Hill:

Voters see Republicans overreaching and underachieving. They see the GOP repeating ritual attacks against Obama and Clinton as though the 2014 campaign never ended. They see Republicans moving to pass political bills they know will never be enacted, such as old attacks against ObamaCare, and opposing important bills voters do want enacted, such as immigration reform. They see the GOP stage phony hearings on Benghazi that are nothing more than taxpayer-financed attacks against Hillary Clinton.

There is a GOP distemper in Washington, an overreaching of aggressive tactics against Democrats and an underachievement of success in governing. The result? Obama rises in favorability, Clinton rises against Republicans.

The most egregious GOP overreach was the decision by Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to invite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a bitterly divisive figure in Israel and the U.S., to address a joint session of Congress, in the midst of his campaign in the Israeli election, to attack the policies of President Obama and Obama’s internationally respected secretary of State, John Kerry. […]

These GOP overreaches create a golden opportunity for Clinton to be elected president and for Democrats to regain control of Congress.

The 114th Congress officially began 26 days ago. I find it hard to believe they’ve had enough time to overreach—and the suggestion that the new Congress has, and has to an extent that it secures Hillary Clinton’s 2016 bid, is partisan wishful thinking.

House Republicans attached an immigration provision to the Homeland Security funding bill, which holds up money for the agency. It’s fair to argue that’s an overreach because it has a lot of potential to backfire, but the Senate hasn’t taken it up yet. The only other high profile vote both the House and Senate have held or vocally advocated for is a vote on the Keystone XL. Fifty-nine percent of the public support building the pipeline, so I’d hardly call any of that an overreach.

Budowsky is really saying the House is beginning to overreach and his primary piece of evidence is Boehner’s invitation to Netanyahu. That’s a legitimate argument, whether you agree with it or not, but it has nothing to do with Hillary’s success in 2016 polls, and it’s not sufficiently indicative of future failings.

If you’re going to doom the entire Republican-controlled Congress, you need to have strong evidence of overreach in both houses. Budowsky doesn’t provide any in this piece.

This article is premature and it ties the current Congress to behaviors of the past. Will Republicans overreach? It’s possible, but dooming them to failure useless analysis that does little to elevate public discourse—at least give them more than a month to demonstrate what they will do in the next two years before writing such an authoritative piece.