A 14 percent job approval rating for this Congress is much too high

11040120-large

As was perfectly predictable, GOP leaders in Congress are horrified by what they’ve done in passing a bill allowing 9/11 victims to sue the government of Saudi Arabia. Among other things, the legislation opens the door for other nations to start suing the U.S. government for things done by our soldiers and diplomats overseas, in foreign courts sometimes far less honest than our own.

President Obama of course vetoed the bill, and in doing so he explained the reasons it was a terrible idea. Defense Secretary Ash Carter also told Congress it was a terrible idea. After his veto, Obama even sent the CIA director to Capitol Hill to plead with them not to override his decision.

House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell led their chambers in overriding the veto anyway, the first override of Obama’s presidency.  As Sen. Bob Corker explained, the Senate passed the bill thinking that there was no way that the House would pick it up and vote on it before Congress went into recess, but Ryan allowed a vote on it anyway.

Now, after it has been passed into law, Ryan is worried.

“I would like to think there’s a way we can fix so that our service members do not have legal problems overseas while still protecting the rights of the 9/11 victims,” he told reporters, more than a little late to be expressing such concerns.

McConnell admitted to similar second thoughts.

“Everybody was aware of who the potential beneficiaries were, but nobody really focused on the potential downsides in terms of our international relationships,” he said, ignoring the fact that the Obama administration had been making just that argument to anybody who would listen.

But here’s my favorite part: Having admitted their error, you know who they blame? They passed the bill, they overrode Obama’s veto, and you know who they blame?

They blame Obama. He wasn’t convincing enough. He wasn’t clear enough. As Bloomberg reports, “Republicans said the White House didn’t make a forceful case, putting themselves in the awkward position of blaming the president for a bill they enacted into law over Obama’s veto.”

“I think it was just a ball dropped,” McConnell said. “I wish the president — I hate to blame everything on him and I don’t — but it would have been helpful had he, we, had a discussion about this much earlier than last week.”
Again, the administration made clear its concerns before the initial vote, before the veto and after the veto.  Nobody was in any doubt about where the administration stood. In some quarters, the administration’s opposition was all the more reason to vote for it.

Just to be clear, a lot of Democrats voted for it too. Sen. Charles Schumer of New York was a co-sponsor, along with John Conyers of Texas. Few people of either party wanted to cast a vote that opponents could depict as a vote against the victims of 9/11 and in favor of the Saudis.

But in such circumstances, it’s the responsibility of congressional leadership — that’s Ryan and McConnell — to make sure that such votes never get to the stage where their members are put in that position. That is their job. Even after Obama’s veto, all they had to do was find a way to make sure an override vote never occurred before recess, and there would be no problem.

They couldn’t manage even that. It’s craven incompetence, and no, that is not Obama’s fault.

 

 

 

Reader Comments 0

256 comments
BuckeyeGa
BuckeyeGa

Atlanta lawyer Claud “Tex” McIver was driving with his wife Sunday night near Piedmont Park when their car hit a bump and a gun in his lap accidentally fired, killing his wife, a family spokesman told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Diane McIver was taken to Emory University Hospital on Clifton Road and died in surgery several hours later.

The incident unfolded after the McIvers vehicle was approached by several individuals near the intersection of Peachtree and Pine streets in Midtown, spokesman Bill Crane, a McIver family friend, said.

The McIvers retrieved their gun - a .38 snub-nose revolver - from the center console of the 2013 Ford Expedition, alarmed about recent unrest surrounding several Black Lives Matter protests in the area and fearing a carjacking, Crane told The AJC.

Cobbian
Cobbian

So, would someone please tell me why we keep electing the same people over and over again?  If the job approval rating is as low as it is, that includes most of those who call themselves conservatives, GOP, or independents.  Are all y'all crazy.  If you think Congress is doing such a bad job, why do you keep electing the people who are doing the bad job?


Oh, and by the way.  Those doing a bad job include those representing you, such as Johnny Isakson.  Admittedly, a nice guy but he is part of the problem and he is getting a little old.  Time to give him a rest, the retirement he is absolutely ready for whether he knows it or not.  


My suggestion is to vote against every Republican running for every office.  (I pick on the Republicans because they have had control of congress and are doing an absolutely lousy job of it.)  Doesn't even matter how good or bad the opponent is.  If there is no opponent, write someone in. 


Of course, I am also suggesting this because if Trump wins, the worst thing in the world would be a Republican controlled Congress.   Nuclear war in the making.  

Peachs
Peachs

I think we have trashed the truth meter of this country for a generation.  You hear obvious lies, then hear someone defend them.  It is spin for dollars, you hire professional liars, I expect there will be a college major some day, lying 101.  


We begin this with accountants looking for loopholes in taxes, getting paid well to lie.  Our lawyers paid to get law breakers off with loop holes. The spirit of the law was forgotten, the spirit of this country is going down the stain, and the very foundation of religion or academics, the truth, has been sold as a product to the highest bidder. 

JayBook
JayBook moderator

... sheets

Corey
Corey

Why would they pass a bill that opens up our soldiers and other U.S. officials overseas to endless lawsuits in foreign courts that do not share our values? Surely they are aware of the military activity around the world that we are engaged in, and they pass a bill that weakens our own sovereign immunity? Makes no sense. The founders established a republic because sometimes the will of the people is not exactly good for the nation.

Peachs
Peachs

@Corey Lawsuits would be the least of it, they would try soldiers for murder. 

Finn-McCool
Finn-McCool

@Corey Because it's an election year and they don't want to look bad against 9/11 victim's families?

BuckeyeGa
BuckeyeGa

Political reasons..wanted to say they vetoed something Obama did..

Corey
Corey

@Peachs @Corey And people do not understand that that is the exact reason Obama pulled combat troops out of Iraq on the date that was previously agreed to in The Status of Forces Agreement.The Iraqi government would not guarantee that U.S. soldiers would not be prosecuted.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

I was and remain against the bill.

And, I would like to see both Ryan and McConnell replaced with more conservative leaders that won't buckle at the first sign of Dem opposition.

However, the vote was not even close in either chamber.

To blame the debacle on Ryan and McConnell is ridiculous and something expected from a rank amateur posting their first few blogs, not from a seasoned opinion journalist.

Jay can't find a thing wrong with Hillary, Trump should be shoveling coal in hell, and no body but Democrats know how to legislate.

No wonder the country has had enough of Dems.

Finn-McCool
Finn-McCool

@JohnnyReb johnny, I think what Jay is not happy with is that McConnell and Ryan, if they knew how to do their jobs, could have maneuvered around this vote taking place. They failed to do what they could. Obama did everything he could.

Three leaders, one did what he could. The other two did not.

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@Finn-McCool @JohnnyReb  Not only did McConnell and Ryan mess up but now they are blaming it on Obama.  Don't you love the party of "personal responsibility"?

Corey
Corey

@JohnnyReb Speaker of the House and Senate Majority Leader are responsible for bills that make to full chamber to be voted on. They are very powerful men. By virtue of their authority they are responsible for this. They alone can block, delay, and kill any bill they choose before it reaches the floor.

honested
honested

@PaulinNH 

Of 'coarse' it is.

When the history of this period is eventually written, the mantra of all stripes of conserrrrrrrrrrrvatives will be "Failure Cannot Be Our Fault"!

Being a conservative requires an assumption the ideology is inerrant.

Peachs
Peachs

@BuckeyeGa it was a stage of 17 candidates, they could have handed out programs with roster names and numbers..


Hell a football game has only 22 on the field at one time!

BuckeyeGa
BuckeyeGa

The Republicans didn't have a primary I guess

Peachs
Peachs

@PaulinNH they have cranked this thing up right under the noses of the right wing establishment like kids,in a parent's basement, growing weed, and then, the parents, blaming the neighbors for not noticing it. 

BuckeyeGa
BuckeyeGa

Trump went on another twitter rant.The Ms.,universe issue hit him hard it seems

honested
honested

@BuckeyeGa 

He just can't seem to get across to America how bad the Ms. Universe situation personally offended him....

And he doesn't understand why America does not view him as the hero.

Peachs
Peachs

@honested @BuckeyeGa love how these token Ms. is added to a meat market contest, like we are enlighten and respect our pigs.

Donnie_Pinko
Donnie_Pinko

So if Philippines president Duterte makes good on his threats to break with the US and to move closer to Beijing ... 

Philippines president: Next week's war games with U.S. will be the last

http://www.militarytimes.com/articles/duterte-says-china-opposes-philippines-war-games-with-us

....we can expect him to earn the wrath of the empire's PR machine, the press, and to join the list of demonized foreign leaders and targets for operations to remove him.

And what do you know, right on time comes ...... 

http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/30/asia/duterte-hitler-comparison/


BuckeyeGa
BuckeyeGa

@Donnie Do you agree with Duterte decison?

RoadScholar
RoadScholar

"“I wish the president — I hate to blame everything on him and I don’t ..."

BS! McConnell is so full of sh.. that his eyes are brown! Everything that has happened in Washington has been blamed on President Obama. Obama is responsible for rain, the sun coming up/going down, any stupid legislation the repubs propose....


There is an article in today's' print edition that Ryan is just dismayed that there is so much division between the parties. Really? Does it come down to the repubs lack of inclusion and leadership? Is it affected by the unbridled support of the loon Freedom Caucus, who have set our country back? 


And now Perdue wants to change the budget process. How about if they cannot pass a long term(year or more) budget on time, they do not get paid (no payback after one is approved) and they cannot leave Washington , esp to go home and campaign! DO YOUR DAMN JOB! TALK AND ENTERTAIN THE OTHER VIEWS IN CONGRESS! GET ER DONE!!!!! OR GET GONE.....PERMANENTLY!

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@OldEngineer 

So far, the knock on Clinton is that she has trouble "connecting" with people. 

The Town Hall format will be perfect for Clinton, allowing her to showcase her listening skills, ability to understand, and to explain to those with whom she disagrees. 

Now, think about Trump doing that - listening, understanding, patiently explaining... A waltzing elephant is the picture that comes to mind...

honested
honested

People are just picking on chump.


All we need to do is look into history to find the former Presidential candidates who were prone to get up at 4:30 in the morning, take their soapbox out to the curb and start howling about who was fat and who was ugly and who had been mean to them.

We just don't hear enough about the unhinged loons that were our founders and chump is helping us remember that part of our forgotten past.

Peachs
Peachs

@honested comes in to these debates with a posse that that only a mobster would be proud of, body guards entering first, shoving and casing out the joint, the doors then flies open and Trump in a full length fur coat, his broad on his arm with two tons of makeup, spike foot long heels, and a ton of paparazzi.  Richard Nixon was like this?

skydog12
skydog12

@Peachs @honested


 Richard Nixon was like this?

******************

No, Nixon was like snake coming out of a hole.

Donnie_Pinko
Donnie_Pinko

Can The New York Times become a more frothing-at-the-mouth beater of drums for war, even more than they already are? 

I think they can.

Peachs
Peachs

@Donnie_Pinko he is ruining the reputation of NY, which I would think is impossible. 

gadem
gadem

Journalists are only now starting to delve into the lie that is Donald. If they would've done this sooner, and stopped treating him like a baby we would not even be talking about him right now.

Peachs
Peachs

@gadem cable news has been interested in profit over substance, and the 2014 court decision set the stage for this money talking.  

tireOfIt
tireOfIt

Donald Trump says Hillary Clinton is making "nasty" ads about him. Most of Clinton's commercials about Trump,  merely include clips of him speaking. 

RoadScholar
RoadScholar

@honested @tireOfIt Have you ever seen a campaign? Just talking about what you would do includes how your plan/agenda is different from others, including personality and ethics.

Peachs
Peachs

@tireOfIt where did Trump think this would not be the case?  He has walked around naked for years, and no one, particularly these Republicans, have noticed, more less had the desire to ruin their good thing controlling a gerrymandered Congress and a rural control Senate, which controls the spending, which is the real power of the country. 

honested
honested

@tireOfIt 

Yes, but she isn't picking out the tiny number of clips that make him look vaguely like a sane adult.

honested
honested

I hope the rest of the normally republiklan leaning, conserrrrrrrrrrvative leaning and usually politically deferential newspapers make their endorsement announcements today.


They seem to have arrived at a fairly standard definition thusfar......"UNFIT".....


Seems pretty accurate.

NWGAL
NWGAL

Can't drop the Miss Universe insults. As Chris Matthews said last night, when you find yourself in a hole, stop digging. Donald can't stop himself. At this rate, he will reach China before the election.

RoadScholar
RoadScholar

@NWGAL Digging a hole and throwing the dirt straight up and not expecting to get dirty!

Peachs
Peachs

@NWGAL Trump will be in real prison before this is over, no way a mind like his has not committed some white collar crime, that no one took the time to go after, now they will.