GOP's Accomplishments This Year: Styrofoam Cups, Little Else


Photo: FaceMePLS, Flickr, CC BY

Politico, the right-leaning DC newspaper, has an interesting synopsis of the GOP's accomplishments in the energy and environment arena thus far this year. And it's interesting primarily because those accomplishments are next to nil. Sorry, I kept writing "interesting" up there -- I meant "depressing". Politico sums up the achievements thus far:

Republicans say Senate gridlock is the primary reason none of their big energy ideas has reached President Barack Obama's desk. But the symbolic posturing behind much of the GOP agenda has left the majority with few accomplishments beyond bringing Styrofoam cups back to House cafeterias.

"After six months, you'd hope you get down to legislating," said Rep. Gene Green, a Texas Democrat who has tried to work with Republicans on several energy bills.

The rest of the piece delves into the sort of bills that the GOP has rallied behind: An initiative to overturn the EPA's scientific finding that greenhouse gases pose a threat to public health, a politically-motivated move to overturn a ban on energy-gobbling incandescent light bulbs (even though industry is on board), and motions to peel away other regulations and increase drilling.

But the article primarily reveals that besides fighting for decreased regulations for their corporate benefactors, the GOP has little agenda besides playing politics. A plethora of quotes from the GOP Reps themselves confirm this -- that they don't actually think they can pass the bills they support; they just want to rally their bases. They know they can incense people by talking about how the government is taking away their light bulbs, how the EPA is going to ruin the economy, etc.

Just take a second and think about this -- and bear in mind that the Democrats are certainly no stranger to politicking in much the same manner (if not scope). What you're seeing here is a government that's not working. It's simply not functioning -- there's no progress being made towards improving our energy situation. At all. There's no search for middle ground in clean energy initiatives, no wresting a compromise out of the nuclear question, no progress towards curbing particulate pollution. No cooperation. Nil. Just bitter gridlock. If you think this is how government is supposed to work, think again.

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