The GOP Distraction

If I had a penny for every e-mail about the "Party of No" or Rush Limbaugh I receive from the Democratic National Committee ... well, they would be stacking up. Today they are out with a Party of No clock. It is ticking, in case you care. Knowing the Republican Party these days, it is going to keep ticking.

The Democrats in Congress were echoing this message earlier this week, and so was President Obama, who told regional reporters that Republicans need to step up to the plate and stop opposing everything. "I am not impressed by just being able to say no," Obama said.

What Obama and the Democratic leadership in Congress need to accept is that Republicans are not the problem. The campaign is over, there is no President Bush to criticize, and the GOP minority in Congress doesn't matter — not one bit. Democrats have the numbers to push much of what they want through the Congress, but they are not unified on any of the big policy goals Obama has called for. On healthcare, energy, tax increases, farm subsidies and card-check — there is strong dissent brewing in the president's party. As Jared Allen reported in our paper yesterday, the conservative Blue Dog Democrats even plan to ask Obama to submit an alternative, budget-neutral healthcare plan to the Congress. Fat chance we will see that anytime soon.

In my column this week, I agree the Republican Party is in pathetic shape. The broken GOP is amusing, and these days seems to provide endless distraction and drama. But Democrats have a mess on their hands, and talking about Limbaugh won't clean it up.


SHOULD DEMOCRATS KEEP TALKING ABOUT REPUBLICANS? Ask A.B. returns Tuesday, March 17. Please join my weekly video Q&A by sending your questions and comments to askab@thehill.com. Thank you.