Stifling dissent disguised as bi-partisan calls for civility

Yesterday, the Hill reported that the Senate has held up 290 pieces of legislation that have already passed in the House of Representatives. One of those bills calls for the naming of a courthouse after former Congressman Jim Leach (R-IA).Leach represented Iowa's 2nd Congressional District from 1977-2007. 

The signature piece of legislation for his career is the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) -also known as the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999. The bill was signed into law by President Clinton, and led to the creation of the financial services industry - a consolidation of commercial banks, investment banks, securities firms and insurance companies.

Why would the Senate hold up a bill that would honor a colleague who served for 30 years in the legislative branch?

Behind Door #1, a National Review report may provide an answer:

Last August, former Iowa Republican congressman Jim Leach took office as the chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities.  What exactly were his qualifications for this post, other than being an Obamaphile Republican and thus a safely "bipartisan" appointment, was and remains a mystery.  Since his appointment, unsurprisingly, Leach has appeared to take little interest in the actual work of the NEH-support for research, publication, and education in the humanities-and instead has been gallivanting around the country on a 50-state "civility tour," giving mostly forgettable speeches (archived here-see especially those of September 17 and 29, and November 6 and 20) whose goal seems to be to get Americans to stop criticizing Barack Obama in terms that offend Chairman Leach.  Even if there were a civility deficit in our politics-a proposition entertained only by those who are both historically ignorant and politically thin-skinned-it would hardly be the proper business of the NEH chairman to embark on a Kumbaya tour.  But Leach's call for better manners is transparently partisan, an act not of civility but of servility-to the president who appointed him.

With hopes to perpetrate his phony pledge of bipartisanship, the president has at times called on Republicans-who he believes will play ball with the Obama team-to work with him. He's enlisted Leach to work as one of his soldiers, and he's not doing the job he was appointed for, but is instead running around the country and attempting to silence dissent.

Given the war the president has declared on the Right, it's possible that no Senate Republicans are in a rush to support one of his soldiers, even though he carries an ‘R' behind his name.

Any other theories?

Door #2 reveals that the Senate is currently working in a bipartisan fashion on comprehensive financial reform legislation.

It's possible there are Senators on both sides of the aisle who have no sense of urgency to support a guy who played a principal role in the deregulation of the financial system, especially at a time when they're trying to heavily re-regulate the industry with impending legislation.

Ultimately, behind a number of doors there could be a number of reasons that would explain why Leach's name hasn't been approved to appear on a courthouse in his home state, but given the various stories that are out there that in one way or another can be attached to Leach, it looks like it's business as usual in Washington; politicians playing politics and looking out for numero uno.

 

J.C. Arenas is a frequent contributor to American Thinker and welcomes your comments at jcarenas.com

 

Yesterday, the Hill reported that the Senate has held up 290 pieces of legislation that have already passed in the House of Representatives. One of those bills calls for the naming of a courthouse after former Congressman Jim Leach (R-IA).Leach represented Iowa's 2nd Congressional District from 1977-2007. 

The signature piece of legislation for his career is the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) -also known as the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999. The bill was signed into law by President Clinton, and led to the creation of the financial services industry - a consolidation of commercial banks, investment banks, securities firms and insurance companies.

Why would the Senate hold up a bill that would honor a colleague who served for 30 years in the legislative branch?

Behind Door #1, a National Review report may provide an answer:

Last August, former Iowa Republican congressman Jim Leach took office as the chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities.  What exactly were his qualifications for this post, other than being an Obamaphile Republican and thus a safely "bipartisan" appointment, was and remains a mystery.  Since his appointment, unsurprisingly, Leach has appeared to take little interest in the actual work of the NEH-support for research, publication, and education in the humanities-and instead has been gallivanting around the country on a 50-state "civility tour," giving mostly forgettable speeches (archived here-see especially those of September 17 and 29, and November 6 and 20) whose goal seems to be to get Americans to stop criticizing Barack Obama in terms that offend Chairman Leach.  Even if there were a civility deficit in our politics-a proposition entertained only by those who are both historically ignorant and politically thin-skinned-it would hardly be the proper business of the NEH chairman to embark on a Kumbaya tour.  But Leach's call for better manners is transparently partisan, an act not of civility but of servility-to the president who appointed him.

With hopes to perpetrate his phony pledge of bipartisanship, the president has at times called on Republicans-who he believes will play ball with the Obama team-to work with him. He's enlisted Leach to work as one of his soldiers, and he's not doing the job he was appointed for, but is instead running around the country and attempting to silence dissent.

Given the war the president has declared on the Right, it's possible that no Senate Republicans are in a rush to support one of his soldiers, even though he carries an ‘R' behind his name.

Any other theories?

Door #2 reveals that the Senate is currently working in a bipartisan fashion on comprehensive financial reform legislation.

It's possible there are Senators on both sides of the aisle who have no sense of urgency to support a guy who played a principal role in the deregulation of the financial system, especially at a time when they're trying to heavily re-regulate the industry with impending legislation.

Ultimately, behind a number of doors there could be a number of reasons that would explain why Leach's name hasn't been approved to appear on a courthouse in his home state, but given the various stories that are out there that in one way or another can be attached to Leach, it looks like it's business as usual in Washington; politicians playing politics and looking out for numero uno.

 

J.C. Arenas is a frequent contributor to American Thinker and welcomes your comments at jcarenas.com