Nancy Pelosi, as speaker of the house, is where the responsibility to work in bipartisan manner, lays and she is incapable of doing so, despite her promises before and after the November eletions.
Time and again she has deliberately put bills forward that were not meant to garner the votes needed to pass by making sure it could pass the senate and not be vetoed or having the votes necessary to override a veto. She has deliberately shut out the Republicans from proposing amendments and has deliberately gone for the "all or nothing" side of things in a highly partisan manner.
Nothing is getting accomplished except for a record number of roll call votes in the house, which less that 10% of manages to reach the president's desk and get signed into law and the majority of those are naming postal offices and recreational parks.
She is incompetent at her job and has managed to attain the highest disapproved of Congress in the history of polling congressional numbers and her own approval ratings in her own home state falling to record lows.
The same applies to Harry Reid as the majority leader of the Senate. The people of Nevada have turned against him also, for the same reasons.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's appeal among Nevadans has plunged dramatically in a new Las Vegas Review-Journal poll, which finds him viewed unfavorably by most likely voters in his home state.
Reid is still slightly more well-liked than Gov. Jim Gibbons. Both the Democratic senator and the Republican governor are less favorably viewed than President Bush.
By refusing to work in a bipartisan manner, we see reports of the new congress being at war about everything.
In a closed-door meeting before the last vote on the children’s health care bill, House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer appealed for the support of about 30 wavering Republican lawmakers. What he got instead was a tongue-lashing, participants said.
The GOP lawmakers, all of whom had expressed interest in a bipartisan deal on the SCHIP legislation, were furious that the Democratic leader from Maryland had not reached out to them in a more serious way early on. They also criticized him and Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel of Illinois for failing to stop his allies outside Congress from running attack ads in their districts, while they were discussing a bipartisan deal.
The result was a predictable one for this bitterly divided Congress. The House vote for a second SCHIP bill was a healthy majority, but not the two-thirds needed to override another veto vowed by President Bush. Only one Republican switched his vote — to oppose the measure.
Democrats accused Republicans of hurting kids. Republicans howled about a heavy-handed, uncompromising Democratic majority. And another chance at bipartisan consensus slipped away.
“They spent $1.5 million through their various shill outreach groups attacking me and a handful of my colleagues,” Rep. Ric Keller (R-Fla.) said before the Hoyer meeting, “but they did not spend five minutes to approach me to ask for my vote.”
This us-against-them mentality has been an ongoing storyline of the new Democratic-controlled Congress. On the big items — Iraq, health care and spending — party leaders have shunned compromise.
Now for the part Don Surber showed us yesterday, before the Politico piece was published.
It looks like it is Pelosi that is about to become the "lame duck" speaker.
Debating Iraq all the time and trotting out 12-year-olds to push for a flawed doubling of SCHIP gets you 11% approval. Congressional Democrats won’t replace the first female speaker, but they may make her just a figurehead.
They may already have.
He points us to a compelling American Spectator piece showing why this is happening and that Pelosi is disconnected from reality.
Moderate Democrats in the House say that majority leader Rep. Steny Hoyer's decision to cut back the House work week by a day in 2008 is an indication that his influence is growing among Democrats to the diminishment of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.Read the entire piece, it shows other areas where Nancy just "doesn't get it."
"She's all about image, and she fought this change to the death," says a moderate House member. "To our way of thinking, there was nothing for us to do on Friday, she had us wasting time when we could be home doing something, like campaigning and raising money. She didn't seem to understand that if we can't do either, she isn't going to have a majority next time."
Hoyer, who has long been considered a more powerful House member than Pelosi based on his fundraising prowess and Capitol Hill connections, has been hearing it from mostly moderate and conservative members, and even a few of Pelosi's supporters of late. "They feel like we're stuck in the mud and playing the Republicans' game," says a House leadership aide with ties to Hoyer. "Last week was a bad week for the House Speaker and she didn't seem to even know it."
Last week the House held its one-thousandth roll call vote this year, the first time Congress had reached that level since the ratification of the Constitution. Pelosi's office demanded that Democrats mark the event as a victory for the party, against the advice of Hoyer and other party leaders.
"It only served to highlight just how little we've actually achieved compared to what we promised," says the House aide. "Out of those thousand votes, about ten percent were bills that became law and half of those were namings of federal buildings and such. Fifty bills in a year doesn't compare to what we promised, and she wanted to put a spotlight on it. She just doesn't get it sometime."
Back on October 17th, I posted a piece with the definition of "legislate", something that Nancy Pelosi nor Harry Reid seem to know the definition of.
It doesn't mean roll call votes that go nowhere.
It doesn't mean ramming bills through the house that cannot make it passed the senate.
It doesn't mean passing bills that appeal to the emotions of the American people so they can score some political point in the polls, the whole time knowing that bill be vetoed, and knowing that they do not have the votes to override the veto.
It means "enacting laws", which Pelosi and Reid and both houses cannot do because of their strong arm techniques that only manage to unite the Republicans against them and cause a war in Congress with the end result being nothing getting done.
The American people realize this, which is why Congress is so low in the polls and will continue to drop until the learn the definition of the word "legislate".
[Update] Great piece over at Weekly Standard showing us eacty how dysfunctional the new Congress has actually been.