Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn did the math and said the GOP couldn’t come close to enough votes to get past the Senate or an Obama veto. Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina called shutting down the government to defund Obamacare the “dumbest idea” he ever heard of. Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama said it was foolish, and Sen. Susan Collins of Maine said it was bad policy and bad politics.
“The American people want common-sense solutions,” Collins said. “They don’t want us to pursue policies that are pointless, that are going to end in governments shutting down, more partisanship, more gridlock. They want us to actually get things done.”
A recent Rasmussen poll showed Congress’ approval rating at less than 10 percent, making Obama’s worst-of-his-presidency 45 percent look astronomical by comparison.
“The American people are interested in seeing some result from the Congress,” said Sen. John McCain, one of the few members of the GOP willing to work with Obama on anything. Referring to the poll, he said “members of Congress ranked just below a colonoscopy. We’d like to get above a colonoscopy.”
At least a colonoscopy gets something accomplished, which is more than we can say about the Republicans in the Senate, who have smashed all records for filibustering bills and presidential appointments.
Americans crave the comity, dignity and reasonable debate on the issues that used to be a hallmark of the Senate. They desire achievement and honorable compromise over take-no-prisoners party politics. A case in point is New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
Christie is a Republican in a very Democratic state. His approval rating is close to 70 percent and he is a sure bet for re-election. He’s combative to the point of being coarse on occasion and is not the least bit reluctant to fire back at anyone who criticizes him.