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December 30, 2012

Congress' Self-Sabotaging Kabuki Act

John Avlon: "If this supposedly liberated lame-duck Congress can't agree on basic outlines of a grand bargain agreement that has been debated in detail for the past two years, why should we believe that the next Congress will have more success? Immigration reform, gun reforms -- those more difficult debates will be effectively DOA from day one. This is self-government committing economic suicide, putting ideological absolutism ahead of solving problems. The idea of a productive lame-duck session after the contentious election has been erased. Hopefully, Senators Reid and McConnell will surprise us with some kind of patchwork compromise by the self-imposed deadline of 3 p.m. today, but they have been keeping rumors of progress to themselves."

"This congressional Kabuki is killing us, because it masks a more fundamental problem. Congress seems unable to act unless confronted with a crisis at the last minute -- and even then, they can't agree on anything significant or substantive that actually deals with long-term problems. Maybe they should just stay on vacation and spare us the rhetoric. But as the clock ticks to New Year's, they should have a guilty conscience that might inspire a genuine resolution to reform. Because they created this crisis and now seem unable to fix it. We're the ones who will feel the pain. It is an epic act of self-sabotage."


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