As Ezra Klein observes, the lame-duck session of Congress was unusually productive. And one of the keys was that, for a change, there actually were a few Republicans who decided to be, you know, sane:
The incumbent -- and the outgoing -- Republicans know that the fact that Republicans will have more power in 2011 doesn't necessarily mean that they'll use that power to pass sensible legislation. So those of them who wanted to pass sensible legislation decided to get it all done now, even if that meant handing Reid and Obama a slew of apparent victories in the lame-duck session.
Ooooooh! That wascawwy Obama! Laura Ingraham and Dick Morris were all worked up about it last night on The O'Reilly Factor, turning blue in the face
Morris: But what is crucial to focus on, is they didn't get any spending cuts in return! Had the Republicans simply said, 'No dice. This is an illegitimate, lame-duck session of people who are not entitled to vote because they were defeated. And we're not going to pass anything, and we're going to do it on January 2, and then we're going to demand spending cuts!' Which now will have to be fought for in the debt limit ceiling or the new budget. And in the meantime the deficit keeps clicking.
Morris then went on to list all the Republican Senators who were going to be facing primaries -- from Tea Party challengers, no doubt -- in the near future because of their various sins in the lame-duck session. Considering this is the guy who predicted a 100-seat gain for Republicans in the House, I'm sure they're quaking.
But I'm also struck by Morris's proposal: Evidently he doesn't care that the Constitution pretty explicitly lays out how this election stuff works. Congress keeps meeting after elections, and new members do not take office till they take their oaths. It's all there in the 20th Amendment.
Don't these guys have great reverence for the Constitution? Except, as always, the parts they find inconvenient.
Like every other Republican right now, Morris also seems to have conveniently forgotten about the 1998 lame-duck session when Republicans impeached President Clinton. Which is quite a remarkable case of amnesia.