We're Keeping Tabs Now: The GOP Lame Duck Scorecard


Don't Ask, Don't Tell

A loss, I suppose, but a sustainable one -- call it a draw. The DADT policy was stupid when it was enacted by President Bill Clinton, and it's been stupid ever since. The Republicans who voted for this can at least say they've ended a policy which never kept gays out of the military, just forced them to commit a federal crime in order to serve. If it turns out the new policy affects combat readiness then it can be revisited. In the meantime, from a political standpoint, neither side gained or lost much with this one.

The DREAM Act

A win, a big win. More like a nightmare, the DREAM act was a back door amnesty for illegal aliens. It would have allowed illegals who came here with their parents before they were 16 to apply for legal status after spending two years in the military -- or college. Few Republicans had any issue with the former condition, but many did with the latter. The big problem with the act was it would allow them to bring their families here legally as well. Meaning hundreds of thousands, or millions, of illegals would suddenly be legal.

Childhood Nutrition Bill

A loss. School districts nationwide, often already facing huge budget cuts, are now stuck with more regulations which will drive up costs. As PJM reported late last month, it is a welfare expansion, adding $4.5 billion to the cost of school lunches, and the six cents per meal additional funding it adds will not cover the expenses of the school districts. It also gives the federal government the power to enroll children in the school free and reduced price lunch programs automatically using state Medicaid rolls, without so much as asking their parents if they want them in the programs at all.

Final tally: 4-2 Democrats, with two draws. There were actually several other wins for Obama, a couple of them regulatory -- including the nightmare of FCC control of the Internet -- but these are the big ones. Fortunately the Republicans are in better shape to oppose some of this for the next two years, and may be able to repair or at least mitigate some of the damage these bills will cause.

But they've got to do better than they did during the lame duck session. And we'll be seeing to that.