Symbolism on Capitol Hill

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Paul Kane of the Washington Post on Republican plans for the 112th Congress:

Almost as soon as they take control of the House at noon Wednesday, Republicans will embark on a 20-day plan aimed at undoing major aspects of President Obama’s agenda as they seek to take advantage of the weeks before the Senate’s return and the president’s State of the Union address.

….Much of what Republicans do will be symbolic, given that Democrats still control the Senate and the White House. But the quick action will allow Rep. John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), the incoming speaker, and House Republicans to follow through on campaign pledges and to try to establish their party as a bulwark against what they see as an out-of-control government.

That sure brings back memories, doesn’t it? It’s almost precisely what Newt Gingrich did in 1994: win election based on a bold-sounding Contract With America, ram it all through on quick party-line votes in the House as soon as the 104th Congress convened, and then let the whole thing die. But he followed through on his campaign pledges!

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