In the New York Times today, Rep. Deborah Pryce, the fourth highest-ranking member of the House Republican leadership, bemoans the lack of Democratic support for GOP legislation:
Congressional Republican leaders, while acknowledging the unsightliness of the last few days of all-night debate, floor fights and mop-up sessions, expressed satisfaction with what they accomplished if not how it looked.
"When you have a narrow majority with absolutely no help, absolutely no help, from the other side, it is never very pretty," said Representative Deborah Pryce of Ohio, chairwoman of the House Republican Conference.
Give me a break. As Ron Brownstein (among others) recently pointed out, House Republicans have repeatedly chosen to pass divisive legislation on narrow, party-line votes rather than seeking consensus:
The essence of the modern Republican governing strategy is self-reliance. The goal is to resolve all issues in a manner that solidifies their political coalition. The means is to pass legislation primarily by unifying Republicans, thus shrinking opportunities for Democrats to exert influence. This approach represents the political equivalent to what the North Korean government calls Juche: a strategy of maximizing independence by minimizing dependence on outside forces.
Indeed, Dennis Hastert has explicitly stated that the House is being run according to the wishes of the Republican caucus:
Hastert's position, which is drawing fire from Democrats and some outside groups, is the latest step in a decade-long process of limiting Democrats' influence and running the House virtually as a one-party institution. Republicans earlier barred House Democrats from helping to draft major bills such as the 2003 Medicare revision and this year's intelligence package. Hastert (R-Ill.) now says such bills will reach the House floor, after negotiations with the Senate, only if "the majority of the majority" supports them.
Running the House this way and then complaining about the lack of "help" from Democrats is beyond absurd.