If It Walks Like a Duck

lame_duck.pngThe origin of the phrase ‘lame duck’ had nothing to do with politics.  It started out (1761, UK) as London Stock Exchange slang for someone defaulting on his debts, then was reapplied (1863, US) to mean an ineffectual politician in any office.  In this country, the first public usage with respect to a sitting President seems to date back to May of 1926, when the Wisconsin newspaper, the Appleton Post-Crescent ran a piece titled, ‘Making a lame duck of Calvin Coolidge’  (CBS News November 29, 2013).

Currently, the phrase is most commonly used to refer to a President who is either not running or has been defeated for another term; and the period usually refers to the time between the November elections and the swearing-in ceremony in January (10 weeks).  Arguably, the GOP has been trying to make President Obama a lame duck president since before he was inaugurated for his first term.  And now they are deceptively trying to convince the public that because the President is in his last year, he is, in fact, simply a lame duck and should not bother doing anything.  This boils down to saying that, even though the President was elected to serve a four year term, it is really only three years because the last 25% should not matter.  Using an extension of this logic, does the person who works an eight hour day have a legitimate claim that for the last 25% of their day, they should not be doing anything?

But, wait, we are talking about a Congress that, much like its recent predecessors, has made working as little as possible into an art form!


The table below reflects Senators for whom this could be their last term.  Some are retiring/leaving the Senate:  some are running for another term.  Obviously, those in red are Republicans, in blue Democrats.  Names in italics are those who are retiring or leaving the Senate.

Kelly Ayotte (R, NH)

Michael Bennett (D, CO)

Richard Blumenthal (D, CT)

Roy Blunt (R, MO)

Richard Burr (R, NC)

John Boozman (R, AR)

Barbara Boxer (D, CA)

Dan Coats (R, IN)

Mike Crapo (R, ID)

Chuck Grassley (R, IA)

John Hoeven (R, ND)

Johnny Isakson (R, GA)

Ron Johnson (R, WI)

Mark Kirk (R, IL)

James Langford (R, OK)

Patrick Leahy (D, VT)

Mike Lee (R, UT)

John McCain (R, AR)

Barbara Mikulski (D, MD)

Jerry Moran (R, KS)

Patty Murray (D, WA)

Lisa Murkowski (R, AK)

Rand Paul (R, KY)

Rob Portman (R, OH)

Harry Reid (D, NV)

Marco Rubio (R, FL)

Brian Schatz (D, HI)

Chuck Schumer (D, NY)

Tim Scott (R, SC)

Richard Shelby (R, AL)

John Thune (R, SD)

Pat Toomey (R, PA)

David Vitter (R, LA)

Ron Wyden (D, OR) 

Hmmm….!  So, following, the idea about politicians nearing the ends of their term, should this group also be urged to stop working and rest on their laurels?  Admittedly, there are some names on this list for whom doing nothing will not be a problem.  Even more startling, this idea would cover the entire House of Representatives.

Yet again, the GOP is using its brand of brain-washing messaging to dupe the public into coming to faulty conclusions.  If you actually think about this, you'll quickly realize how ridiculous the argument really is.  There is definitely something lame happening now, but it neither quacks nor waddles -  it OBSTRUCTS!

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