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How Republicans Turned the Unprecedented into the New Normal

February 25, 2016

With the 2016 election season now well underway, now is a good time to test your knowledge of modern presidential history. Which of the following events do you remember?
(a) In fall 2002, California Rep. Nancy Pelosi invited French President Jacques Chirac to address a joint session of Congress to warn the American people against President Bush's looming invasion of Iraq.
(b) After President Reagan tripled the national debt in just eight years, Congressional Democrats in late 1988 threatened to block his 17th increase of the debt ceiling.
(c) In early 2008, Democrat and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told MSNBC host Rachel Maddow that no Bush Appeals Court nominee would be confirmed, and no Supreme Court vacancy would be filled until after the next president was inaugurated.
(d) Democrats promised they would shut down the government in fall 2005 unless President Bush came up with a way to "pay for" his unfunded $400 billion Medicare Part D prescription drug program. The shutdown was averted only when federal dollars for its permanent risk corridor program ware slashed.
(e) In December 2002, Senate Democrats refused to confirm Tom Ridge or any Bush selection to head the new Department of Homeland Security unless civil service protections were restored for DHS employees.
Of course, none of these episodes ever happened. But if you somehow recalled one or more, you might just be a Republican--or a member of the American press.
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Jon Perr
Jon Perr is a technology marketing consultant and product strategist who writes about American politics and public policy.

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