A Time For Action vs. A Time For Obstruction
Big Tent Democrat once again puts his finger on the essential flaw in the Democrats legislative strategy.
There are times when the job of a political body is to be active in producing legislation (in the case of Congress) or enacting policy (in the case of the President). But there are times, such as the present situation, when one political body (the Congress) simply cannot be proactive in its work because there is a roadblock in the way (Bush).
Such times require, as BTD points out, a different strategy. If you can't pro-actively push forward the legislation/policy that you want then at least you can minimize the damage of the policy/legislation you hate by becoming a roadblock yourself.
Think Clinton after 1994. His ability to pro-actively enact policy was severely limited by the Republican congress. Clinton recognized this limitation and he worked within it by acting as a brake on the unwise policies of Congress. The resulting shutdown of the federal government effectively derailed the Gingrich program.
The fundamental mistake Democrats have made since 2006 is thinking that they had the power, let alone the mandate, to act pro-actively. They were (and are) naive. They make the same mistake Gingrich made in underestimating the stopping power of the Presidency. Furthermore, they didn't understand that the people didn't elect them to pass a minimum wage, expand S-CHIP and do many other things (even though they might approve of those things). The people elected the Democrats to put the brakes on George W. Bush.
There are times that call for action and there are times that call for obstruction. Now is one of the later times.
So start obstructing dammit!