14 October, 2008

Dems Behaving Badly

I spend the majority of my time on this blog wielding the Smack-o-Matic with vigor against the Republicon party, and very little of it beating on Dems. This is because Dems don't do outrageous shit in nearly the quantity as Cons. But no political party is filled with saints, and every once in a while, erstwhile Dems present a perfect target for the tender attentions of my instrument of wrath.

Let us begin with Rep. Tim Mahoney, who replaced Republicon Mark Foley after that incident with the White House pages. He is running on the slogan "Restoring America's Values Begins at Home." Let's see how that's going:
West Palm Beach Congressman Tim Mahoney (D-FL), whose predecessor resigned in the wake of a sex scandal, agreed to a $121,000 payment to a former mistress who worked on his staff and was threatening to sue him, according to current and former members of his staff who have been briefed on the settlement, which involved Mahoney and his campaign committee.

Mahoney, who is married, also promised the woman, Patricia Allen, a $50,000 a year job for two years at the agency that handles his campaign advertising, the staffers said.
Might as well take that slogan out back and shoot it in the head. The best that can be said is that he wasn't shacking up with underage boys.

So, there's going to be an ethics investigation, and he could very well lose his seat. Tell me, how much will he be missed?

This really could not have happened to a more deserving Democratic candidate. Though he is not the most conservative member of the House caucus, Tim Mahoney is the very antithesis of a "better" Democrat. In addition to being a lousy vote, he's a terrible Democratic team player, and judging from his behavior on that tape, an arrogant, abusive scoundrel to boot.

If Mahoney loses a reelection bid that had previously been in good shape, it's likely few tears will be shed for him by the party:

U.S. Rep. Tim Mahoney calls himself a Blue Dog Democrat. Some Democrats think he's just a dog.

At a time when some Hillary Clinton loyalists would rather stick a flag pin in their eye than rally behind Barack Obama -- but are doing so anyway because of the larger goal of taking back the White House -- Mahoney can't bring himself to back the party's first African-American nominee.


"I don't owe the party anything,'' said Mahoney, whose election helped the Democrats take control of Congress. "If anybody owes anybody anything, it's [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi who owes a debt to me.''

Please. The Speaker and the party owe what, exactly, to Mahoney? He's a recalcitrant, accidental Congressman who owes his very election to a fortuitous scandal, and was one of fully thirty Democratic freshman to take Republican-held seats in 2006. For that, we should apparently bow down and worship at his feet.

Oceans of tears shall be shed, I see. A rending of garments and gnashing of teeth may be in order, even so.

It would have been nice for this scandal to break while the Dems in Florida had a chance of fielding another candidate for this election, but this puffed-up asscrunch would've been going down in 2010 anyway. With Dems like this, we might as well have Republicons.

Don't let the door hit you on the ass on the way out, there, Tim.

Right, then. Moving on. Who else deserves a good sharp smack? Oh, hey - we've got a global warming denier!

In a debate this past Saturday night, Democratic candidate Bob Conley — who is challenging incumbent Republican Lindsey Graham — firmly proclaimed his denial of global warming science. Asked if global warming is real, this is how Conley answered:

CONLEY: It really is the arrogance of man to think that we are having any effect. I’m an engineer. So I understand that we don’t have constant things in the physical world. We have a lot of fluctuations.

And when we see, looking back how we have had fluctuations in temperature over time. And when we see how when I was a child we were told whether it was global cooling. We’ve been told in recent years well there’s global warming. Well then last year was the coldest — the coolest record in the recent trend. It’s something. I don’t think we ought to be making really haphazard statements of policy or trying to change policies on this side.

Conley also claimed we need to look beyond what “special interests here in the United States” are saying, and instead consider what “academics are publishing in Europe and elsewhere.”
Ye gods, he sounds almost exactly like a Con! Why would a Dem sound like a Con, pray tell?

A T[hink] P[rogress] reader notes that Conley was very recently a Republican. "Conley supported Republican Ron Paul in the January GOP presidential primary and was a member of the Horry County Republican executive committee before seeking the Democratic Party's nomination for Graham's seat."
That might be why: he was a Con up until about five minutes ago. Oh, and he's an engineer. What the fuck is up with so many engineers being global warming deniers and in general falling for pseudoscience?

If Lindsey Graham wasn't such a fuckwit, I'd say we're better off keeping him. He, at least, doesn't deny global warming's human causes. However, this is the same idiot who proudly proclaimed he would've voted against a waterboarding ban, was part of John McCain's waltz through a Bagdad market, and called Joe Lieberman a national treasure. It seems South Carolina has the choice between Dumb and Dumber. Fortunate them.

Speaking of Dems who don't quite get the whole need to take drastic action againt global warming thing...
As the 110th Congress comes to a close, two of the legislators in charge of climate legislation in the House of Representatives yesterday released a draft climate plan. Rep. John Dingell (D-MI), the powerful chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA), chair of the Energy and Air Quality subcommittee, have primary jurisdiction in the House for legislation that puts mandatory limits on carbon emissions. Although such legislation has been a top priority for Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) since she became Speaker of the House in January 2007, Dingell and Boucher declared they would not be rushed, instead working on the 2007 energy bill, holding several hearings and releasing four white papers from October to May of this year. Dingell’s district is in the heart of the U.S. auto industry; Boucher represents Virginia’s coal country.
You know what's coming, don't you? Yes, you do. The Men Who Would Not Be Rushed have put forth a draft that puts off significant reductions in emissions until after 2020 (i.e., after it's already too late to stop Mother Earth from frying in our greenhouse gasses), would "outlaw any state or regional cap and trade program," and three out of four of their carbon permit scenarios basically give the store away to polluters. They're doing a fantastic job for their friends in the pollution industry, not such a great one for people interested in having a liveable planet in the coming decades.

The Wonk Room's verdict?

Dingell and Boucher believe that low-income families must be protected, that industry should receive pollution cost protection and new technology support, and that all else is up for debate. Over half of their Democratic colleagues indicated last week a very different set of priorities, that focuses not on protecting polluters but on respecting scientific urgency, delivering economic equity, and capturing the energy opportunity.
I'll take that second set of priorities, thanks ever so much. Especially the "respecting scientific urgency" bit.

My darlings, it is not so much the quantity of the Democrats as the quality that we'll have to be looking toward in the coming years. Majorities are nice, but not terribly useful when a sizeable portion of your majority are Honorary Cons. And we mustn't forget, in the heady rush of sweeping the Cons out of power, that those we install in their stead need to be held up to a high standard of performance. Power and big corporate money corrupts Dems as well as Cons, just to a somewhat lesser degree (mostly because the Cons have had most of the power and the corporate cash lately). The sovereign remedy against this is letting them know, in no uncertain terms, that we're watching. And we've got Act Blue and Accountability Now there to hit 'em where it hurts when they fail to act like Dems.

We put them there. We can remove them. They answer to us.

It's that's simple.

1 comment:

Cujo359 said...

I'm betting that Conley wasn't much of an engineer, at least once he got out of his comfort zone. The mathematics and the evidence are clear - the world is warming up, and part of the reason is that there is too much greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. Talk about fluctuations all you want, but most of the fluctuations these days are fluctuations toward higher temperatures.