10 November, 2008

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

Can we please just kick Joe Lieberman out now? The little bastard gets more ridiculous with every passing day:

Joe Lieberman, who is locked in a fight to hold onto his Senate Homeland Security Committee chairmanship, is lending his name to a lurid sequel of the documentary Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against The West. That film, which was distributed through newspaper inserts
and mass mailings to 28 million swing-state households during the campaign, was
denounced by religious leaders for painting all Muslims with the same broad brush and for its cartoonish portrayal of Islamic terrorism.

The new documentary, called The Third Jihad: Radical Islam's Vision For America, focuses on the "hidden war against the freedom and values we all take for granted" being waged by radical Islamists trying to take down America from within. Among other things, the film warns of the "subtle dangers of non-violent cultural jihad and its influence in America's universities."

If this was a documentary by reputable folks who actually did serious research and weren't simply scaremongering, it might be forgivable. But this is just more "Moozlimz iz eviilll!" malarkey that has no place in our national discourse. And Joe Liberman wants to put his name to it, and claim he's our valliant defender on national security?

Please. He's just a fucking Bush clone.

Which is why I think Obama's wrong to defend him:

President-elect Barack Obama has informed party officials that he wants Joe Lieberman to continue caucusing with the Democrats in the 111th Congress, Senate aides tell the Huffington Post.

Obama's decision could tie the hands of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who has been negotiating to remove Lieberman as chair of the Homeland Security and Government Reform committee while keeping him within the caucus. Lieberman has insisted that he will split from the Democrats if his homeland security position is stripped.

Aides to the president-elect did not return requests for comment. Senate officials were unclear whether Obama would be comfortable
with Lieberman maintaining his current committee post.

Really, I understand the let-bygones-be-bygones mentality, but do we really need to keep some insane little shit in the caucus? I breathlesslessly await the reasoning. (And, yes, there are a few wee things I don't see eye-to-eye with Obama on. This one isn't desperately important, but it's bloody irritating.)

Speaking of self-important, insane little shits...

Disgraced former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R) has an item in the far-right Washington Times today last week, acknowledging how impressed he is with "liberal infrastructure," which he believes now "dwarfs conservatism's in size, scope, and sophistication," and will be "setting and helping to impose the national agenda for the coming years." It's a remarkable turn of events, given the head-start conservatives had in establishing an intellectual infrastructure
over the years.

He notes that progressive groups and Barack Obama's impressive fundraising operation is "impressive," but for the right, it's also "intimidating." DeLay, however, has a suggestion on how the right can and should proceed.

Between now and [2012], Republicans must come to terms with their organizational shortcomings and finally become gain the kind of dynamic political party that won stirring victories in 1994 and 2000. Our party must expand its organization to include our coalition groups in the ways Democrats have with theirs. The Coalition for a Conservative Majority, an organization I helped start in 2006, is trying to pull conservative organizations back together after too many years of internecine squabbling. Only under conservative government will groups like the National Rifle Association,
U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and National Right to Life Committee receive a fair hearing of their views; it's time they started working together.

Conservatism's leading donors must look beyond contributing only to traditional channels like the RNC or campaign committees, and open up to also funding outside organizations that can do what the Democrats' Shadow Party is already doing. New resources must be tapped, and just as importantly, coordinated.... We need now a new, 21st-century political coalition to remind them of that fact, and to restore its faith in actual conservatives.

Is it me, or is this shamelessly self-serving, even by DeLay's standards? He has an 800-word op-ed in the Times, the point of which seems to be that his organization is the key vehicle for conservatives to get back on track. Indeed, DeLay seems to argue that conservative donors should worry less about investing in the Republican party and candidates, and concentrate on financing a coordinating entity ... like the one he just happens to run.

Corruption marches on. I think Delay in his greediness is missing a key point here: progressive groups like Move-on succeeded because they didn't funnel their contributions to the pockets of greedy assholes. But good luck with your movement, there, Tom.

Republicons keep looking for hope in all the wrong places:

It looks like Bill Kristol may be making good on his threat to revive the Project for the New American Century. Since May, visitors to PNAC’s website were informed that “this account has been suspended,” but
now the
website is back up, though it does not seem to have been updated with any new material.

PNAC’s militaristic ultra-nationalism is implicated in some of the worst mischief of the Bush years, from the “global war on terror” to the invasion of Iraq to President Bush’s support for Israel’s refusal to negotiate with the Palestinians. Many of its members served as advisers to John McCain’s presidential campaign. Bill Kristol is still listed as PNAC’s chairman, and is known to be “exceptionally close” to the senator.

McCain’s top foreign policy aide, Randy Scheunemann, serves as PNAC’s project director. McCain spokesperson Michael Goldfarb is also listed as a PNAC research associate.

Fantastic idea. When Americans want change, revive the group that helped bring about the last eight years of misery. That's sure to be a winning effort, there.

And Cons certainly aren't getting any saner:

Yesterday, Meet The Press moderator Tom Brokaw asked Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) if a “massive overhaul of the American healthcare system” is possible “given the state of the economy.” Before Clyburn could answer, Brokaw’s other guest, Sen. Mel Martinez (R-FL), injected that health care reform “is precisely what we should not be doing” and suggested that the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) “was one of the most divisive issues of the last Congress“:

SEN. MARTINEZ: Well, it, it just can’t be. I mean, this is precisely what we should not be doing. SCHIP was one of the most divisive issues of the last Congress, where there was no consensus, there was no common ground.


As Clyburn correctly pointed out, SCHIP is “not a divisive program.” In fact, before President Bush vetoed two separate bills that would have expanded children’s health insurance, Congress passed the program by overwhelming majorities.

If that's their idea of a divisive issue... wow. Just, wow.

So my question is this: how the fuck do you possibly work with people this detached from reality?

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