11 November, 2008

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

Let's start off today with a rare bit of Republicons doing the right thing:

Although Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) might possibly have just been re-elected in the wake of his felony convictions, he could soon find himself with a lot less clout in Washington, thanks to a potential vote by Senate GOPers to expel him from their caucus.

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) is calling for the motion to eject Stevens from the caucus, a move that would strip him of his committee assignments and the ability to vote in Senate GOP decisions like leadership elections.

But Stevens would still be a U.S. Senator with the ability to vote on the floor, as it would require a two-thirds vote of the whole chamber to expel him, just in case it turns out he was re-elected -- though an expulsion vote is quite possible, too. Votes are still being counted in Stevens' race and he has a lead of a little over 3,000 votes with 90,000 ballots left to be processed.

Jim DeMint, thankfully, has enough respect for the Senate to ensure that convicted felons don't serve. Let's see if any of the other Senate Cons follow his lead. They should - their darling Sarah Palin could end up being a candidate for Stevens' replacement. Of course, that brings to mind the question of which is more damaging for Senate prestige: an overabundance of ignorant fuckwits, or just dirty rotten scoundrels?

Alas, our best shot at political comedy has been shot down:

To the disappointment of Democrats everywhere, Newt Gingrich has decided not to seek the chairmanship of the Republican National Committee.

"A number of people have asked me to consider running for Republican National Committee chair. They have been very flattering, and I am very honored by their support," he said.

"However, my job as an American first is to develop a tri-partisan approach to developing solutions for the challenges we face. I use the word tri-partisan to designate the concept of attracting Democrats, Republicans, and independents to solutions that unify most Americans."

Yes, if there's one thing we know about Newt Gingrich, it's that he has no use for politics of partisanship and ideology.

Perish the thought.

Having Newt as head of the RNC would've just been too amusing. Ah, well. I suppose they could still tap Sarah Palin, eh?

If anyone was wondering whether the election of an African-American president would force the GOP to maybe try to keep the racism a little bit under wraps, the answer is no:

In last week’s election, Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss (R) received more votes than his Democratic challenger Jim Martin but fell 0.2 percent short of the 50-percent-plus needed under Georgia law to win the election. Both candidates are expected to be headed for a runoff
election next month.

Last night on Fox News, when asked why he wasn’t able to “close the deal” with Georgia voters on election day, Chambliss said that because of Barack Obama, there was a “high percentage of minority vote” and that his campaign wasn’t “able to get enough of our folks out” to vote...

Feel free to go read the context, but it really doesn't help. Ol' Saxby still sees the world very much in terms of black and white.

Laura Ingraham, on the other hand, seems to be seeing the world through insanity-tinted glasses:

Sunday on CNN Late Edition, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA) encouraged his party to “not to get stuck in ideology, in the ideological corners” and instead offer broader solutions to America’s most pressing problems, especially climate change and the health care crisis. “Let’s clean our ocean, let’s clean our water, let’s clean our air, let’s create health care reform, let’s pass the budget, let’s fix the budget deficit and the structural deficit.”

The comments infuriated right-wing radio host Laura Ingraham, who railed against Schwarzenegger yesterday. She said she had “never, never, ever gotten the whole Schwarzenegger thing,” finally declaring California should “secede” from the United States:

INGRAHAM: Arnold Schwarzenegger is embarrassing on so many levels. … Every time we look to moderate to liberal Republicans for answers, we’re disappointed. Not only are we disappointed, we end up getting shafted. […]

I read this and my blood boils. Left coast? I mean, just secede already, at this point. Okay. Secede already. I can’t take it anymore from California.

Note that her definition of "moderate Republican" excludes anyone who wants to fix budgets, fix health care, or fix the climate. Basically, if rational ideas are put forward to fix problems we can all agree need to be fixed, Laura and her followers are against them.

These fuckwits need to be kept as far away from the reins of power as possible. I don't want to see them in charge of so much as a bake sale.

This kind of bullshit could be why the country isn't quivering in terror at the idea of the Dems being in charge of, well, everything:

In the closing days of the campaign, lots and lots of Repubs sounded dire warnings about the liberal stranglehold one-party Dem rule would put on Washington. But it turns out that a solid majority of voters rather likes the idea:

In the CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released Tuesday, 59 percent of those questioned said Democratic control of both the executive and legislative branches will be good for the country, compared with 38 percent saying such one-party control will be bad.

Obviously Dems are enjoying the fruits of the GOP's badly damaged brand here. More broadly, though, it suggests that Dems have a big opportunity.

I hear America singing: "I can haz adults, pleez?" The answer from the GOP: "U can haz krazy!"

Voters heard all kinds of bizarre rhetoric from Republicans about Barack Obama during the campaign, but one hoped that it was just the result of poor character and campaign desperation. It's not as if party leaders and elected officials actually believe such stupidity; they were just willing to repeat nonsense to win votes.

It's more troubling when these folks start accepting their own talking points as true.

A Republican congressman from Georgia said Monday he fears that President-elect Obama will establish a Gestapo-like security force to impose a Marxist dictatorship.

"It may sound a bit crazy and off base, but the thing is, he's the one who proposed this national security force," Rep. Paul Broun said of Obama in an interview Monday with The Associated Press. "I'm just trying to bring attention to the fact that we may -- may not, I hope not -- but we may have a problem with that type of philosophy of radical socialism or Marxism." [...]

"That's exactly what Hitler did in Nazi Germany and it's exactly what the Soviet Union did," Broun said. "When he's proposing to have a national security force that's answering to him, that is as strong as the U.S. military, he's showing me signs of being Marxist." [...]

"We can't be lulled into complacency," Broun said. "You have to remember that Adolf Hitler was elected in a democratic Germany. I'm not comparing him to Adolf Hitler. What I'm saying is there is the potential of going down that road."

Now, if I'd read this perspective on some right-wing blog, I'd assume it was just some random nut. But Paul Broun is a member of Congress, speaking on the record, to a national news outlet.

It's tempting to ignore the point of Broun's madness, but in case there's any confusion here, his paranoia about a "national security force" that answers to Obama is apparently a reference to speech Obama delivered over the summer about, as the AP noted, "a civilian reserve corps that
could handle postwar reconstruction efforts such as rebuilding infrastructure -- an idea endorsed by the Bush administration."

Does Obama have a transition team in charge of making sure there's no sharp objects lying around where these fucktards can get to them? There's a real danger here they could hurt themselves and others. Oh, and be sure to child-proof all the outlets.

How long before they become such a laughingstock that even the insane people won't elect them?


Cujo359 said...

Without any committee assignments, Stevens will have considerably less influence, which probably means he'll get considerably less pork to take back home to Alaska.

Serves Alaska right, I'd say.

It's good that someone in DC possesses a modicum of shame. That it wasn't Congressional Democrats tells you why things don't look too rosy to me right now.

Woozle said...

Re Obama's volunteer "national security force": Meanwhile, back in reality, Bush has been setting up a domestic "homeland security" force using actual military -- as you may have already mentioned; I just thought it important to point out the contrast. Neocon reality inversion, anyone?