26 November, 2008

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

George W. Bush: clueless to the bitter end:

President and First Lady Bush recently sent Jewish community leaders invitations to a Hanukkah reception at the White House next month. But as the New York Post reports, the invitations “raised more than a few eyebrows” because the image on them was that of a “Clydesdale horse hauling a Christmas fir along the snow-dappled drive to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave”...

Laura Bush's spokesperson said that detail had just "slipped through the cracks." So did everything else, like defending the Constitution, governing sensibly, and understanding just what it is that a president is supposed to do.

George W. Bush: useless to the bitter end:

Ryan Avent considers what could have been.

[George W. Bush] very easily could have asked Congress to send him a stimulus bill, even a modest one, amid an intensification of what will likely be the worst recession in thirty years, if not longer. It would have made a difference. It would have made the season a little more bearable for the growing numbers of unemployed, and it would have made Obama's task a little less daunting.

Instead, he's spending his waning days weakening environmental rules, helping his cronies get jobs in the professional bureaucracy, and preparing his pardons. What a stupid, despicable man. History can't judge him too cruelly.

I am, not surprisingly, sympathetic to this perspective. But reading it reminded me of something: for all the talk in far-right circles about Bush not being conservative enough, some of his most painful disasters came because he refused to stray from his conservative ideas.

This is probably a little too casual an analysis, but it seems this touches on one of the more glaring differences between Bush and Reagan -- both instinctually backed conservative ideas driven entirely by far-right ideology, but Reagan reversed course when those ideas failed. Bush didn't.

Bush is like an ox: when he gets settled into a routine, he can't get out of it. He doesn't seem to have the capacity for actual thinking, much less changing the thing that can loosely be termed his "mind." It's a good thing we only have another couple of months' worth of this fucktard. I still have no idea why we elected such a fuckwit twice.

And he's still doing his level best to ensure America can't confront the climate crisis:

The Bush White House, though in the shadows of President-elect Barack Obama’s transition effort, continues to subvert the rule of law and impede action on global warming — in other words, Bush isn’t just pardoning turkeys. Last week, the White House emailed mayors asking them to oppose the Environmental Protection Agency’s draft proposal for greenhouse gas regulations. According to the Washington Post, the email by Jeremy J. Broggi, associate director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs reminded mayors to formally submit complaints to the EPA:

At the time, President Bush warned that this was the wrong way to regulate emissions. Chairman John D. Dingell called it “a glorious mess.” And many of you contacted us to let us know how harmful this rule would be to the economies of the cities and counties you serve.

Broggi, a young Dick Cheney protegé, also linked to a November 20 U.S. Chamber of Commerce blog post by Bill Kovacs that makes the absurd claim regulation of carbon dioxide under the Clean Air Act “will operate as a de facto moratorium on major construction and infrastructure projects.” Broggi’s lobbying against his own government is nothing new — last year the Department of Transportation lobbied Congress to oppose global warming regulations.

To avoid action on global warming despite a direct order from the Supreme Court, Bush’s people have brazenly flouted their Constitutional obligation to faithfully execute the law, ignoring science, ignoring Congressional subpoenas, even ignoring emails from the EPA. Just as former attorney general Alberto Gonzales claimed the Geneva Convention’s ban on torture was “quaint,” EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson called the Clean Air Act “outdated” and “ill-suited” to the task of regulating greenhouse gas emissions.

However, it is the approach of the likes of George Bush, Stephen Johnson, Bill Kovacs, and John Dingell to the climate crisis that is “outdated,” “ill-suited,” and “a glorious mess” — not laws like the Clean Air Act.

Someone tell me again why we didn't impeach this sorry son of a bitch.

I'm thankful for many things this Thanksgiving. One of them is that we will have a man with an actual brain and the ability to use it in charge. But there will, alas, be no end to stupidity and Republicon snivelling. Some of the enfants terrible are headed back to Congress:

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) reportedly told colleagues at a Senate prayer breakfast last week that she feels "lingering resentment toward Democratic senators who campaigned against her." Collins reportedly confessed that that she had "trouble forgiving colleagues" who campaigned against her.

It marks an interesting twist in the tension between the two parties -- now, it appears, Democrats are just too mean.

I'm afraid this is pretty silly. Members of one party, as a rule, want to help defeat members of the other party. This does not make them Big Meanies. If Democratic senators traveled to Maine to smear Collins with sleazy attacks and vicious personal lies, I could understand holding a grudge. But as far as I can tell, Dems primarily accused Collins of voting with Bush too much of the time. This hardly constitutes a cheap shot. Indeed, it happens to be true.

But when the truth hurts, Cons don't buck up and face it like courageous human beings. They throw tantrums and start obstructing anything and everything in sight.

Such as health care reform:

The Washington Times fired off two separate editorials today criticizing incoming Health and Human Services secretary Tom Daschle’s Federal Health Board initiative and progressive health care reform. Universal health care “would also reduce consumer choice and drive many private insurers out of the market,” the Times claimed:

Although his board would technically have no say on the 68 percent of health care that is provided through the private sector, Mr. Daschle modestly adds: “Congress could opt to go further with the Board’s recommendations. It could, for example, link the tax exclusion for health insurance to insurance that complies with the Board’s recommendation.” Those last 19 words would spell the end of independent private-sector health care in America. [Tony Blankley]

It would result in massive increases in federal spending, higher federal taxes and taxpayer debt being passed on to our children and grandchildren. It would also reduce consumer choice and drive many private insurers out of the market, leaving all but the wealthiest Americans with little choice but to receive care from the resulting government monopoly. [Washington Times]

The attacks are certainly reminiscent of the conservative effort to mischaractarize President Clinton’s health care reforms. In 1993, the Heritage Foundation labeled Clinton’s plan “a massive top-down, bureaucratic command-and-control system that would meticulously govern virtually every aspect of the delivery and the financing of health care services for the American people.” An influential editorial published in the Wall Street Journal by the Manhattan Institute similarly described the Clinton plan as a “coercive” proposal that “takes personal health choices away from patients and families.” [Health Plan’s Devilish Details, WSJ, 9/30/1993]

Fifteen years later, conservative talking points — however consistent — still don’t match reality.

I'm having a heart attack from not surprised. You know, it would have been nice if once - just once - the Cons could act like grown-ups instead of stomping their feet and screaming until they can't breathe just because the world doesn't work the way they want it to.

While I'm wishing for things I'll never have, I'd like a pony, too, please.


Cujo359 said...

Someone tell me again why we didn't impeach this sorry son of a bitch.

Because Congress is made up largely of equally sorry sons (and daughters) of bitches.

Last Hussar said...

Read this on the BBC today


Thought you might like to see it.