Happy Hour's back, but I can't say it's actually happy. Reading political news lately has been one long experience in repetitious dumbfuckery. I'd hoped Dems would extract their heads from their asses after the initial shock of seeing a Teabagging shitheel elected to Ted Kennedy's seat, but no such luck - they're still acting like the world's ended. This tells me that there's far too many who are merely using the loss of one Senate seat as an excuse to do what they've wanted to do all along: take the coward's way out.
And this means we'll probably have Cons in charge of the country, merrily finishing the demolition they'd begun under Bush, because the American electorate isn't wise enough to primary the stupid fucks causing the current problems and elect people who can actually get useful shit done.
I'm not going to amplify the noise. We all know how fucking useless Dems are being at this moment, and so I will merely direct your attention to Steve Benen's manifesto and be done with it. There's their road map out of the wilderness. If they're too stupid to use it, and if the Democratic base is too stupid to use primary challenges to their advantage, there's not much I can do about it.
But I do want to highlight this bit o' advice: if Cons want to obstruct, then by all means, Dems should let them obstruct. Fuck cloture, let's see some actual filibusters (h/t):
Actually making the 41 fucks standing in the way of the majority's will stand up there and actually filibuster everything they want to filibuster rather than just capitulating to their every threat, thus pretending this democracy can't pass legislation without 60 votes, might actually show the public exactly who's at the root of the problem. Yes, Dems are acting the perfect spineless sissies, but Cons are the ones actually fucking the country over. As per usual.
Gov. Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania has some advice for his fellow Democrats skittish about health care reform in the wake of the Republican upset in that Massachusetts special election.
“My message to those Democrats is don’t be afraid,” Rendell told ABC News. “Listen, you got elected because you wanted to do something to change the quality of people’s lives -- here we have a chance to do something historic and if it means some of us are going to lose because of that so be it. At least you will have lost your office fighting for something and accomplishing something.”
He tells his fellow Democrats in Washington, DC, to “get that best bill as strong and as tight as you can then send it back to the Senate and let’s see if they (Republicans) are going to filibuster.”
“Make them filibuster,” he told ABC News in an interview for Good Morning America this morning. “Make them go before America people. Make the American people look at a modern day spectacle of what a filibuster would entail. I think it’s time to call their bluff. I think it is too easy to throw up your hands and say, ‘We don’t have 60 votes.’ Remember its 51 votes for passage, they have to filibuster. Make them filibuster.” [emphasis emphatically added]
So, no more filibuster 2.0. Let's get back to basics. It'll at least be good for the adult diaper industry. And it could put a downward crimp in this chart:
And as for the endless whining, what Greg said:
House Dems say they’re frustrated with Obama for not forcing them to pass the Senate health bill with a fix later. Dear House Dems: If you want to pass the Senate bill, stop whining about Obama and pass the Senate bill.
Grow up, grow a spine, and grow a fucking pair. Then perhaps people will want to vote for you.
Moving on. When I talk about electing better Dems, that's a little vague. You know what we're looking for: progressive champions who aren't afraid to mix it up, who come out swinging rather than go down cowering, and who don't kick sand in the base's face in a craven attempt to win the approval of "centrists" and the right. And I can tell you exactly who we're not looking for. His name's Harold Ford:
Sorry, Harold. The Dem caucus doesn't need a gigantic embarrassment on the level of Michael Steele. We've already got one. His name's Joe Lieberman. And I do indeed hope he ends up running as a Con, for several reasons: it would be highly entertaining to watch the Teabaggers attack him, it might prove to his bestest buddies that he really truly is a two-faced fucktard, his inevitable defeat would end his self-important grandstanding, and it would remove a stain from the Dem caucus. I know, Harold, I know you think you'd be the ideal man to step into Lieberman's shoes, but those shoes are getting taken out back and burned just as soon as we can extract Lieberman's feet from them. Thank you for playing, now go the fuck home.
Ford identifies "four simple steps we must take immediately to put us, and the nation, on a better course." The list includes dropping the kind of comprehensive health care reform that Democrats have already voted for -- he thinks protections for those with pre-existing conditions can be done on its own, proving he hasn't done his homework -- and also promotes passing immigration reform.
But the real fun was noticing how the other two of the four points complement one another. Ford, for example, believes Democrats should cut taxes some more...
[C]ut taxes for businesses -- big and small -- and find innovative ways to get Americans back to work. We can start by giving any companies that are less than five years old an exemption from payroll taxes for six months; extending the current capital gains and dividend tax rates through 2012; giving permanent tax credits for businesses that invest in research and development; and reducing the top corporate tax rate to 25 percent from 35 percent.
...and a few paragraphs later, Ford goes on to encourage Democrats to focus on deficit reduction.
[W]e need to address budget deficits now rather than waiting for some ideal future economic situation.
That cutting taxes makes deficit reduction largely impossible doesn't seem to bother the former congressman, probably because he's not especially serious about public policy.
Most of the focus of this past week has been on Dems, considering they're acting like absolute fools, but that doesn't mean Cons have stopped acting stupid. Far from it. And it seems the stupidity is deeply ingrained indeed (h/t):
The "democrat" process. How very precious. Almost as precious as handing al Qaeda a propaganda victory:If you're the kind of person who reads this blog, you're probably already familiar with the churlish Republican practice of refusing to call the Democratic Party by its true name. Disiplined GOPers will instead refer to "the Democrat Party," or "the Democrat agenda." But yesterday on ABC 's "This Week," Republican Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina, whom Michelle Cottle recently profiled in TNR's pages, took this practice to a comically nonsensical extreme:
DEMINT: We can't promote freedom and democracy by repressing free speech. That's not the way to do it. I think people should be able to come together in associations and organizations and spend money to get their message out. I think that's going to promote the democrat process, instead of really what we've got now, is where you essentially give the labor unions carte blanche over our system, grassroots as well as spending.
The democrat process? DeMint has so thoroughly conditioned himself to avoid the label "Democratic" that he apparently now has trouble uttering the word even when it comes with a small 'd.'
I know that far too many of my fellow Americans find thinking a difficult and distasteful activity, but you don't have to think long and hard before realizing that handing the reins of power back to this bunch of freaks is a horrible idea, and best avoided.After the failed Christmas terrorist plot, Republicans and conservative detractors of the administration worked quickly to characterize the unsuccessful attack as a "success" -- a word both Brit Hume and Bill Kristol used soon after the decidedly unsuccessful incident. The point, of course, was to try to further undermine the administration.
Adam Serwer noted this morning that the rhetoric has, not surprisingly, bolstered terrorist propaganda.
Alleged underwear bomber Umar Abdulmutallab didn't hurt anyone but himself, and he was quickly subdued by unarmed civilian passengers. But the Republican reaction -- hyping the failed bombing as a victory -- was so successful that Osama bin Laden claimed the failed operation in a recent videotaped message.
Marc Lynch added:
Osama bin Laden has released a new tape to al-Jazeera claiming responsibility for the attempted Christmas Day bombing, linking it to Gaza and declaring that America would not be secure until Palestinians were truly secure. Bin Laden's ability to frame an entire tape around a failed bombing attempt demonstrates how badly the American public's over-reaction played into al-Qaeda's hands. It should not be surprising that bin Laden would claim responsibility on behalf of al-Qaeda Central or threaten new attacks, whether or not it's actually true. [emphasis added]
The point isn't to characterize the Cheneys and other GOP attack dogs as terrorist sympathizers; it's to note that, in their zeal to weaken Obama's presidency, they're inadvertently giving U.S. enemies exactly what they're looking for.
Alas, I fear even thinking short and easy may prove too strenuous for voters.