28 January, 2010

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

Time flies when you're obsessing over a map.  Just ask Efrique how addictive it is.  So do forgive me for making this as short and sharp as possible.

All is not well in the state of Dumbfuckistan.  In fact, there seems to be a revolution brewing, courtesy of Teabagger fave Bachmann and her sidekick King:
The Sioux City Journal reports that Reps. Steve King (R-IA) and Michele Bachmann (R-MN) are teaming up to introduce a “Declaration of Health Care Independence.” “We demand Constitutional protection of the right to make our own health decisions and our own health care choices free of government denials, bureaucratic red tape and greater intergenerational debt,” reads the declaration’s “Preamble.” When Bachmann first floated the idea a couple of weeks ago, King said it “lit up for me.” Bachmann, too, is quite fond of King, floating him as a potential presidential candidate last year. The Hill explains that Bachmann, King, and a few other right-wing congressmen have been meeting privately to collaborate on a plan to revolt against their Party leaders:
Conservative lawmakers, including Reps. Steve King (Iowa), Michele Bachmann (Minn.), Louie Gohmert (Texas) and John Shadegg (Ariz.), have been meeting privately to “foment revolution,” according to a source involved in the discussions. […]

King said the group’s effort is aimed at getting “aggressive” on pushing conservative policy alternatives. […]

One Republican member seeking anonymity explained that the group of rabble-rousers is frustrated not only with the conference leaders but also with the leadership of Republican Study Committee (RSC) Chairman Tom Price (Ga.).
And here is my hope for the future of my country: that the insanity of the Con party rips it apart before they can do any more damage to us.  I feel a wee bit o' optimism today.

Bonus King idiocy: trying to defend the indefensible.

Meanwhile, governing in a bipartisan fashion is still impossible with this bunch of nitwits.  Case in point:
The Senate voted yesterday on a proposal to create a bipartisan commission on deficit reduction. The effort failed -- "only" a 53-member majority supported the idea.

Reasonable people can disagree on whether the commission was a worthwhile idea, but if we put merit aside for a moment, it's worth noting what yesterday's vote tells us about Senate Republican attitudes right now.
Six GOP senators co-sponsored the legislation to create the commission, and then voted against their own idea. Asked for an explanation, the Republicans said the commission -- which was intended to push policymakers to make uncomfortable decisions -- might have told them what they didn't want to hear, and should therefore not exist.

Read the whole thing. It's an object lesson in the kind of fucktarded thinking that passes for policy positions with these morons.

In dumbfuck Dem news, it turns out Ben Nelson had a knife in hand, ready to plunge into the backs of his caucus:
For any legislator who wants to learn how to drive a bargain, check out this stunning interview Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) conducted with Life Site News.

Now that the Democrats have only 59 votes--insufficient to overcome a filibuster--Nelson is providing an inside look at his legislative strategy. And it's...remarkable. Nelson famously insisted that, to get his vote, Senate health care legislation would have to include restrictions on abortion financing. Now, however, he says his plan all along was to pull a bait and switch: Wait until the House and Senate met to merge their two bills and then push for yet tougher language.

"[O]nce it went to conference, as part of the conference, there was still another 60 vote threshold, and that is when I would have insisted... for my last 60th vote, it has to have [Stupak-like language]," Nelson said.

Raise your hand if you're surprised.

Steve Benen thinks he's full of shit and just trying to polish his Con cred for the conservative voters he hopes to woo.  This is one of those rare times I disagree: I think Nelson absolutely planned to do this, even though he'd lose.  He's proven time and again just how willing he is to betray his own.  But I have to admit one thing: the Dems really need to sit down with this asshole and learn how negotiation is done.

Moving on to things that aren't actually stupid or outrageous... I just want to point out something that gets lost in all the GOP noise: Dems aren't actually losing all their battles:
For instance, in this year of alleged Republican insurgency, the Democrats have actually won three congressional seats. Did you know that? I doubt that most people do.
That's one message.  Here's another:

It's understandable that policymakers would look to statewide elections to get a sense of the public's mood. Last week, a narrow majority of Massachusetts voters chose a conservative senator, and the political establishment took that to mean the electorate is shifting to the right.

But if those results offered broader lessons about voters' attitudes, maybe this week's results in Oregon do, too.
Facing a budget crunch that threatened to close schools early, lay off teachers and slash healthcare benefits, Oregon voters ended two decades of tax scrimping Tuesday by approving higher taxes on corporations and wealthy families.

The two ballot measures passed handily in a referendum watched closely around the country as a signal of whether voters are ready to approve targeted tax hikes to bail out cash-starved state treasuries.

One can only assume that Republicans will see these results, notice that usually-tax-averse voters just endorsed tax increases, and interpret Oregon's vote as "sending a signal" about the kind of economic policies Americans want to see right now.

Or maybe not.
Considering it crimps their narrative, I'm plumping for not.  But it's a fact we should be shouting far, wide and loud.  Americans may not be thrilled with Dems just now, but that doesn't mean they've suddenly all turned Teabagger.  Important thing to remember.

And, finally, a link from Ezra Klein I found fascinating: "A lot of liberals in Congress seem to have bought into the odd premise that the benefits that they receive would somehow be a step down for the rest of the country."

It's just too damned bad we didn't tie health care reform to Congress' own health care plans.  If they'd been forced to switch to what they give us, and if their failure meant they'd lose their own insurance, we'd probably be on single payer right at this minute.

Something to keep in mind next time we're looking to improve our standard of living.

1 comment:

Cujo359 said...

I think that Dumbfuckistan doesn't really qualify as a state. It's more like a confederation.