08 November, 2008

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

And they're off:

It's only been a couple of days since Barack Obama was declared the president-elect, but it's hard not to notice that congressional Republicans are already striking a confrontational pose. Take these ridiculous comments from Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl (R).

Jon Kyl, the second-ranking Republican in the U.S. Senate, warned president-elect Barack Obama that he would filibuster U.S. Supreme Court appointments if those nominees were too liberal.

Kyl, Arizona's junior senator, expects Obama to appoint judges in the mold of U.S Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, David Souter and Stephen Breyer. Those justices take a liberal view on cases related to social, law and order and business issues, Kyl said.

"He believes in justices that have empathy," said Kyl, speaking at a Federalist Society meeting in Phoenix. The attorneys group promotes conservative legal principles.

Kyl said if Obama goes with empathetic judges who do not base their decisions on the rule of law and legal precedents but instead the factors in each case, he would try to block those picks via filibuster.

Think about that. The second highest ranking Republican in the Senate, just a few days after the election, is already talking about blocking Supreme Court nominations that haven't been named, in response to Supreme Court vacancies that don't exist.

Jon Kyl may want to have a discussion with his non-batshit insane constituents before he gets too hot and heavy on the whole filibuster-everything-in-sight idea:

Democracy Corps and Campaign For America's Future polled the voters and got some pretty darned interesting answers, you betcha.

US voters want the Republican Party, which took a beating in this week's general elections, to embrace progressiveness and work with Democratic president-elect Barack Obama to get America back on track, a poll showed Friday.

What? We're a center-right country. Everyone knows that. Well, everyone who thinks labels are more important than policy, and superficiality is more important than substance, knows that.

"By nearly three to one, voters think the Republicans should support Obama's policies," Robert Borosage, co-director of CAF told reporters.

Even among Republicans, nearly half -- 45 percent -- thought their party should work with the new Democratic Party president elect and help him bring about change.

You know what, this is excellent news. It means that nearly half of the Republicon party could be salvagable. I smell a Centrist party in the making... Oh, and Arizona? You have some work to do. That ratfucker Kyl has deserved nothing more than a boot to the arse since he first got elected. I know. I was there. If you need to borrow a boot, let me know. I've got lots.

Kyl's a dumbshit, but he's being eclipsed just slightly by Norm "A Recount Would Be Too Costly and Franken Should Graciously Concede - Wait, What? I'm Behind? I Demand A Recount!" Coleman, who, like all Cons, has discovered his adoration for the courts now that he's getting his arse handed to him:

Senator Norm Coleman isn't waiting for the recount. He's filing to stop the canvass of votes that will certify the unofficial totals reported. That's right, Coleman wants to win the election based on the unofficial totals. This is not the mandated recount, which under Minnesota law must happen after a close election, in this case less than .5% of the ballots. Such a recount is by hand, according to intent of the voter, and happens unless the losing candidate waives the recount. Earlier Coleman was pressuring Franken to drop out after the original unofficial totals had him up by slightly over 700 ballots. This is just the legally mandated re-canvass, reconciling the number of ballots with the vote totals, and checking totals reported to the Secretary of State. It has included correcting errors such as one town that didn't call in results at all, and another where a typographical error cost Franken 100 votes. Inch by inch has been pushing against the incumbent Republican, and at least one person on the ground thinks that the reason for this action by Coleman is that Monday could dawn with him behind in the certified totals if the absentee ballots are counted.

Alas for Norm - the courts are not his friend. And we look to be expecting yet another Senator on the Dem side. What is this, now - 57, 58? I've lost count.

Not to be outdone in asshattery, Bush has decided to stick it to the poor and out-of-work one last time before icky socialist universal healthcare COMMUNISM!!11!1! takes effect:

After arguing that legislation to cut over-payments to private insurers would “harm beneficiaries by taking private health plan options away from them,” President Bush, on Friday, “narrowed the scope of services that can be provided to poor people under Medicaid’s outpatient hospital benefit.”

The new regulation arrives at a time when states are considering limiting Medicaid eligibility and Americans are losing their employer health benefits. In fact, the administration issued its rule to take public “health options away” on the very same day that the Department of Labor announced that the U.S. unemployment rate is at a 14-year high of 6.5 percent.

No one's wondering why Americans took to the streets in overwhelming numbers to celebrate Obama's victory, now, are they?

At least 2012 is shaping up to be a very good year. Speculation on Republican front-runners is already rife among the party of defeat, and it looks like they've learned nothing:

As far as I can tell, there was very little positioning among Republicans for the next presidential race for about 48 hours after Barack Obama became the president-elect. But with only 1,460 or so shopping days until Election Day 2012, that apparently didn't last long.

Mitt Romney is off on a Caribbean cruise with influential conservative leaders. Romney, Sarah Palin, and Mike Huckabee are stepping up to help Sen. Saxby Chambliss' runoff campaign in Georgia. Huckabee is poised to kick off a national book tour ... in Iowa.

And then there's Bob Novak, fresh off his bizarre argument that Obama lacks a mandate, promoting his new favorite as the Republicans' future leader.

In serious conversations among Republicans since their election debacle Tuesday, what name is mentioned most often as the Moses, or Reagan, who could lead them out of the wilderness before 40 years?

To the consternation of many Republicans, it is none other than Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the House.

Gingrich is far from a unanimous or even a consensus choice to run for president in 2012, but there is a strong feeling in Republican ranks that he is the only leader of their party who has shown the skill and energy to attempt a comeback quickly.

Even one of his strongest supporters for president in 2012 admits it is a "very risky choice." But Republicans are in a desperate mood after the fiasco of John McCain's seemingly safe candidacy.

Gingrich, of course, distinguished himself as a giant of the 2008 presidential campaign, arguing that "Saturday Night Live" should be sued for its skits about Palin, and laughing like a school-boy about the notion of improving fuel efficiency with properly inflated tires.

If that's the best they've got, that's pretty fucking pathetic.

Of course, they're probably still a little punch-drunk, and the KOs just keep on coming:

Late yesterday the DCCC contacted their friends, supporters and... me to tell us that Democrats had just been certified winners in two more seats, MD-01, where Blue Dog Frank Kratovil beat a lunatic fringe wingnut, and VA-05, where Blue America candidate Tom Perriello came from behind and won a slim, hard fought, grassroots victory against one of Congress' worst members, corrupt bigot Virgil Goode, a former conservative "Democrat," not unlike Mr. Kratovil, who eventually, after voting with the GOP for years, crossed over to the Dark Side.

They may be comforting themselves with their center-right myth, but I've got bad news for them there, too:

Yeah, that Obama thing was pretty cool (I watched the returns the Obama campaign office in Harlem, which had to be one of the most inspiring places to be), but it's worth noting that the victory extended far down ticket to state races.

To some extent the victories at the state level were more limited because Dems had already made big gains in 2006 and 2007, with Iowa, Colorado, New Hampshire and chambers in Virginia and Indiana having gone "blue" in anticipation of Obama's wins -- with North Carolina Dems demonstrating increasingly progressive leadership by its Blue local leadership over the last few years. This had given those voters a chance to see and understand what progressive leadership was really about--and overcoming many of the caricatures of the rightwing.

What follows is enough to destroy the myth of the center-right. Enjoy your Saturday schadenfreude.

1 comment:

Frank Keegan said...


Maryland power good for America

By The Baltimore Examiner Newspaper
- 11/9/08

When the 111th Congress convenes in January Maryland’s little delegation will wield immense power officially and even more unofficially. Every citizen of this state must have faith that such power will be used for the greater common good.
We well know and trust Steny Hoyer, House of Representatives Majority Leader. We feel downright familial about Senate powerhouse Barbara Mikulski. And Sen. Ben Cardin, who brings a decade of Congressional connections to his first term, is a comfortable friend.

Most of all, powerful Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi may have her heart in San Francisco, but her deepest roots draw from the rich soil of Baltimore’s D’Alesandro political dynasty.

Of course, that bodes well for Maryland as Democrats take control of Congress and the presidency for the first time in 14 years. Let us not kid ourselves about having powerful people from our state in high office bringing certain benefits. It is inherent to all governance.

But it also must bode well for all of America. Why?

Because we know these folks grew to political maturity in the turbulent environment of Maryland public life.

Here in this 2-to-1 blue state, the actual reality tends more toward purple. Dealing with conservative Democrats and liberal Republicans accustoms our politicians to the art of compromise. Political conflicts often cleave more along issue lines than party lines. No wonder our recent slogan was “America in Miniature.”

Want evidence? We’re the state of the 1st Congressional District where President Bush endorsed liberal nine-term Republican dissident Congressman Wayne Gilchrest in a losing primary bid. Then Gilchrest endorsed centrist Democrat Frank Kratovil against conservative Republican Andy Harris. What did voters do?

About 350,000 of them split evenly on Kratovil and Harris after support for Bush grew from 57 percent in 2000 to 62 percent in ’04.

Pundits, prepare to scratch your heads when you ponder Maryland.

That’s just the way we are, and it’s a good thing. It assures us that if this one-party Congress and historic new administration drift toward some kind of political rampage, leadership from Maryland will impose common sense for the common good.

They know this most recent mandate for change in America is overwhelmingly a rejection of Bush administration aberrant policies than an embracing of President-elect Barack Obama’s vague, untested policies.

Where Democrats take America in the next four years could determine our nation’s future for a century. Fate has placed daughters and sons of Maryland in positions of immense power to forge that destiny.

We are comforted to know them, and that they will do the right thing.

Find this article at: