Tag Archives: Democrats

Loser

Here’s why Republican pollster Glen Bolger says Mitt Romney lost the elections:

Mitt Romney put together a coalition that just eight years ago would have won the presidential election (hence the data comparisons to George W. Bush). However, instead of whites being 77% of the electorate, they were 72% of the electorate. Instead of Republicans and Democrats being equal, Democrats far outnumbered Republicans, and washed out Romney’s advantage among Independents. Bush kept it close with younger voters (under age 40), while Obama won them decisively….Underscoring that there are considerably more Democrats than Republicans, Romney was the first national candidate in exit polling history to decisively win Independents and lose the election (John Kerry won Independents, but by just one point).

Thus, to have a chance, Republicans have to appeal to Hispanics. It’s simple math, but it’s hard to do. We have to start today.

The Fix’s Chris Cillizza says he’s right. But they’re both wrong.

They’re both stuck in what I like to call “Dualistic Thinking.” Either/or. It’s doomed as an advanced society since Adam and Eve. Either Adam, or Eve.

It’s just not about demographics, which is the only thing pollsters understand, or think they understand. It’s the only thing politicians understand. Saying the right thing to get the right group of people to touch the box by your name on the electronic voting machines.

I have a better idea. How about we get our dualistic, either Republicans or Democrats to think about saying the right thing to get a human being to vote for them.

I know, I know. Wishful thinking. But focusing on demographics is so short term. What’s changing right along with the make-up of the electorate is how that electorate thinks. And THAT, my friends, is something Republicans have absolutely no clue about (and Democrats have only a slightly better clue about).

I will give you that both sides do it. But there’s a difference. Just to give you an example, here’s a little sampling of a political disagreement between a conservative and a liberal, from the comments section of an article on Politico.

E Be Rose · Top Commenter
Isn’t it interesting, how easily everyone over on Fox lies? As if people will not call them out on it, especially a real journalist like Ricks? Not an “on-air personality.” Right now, Baier, Celmente, Klinghoffer, Ailes & Murdock are all working on a response. It will be brilliant, for sure. It will somehow blame Ricks for making Fox lie in the first place. It’s never their fault.

Brett Richard · Top Commenter
ROFL! Like it’s NEVER obama’s fault!! His little, pointy blame finger must be getting worn down to a NUB by now!!!

E Be Rose · Top Commenter
People like you amuse me

Brett Richard · Top Commenter
Glad to be of service!
People like you disgust me…

Just so you know, the conversation was about a journo who was on Fox who said that Fox was an arm of the Republican Party and the Fox exec who said that said journo apologized for saying it, except the journo said he didn’t.

My point is found in the last two comments. “People like you amuse me” and “People like you disgust me.” If you see no difference in those two comments, you might be a Republican. I’m just sayin.

Or you might be like the dumbest of dumb Republicans, Erick Erickson — who runs RedState and sometimes spouts his idiocy on CNN — who wrote an entire column about how Republicans just needed to convince 6 percent or so of the population to vote for them in order to win. Of course, he used the wrong figures, beginning with the population of the United States.

Excuses, excuses. These guys all thought Mitt Romney was gonna win in a landslide. He didn’t. It wasn’t even close, and he even ended up with 47 percent of the vote. How’s that for a sign?

What these guys really need to understand is that they’re being left behind by the steady march of progress. Get on the clue bus, boys, or think long and hard about Neanderthals.

 

The downgrade

So Standard & Poor’s downgraded the U.S. long-term debt from AAA to AA+ (with a negative outlook). Ouch. Yeah, it’s a bit of a joke. After all, these are the jokers who declared Lehman Brothers AAA a month before they went bankrupt. They rated junk mortgage securities AAA, leading directly to the financial mess we’re in now. And we can argue till the cows come home about whether S&P oughta be in the business of downgrading our credit rating because our political system is so dysfunctional.

Doesn’t matter. What does matter is that they did. They looked at the recently completed debt ceiling debate and determined that although we haven’t defaulted, and probably won’t in the near future, our idiocy is so complete that creditors should think twice or more about extending further credit.

Now, that would probably suit the TeaPublicans just fine. They seem to relish the idea of the United States becoming a backwater country where the majority of its citizens have little to no access to decent health care or education. And why wouldn’t they? Stupid, sick citizens are much easier to bully into submission. And the handful of others who know better? Just throw ‘em in jail, shoot ‘em if you have to. That’s what they do in places like Zimbabwe, Syria, Yemen and Iran. Never let a little inconvenient truth bother you.

And all of this could have been avoided. We’ve had so many chances. After Reagan put us on this wretched road to ruin, Americans wised up after a term of George Bush Sr. and elected Bill Clinton, at the time branded The Most Liberal Man On The Planet although he was a Blue Dog at best. Never mind, though, he was certainly far better than another four years of GHWB, or, god forbid, one of the other whackos who could have been on the Republican ticket. You know, people like Pat Buchanan and David Duke.

The GOP Noise Machine went into high gear of course, lying and stretching the truth at every possible moment to paint Clinton as Evil Incarnate. It worked to some extent, but it didn’t wholly work because Bill possesses one of those thing the Republicans like in their candidates: He’s Affable. You wanna have a beer with him. So what if he had sex with that woman? I mean — and here’s where the Right Wing Crap Machine worked wonders — look at that bitch he’s married to.

But after two terms and a deficit surplus, the Noise Machine had also done a job on the man who should have been Clinton’s successor, the truly more liberal Al Gore. And Gore was hampered by a tendency to appear rather wooden, plus, it appears that an awful lot of Democrats/liberals/progressives at that time had not caught on to the Republican Bullshit Machine strategy: Lie at every opportunity, and make the other guy out to be in league with the worst things you can think of. And if all else fails, ridicule from the lowest common denominator.

Thus, George W. Bush. Of course, the conservatives needed a little boost from the Supreme Court, but honest to god, it never should have been close enough to go there. The Noise Machine works very, very well, indeed. See Kerry, John – Swiftboating.

After eight years of up is down, black is white and Alice doesn’t live here anymore, it’s a wonder any of us could even walk. But walk we could and unbelievably enough of us had seen through the LSD haze to actually not give the presidency to another Republican. But the Noise Machine had a hand in who did select too. See Clinton, Hillary – Clinton Derangement Syndrome.

Again, we selected a very moderate, albeit black, Democrat who was again portrayed as The Most Liberal Man On The Planet despite no evidence to support that contention. But we, suckers that we are, thought we had a chance. My god, a black Democrat in the White House, majorities in the House and Senate — we’re saved!

Except we weren’t. The right started its anti-anything but them campaign with its most ugly component yet: Racism. Well, they actually tried that with Bill Clinton. Who do you think came up with “the nation’s first black president?” Problem of course, was that Clinton clearly isn’t black.

Barack Obama is, and racism is a ready-made weapon so easy to deny. “Tar baby!” “Oh, I’m sorry if anyone was offended. I didn’t mean that as a racist statement.” And, with our well trained stenography pool ready to bring every utterance to the national media, nobody but us crazies ever challenged the clear bullshit. So while the our so-called journalists bring on birthers to talk about whether or not Obama was born in the United States (doesn’t matter, idiots, his MOTHER was), nobody challenges the racism fueling charges that Obama is from Africa, that he’s Muslim, that he’s anything but a good ol’ boy. Seriously, do you honestly think that conversation would be going on if Obama’s father were named Olsen and he was born in Norway?

But the Machine had done well making sure a natural compromiser was elected president. That’s what community organizers do, yknow. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but when one side deviously plots to suppress the other side and uses good intentions to doom the process from the start, well, that’s another matter.

And then there was the Tea Party, rabidly taken up by my colleagues in the stenography as some kind of populist movement despite the clear evidence that it was and is funded by billionaires and political insiders. Follow the money, my friends. Follow the money.

And the politicians, never ones to take any kind of principled stand (with rare exceptions. See Sanders, Bernie – Socialist, Vermont), bent and twisted any which way the wind blew to make sure they stayed in office.  Then came 2010, and the intentionally ill-informed won big in those places where once more moderate conservatives might have flourished. And now, the stage was set.

A barely Democratic president, a Senate with a narrow Democratic majority, a House full of full-on crazies with little to no understanding of anything beyond Well, sheeit, I’m a US Congressman now! and a House constituency of the ignorant masses who don’t realize Medicare is a “socialist” program nor that their champions have every intention of destroying it.

Oh, and the completely out in the open No. 1 goal of the Republican party: Get rid of the black guy in the Oval Office in 2012 if not sooner.

So despite Standard & Poor’s culpability in the our economic morass, somebody there had the sense to realize that the United States was indeed on a slippery slope and it isn’t one to socialism. It’s sliding into what’s much closer to the corporate-run colonies of the British, Portugeuese, Dutch, Spanish and French empires. Seriously — they were all about profits and coopting some local group to give their corporate rulers some legitimacy. And the corporate rulers, of course, answered to the crown back home.

In America, though, we’re dispensing with the crown. The corporate rulers answer to no one.

And that’s very, very dangerous, something even Standard & Poor’s can’t ignore. The debt ceiling fight, then, was our last chance before someone outside started taking action. Obama must have known. That’s where the Grand Bargain came from. It was the only adult proposal made, one that in all likelihood would have satisfied S&P that we were seriously about fixing the economy. Of course, just lifting the fucking debt ceiling and focussing on a jobs plan probably would have worked too, but the TeaPublicans would have none of that and instead pushed for this showdown, a playground battle royale.

So Obama offered the Grand Bargain and the TeaPublicans, so enamored of their rich overlords that they cannot conceive of taxing them one penny more than they already are, poor over-taxed bastards, said no fucking way. And the pitiful “debate” that followed showed S&P, and every other sane person on the planet, that the lunatics indeed have taken over the U.S. government, and no one is safe.

The reasoning, which people who aren’t TeaPublicans actually note contains criticisms of both Republicans and Democrats, is far more damning to the GOP. Here’s the full report, go read it. You can be sure the TeaPublicans won’t. They were satisfied with the press release. But here’s the key passage. S&P says the recently completely debt ceiling deal is a step in the right direction, but is not sufficient to correct the slide. Previously assessments have given the United States the benefit of the doubt, S&P says, assuming that reason will overcome the pitchfork-bearing masses. No more:

Compared with previous projections, our revised base case scenario now assumes that the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, due to expire by the end of 2012, remain in place. We have changed our assumption on this because the majority of Republicans in Congress continue to resist any measure that would raise revenues, a position we believe Congress reinforced by passing the act.

And there you have it. If those tax cuts don’t expire, S&P says, the credit rating will likely slip to AA. Killing those tax cuts off might — might — “stabilize” the rating at AA+.

So what’s it all mean? Basically, we’re screwed. And the Republicans and Democrats are to blame. The Republicans for all their lying and bullshit and the Democrats for showing their bellies every time the GOP or Fox News yells “Boo!” And that dysfunction, which is what S&P is talking about, isn’t likely to change, because our politicians are too addicted to being in Washington to see what’s really going on in the world around them.

Instead, they’ll take what S&P says and make further cuts into “entitlement” programs, along with things like education, public safety, environmental regulation, banking regulation — basically anything that a civilized society needs to thrive — keeping only enough to maintain the military dictatorship the Teahadists so desperately yearn for.  Austerity times 1000. This is how Saddam Hussein ruled Iraq, and we really do have weapons of mass destruction.

I don’t pretend to know why the rich want it this way (even less why the lied-to masses work so hard to make it happen), but I do know this is how they want it. Follow the money. At the end you’ll find people like the Koch Brothers whose only goal, for some unfathomable reason, is to get richer.

I also know it will get better. But not, apparently, before it gets a whole lot worse.

There’s something Vichy about Senate Democrats

If the Republicans are Nazis (and I’m not saying they are — this is just a hypothetical) but if they are fascists, then the Democrats, particularly those of the Senate,  are the Vichy regime of America — collaborators of the first rank.

I can tell by the sound of crickets chirping that some of you don’t understand the reference. I mean, it is a World War II-era reference, waaaaaaaay back to 1940s.

Vichy, France, was home base for France’s German-collaborating puppet government after Germany occupied France. Collaborators. Doing the Germans’ dirty work for them.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say Barack Obama is Marshal Phillippe Petain, the French prime minister and World War I hero who was head of the Vichy government (and 84 years old when he got there, thus becoming France’s oldest head of state). That would more likely be some Blue Dog like Ben Nelson, so-called Democratic senator from Nebraska, who helped make the Affordable Care Act the almost useless mess that it is. Nelson and others like him (Joe Lieberman comes to mind) wouldn’t go along with the more progressive parts of the bill (the ones that would really help people) so those were dumped in favor of Republican proposals that they refused to vote for anyway.

So it is with Vichy regimes. Petain changed France’s motto from  “Liberté, égalité, fraternité” (“Liberty, equality, fraternity”) to the more fascist “Travail, famille, patrie” (“Work, family, fatherland”).He was later sentenced to die for treason, but his protege Charles de Gaulle must have felt sorry for him, so he commuted the sentence to life in prison, where he died in 1951, completely senile and requiring constant care. So it is with reactionaries.

France, though, has a strong right wing element, and once they stole Petain’s coffin from the cemetery on the prison island where he died, demanding that he be buried in some place of honor. He was reburied with a presidential seal on the coffin, but back at the burial ground on Ile d’Yeu.

De Gaulle, in case you want to know, fled to Britain as Petain was handing France over to Hitler. He formed a government in exile there, but alas, the allies, including the United States, recognized the Vichy government as the rightful government of France until the 1944 liberation. Typical, don’t you think, for the United States to recognize the right wing government, even if it is controlled by the very people you’re fighting a world war against?

End of history lesson. The Democrats, most of them anyway, are the Vichy government of the United States, rolling over and caving to Republicans every chance they get. Mustn’t make waves. I’m not sure why they do it. Petain was a reactionary, right wing asshole. Maybe Democrats really are, too.

They sure do like the money that pours in from the same big corporations and lobbyists who fund the Republicans. And real progress in this country won’t happen until that’s stopped. The Vichy-crats drag their feet on making it happen, although they occasionally talk the talk. They just don’t vote the vote.

We’ve got some big fights coming up in Congress — the debt ceiling (whether we’ll let the government default) and Paul Ryan’s lunatic budget. Democrats in the House, most of whom aren’t Vichy-crats, what with the defeat of most of the Blue Dogs last year, pulled a good one on the Republicans the other day.

The GOP put forth an amendment that made Ryan’s budget look like a walk in the park. Normally, these things are defeated by a coalition of Democrats and a handful of  “moderate” (read; not completely insane) Republicans. But this time, all 170-something Democrats voted “present,” and since the House passes such things by a majority of the votes cast, a bunch of conservatives had to change their votes to “no” to keep the damn thing from going to the Senate. Now the TeaPublicans can’t go say it was the Democrats who beat them, because it wasn’t.

Don’t know why they didn’t take their chances with the Vichy-crats on the other side of the Capitol. They might have gotten somewhere there.

The end is near

The Democrats won’t lay down and roll over, letting Republicans rule and have everything they want, so come Friday, we’re likely to see the federal government shut down. Just like Newtie did it in the 90s. But he was a petulant little prick, and America knew it. Now? America can’t take its eyes off Charlie Sheen long enough to see what the TeaPublicans are doing.

Wanna know what the blackmail really is? Because saying “the government will shutdown” frankly doesn’t mean much. Here’s what it means:

  • Cuts in unemployment compsensation
  • End of grants for law enforcement and higher education
  • Shutdown of national parks
  • No state tax collections
  • Cuts in Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance program
  • Courts will shut down
  • No income tax refunds

And that’s just a start. Some of those things will happen immediately, and the others might not happen at all if Democrats cave and give the TeaPublicans what they want quickly. And what do they want? They want their budget bill passed with no amendments and no changes. And what would that entail?

  • Cutting funding to implement the Affordable Care Act
  • Eliminating funding for family planning services, breast and cervical cancer screeningsand other preventive health care.
  • Cutting funding for WIC
  • Cutting funding for Head Start
  • Cutting funding for Pell grants
  • Cutting funding for job training programs

What the TeaPublicans do not want is to eliminate or even decrease the massive tax cuts for the rich or the massive funding for the Defense Department or to regulate the massively rich banks and insurance companies, because that’s where they make their money.

What they do not want is for anybody to get the idea that America is the land of plenty. Well, it is, but only if you have plenty to begin with. HR 1, the budget bill the TeaPublicans want so badly, is just the start. Paul Ryan, their budget king, plans to eliminate Medicaid, forcing the elderly to navigate the nearly impossible bullshit the insurance companies throw out to pretend their on our side.

Make no mistake about it — none of these folks, not the TeaPublicans, not the banksters, not the insurance companies, not the Defense Department and not the conservative media that spreads their lies — are even remotely on our side. They are not here with the idea of helping one another out. They are here for one thing and one thing only: To make money. Nothing else, and I do mean nothing, matters at all.

Democrats, deluded as they are, are completely lost. They get their money from the same places. I can image that somewhere inside their denial-wracked brains is a monumental fight for supremacy between their Money-Money-Money minds and their progressive, we’re all in this together minds. Guess which one will win?

And do you know why? It’s because my colleagues are just as fucked up as they are, and they’re refusing to tell the truth, likely because they don’t even know it anymore. Even when they do tell the truth, they pretend it’s just another opinion, along with the lies they repeat from the conservatives.

We’re heading down a very ugly road to ruin. What the TeaPublicans want is a return to the hideous inequality of the Gilded Age, the age of the Robber Barons, because that’s what they are — Robber Barons, and their victims are you and me and anyone else who isn’t like them.

They hit upon the perfect ploy. Create a faux populist movement — the Tea Party, funded by them — and convince America that the Tea Party was Real America. Worked like a charm, thanks to my idiotic colleagues, who couldn’t even be bothered to remember that the real Tea Party, the one in Boston in the 18th century, was a protest against corporate profits. How fucking ironic.

I’m in the most pessimistic mood I’ve seen in quite some time. I see no way out of this. The Great Black Hope, Barack Obama, turned out to be a sniveling coward. Well, at least he’s not a real Republican. Maybe we would have been better off if McCain had won, had his fatal heart attack and left Sarah Palin to kill us off. At least it would have been over with already.

What we need is a real leader — not one of these immature, schoolyard bullies who fancies him or herself a leader — but one who sees where we need to go and takes us there kicking and screaming. I don’t see one of those on the horizon, and I doubt I will until we have hit bottom. Because hitting bottom is what it takes sometimes for us to really understand just how bad it is and how far off course we’ve gone.

And once we do reach the depths of our despair, I have no doubt that the leader we need will come along, because, well, progress happens. It can’t be stopped. It can be slowed, set back and delayed. But change happens. Real change, too, not the promises of politicians, but the change that is absolutely necessary for the species.

 

This way and that

Man, Cosmo Sen. Scott Brown is really dissing his Tea Party backers, the ones who helped him beat Martha Coakley’s really shitty campaign for the “Kennedy Seat” from Massachusetts.

Not only did he vote for the repeal of the military’s odiferous policy banning gay and lesbian service members from serving openly, but now he’s gone and voted for cloture on the ratification of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.

That means that later on today, the U.S. Senate is going to ratify the agreement despite vociferous opposition from the most conservative of Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who announced a couple of months ago that the primary purpose of the GOP for the next two years is to make sure that Barack Obama is not re-elected.

Not to help the American people, or to get the country back on the right track, but to get back in power. Fucktards.

Anyway, joining Scott Brown in voting for cloture were fellow Republican Sens. George Voinovich, Lisa Murkowski, Thad Cochran, Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, Richard Lugar, Lamar Alexander, Robert Bennett, Johnny Isakson and Bob Corker.

Yes, Bob Corker. The very Bob Corker who warned just before the DADT repeal vote that START would be in trouble if DADT is repealed.

That’s gonna be a pretty big loss for McConnell and Jim DeMented, and a pretty big win for Barack Obama. It’s interesting, though. Eleven Republicans broke with the leadership — McConnell, Jon Kyl, John Cornyn and the like. That’s more than the eight who voted to repeal DADT and more than the six who voted for cloture on DADT. Eleven Republicans not only broke with the leadership, but they flipped the TeaPublicans the bird while they were at it.

This lame duck session of Congress has been awfully production — and it’s been productive because of the willingness of some Republicans to break ranks.  Could this be the end of the Party of No?

I won’t be holding my breath on that one. But y’gotta admit, it’s does a heart good to see Republicans voting “yes” on Democratic pieces of legislation.

It all started, of course, with that “tax deal.” The extremists opposed it, but the leadership really didn’t, so it passed pretty handily. The DREAM Act failed, but it was not without GOP support. DADT, history. And now, START.

So guess which Republican senator has voted in favor of all of those? No, not the ladies from Maine.

Lisa Murkowski, the Alaska senator who waged a winning run-off campaign to retain her seat after the Tea Party and Sarah Palin-backed liar Joe Miller beat her in the Republican primary.

Now, Murkowski’s warned not to read too much into these votes, that she’s not gonna be a sure vote for Obama. But I don’t think that’s the signal she wants to send anyway. Her message is for the Republicans. The National Republican Senatorial Committee gave her only tepid support during the primary, and went all out for Miller in the general. Then it asked folks to donate to help Miller challenge Murkowski in court. Nah, Murkowski’s message is this: Fuck you, GOP. I’ll vote the way I damn well please.

Maybe she and Joe Lieberman can form their own party — Senators In The Wrong Party Party.

Murkowski voted against cloture on the 9/11 responders bill, but now she says she’s “leaning toward” voting for it. That is, if Oklahoma’s Tom Coburn doesn’t go through with his threat to block it. Coburn wants to pay for the bill by slashing funding for somebody else. And by the way, he’s a doctor.

It’s a beautiful world we live in.

The morning after the morning after

So you think the election’s all over and you won’t have to hear the bullshit for another two months before the wailing begins for 2012. Nah, you don’t think that. You know that 2012 starts right now. In fact, it already started, back when Mitch McConnell said the Republicans’ primary goal for the next two years was making sure Barack Obama doesn’t get re-elected.

That’s a real “country first” attitude, ain’t it? Of course, it was never about country first. It was about making the other guy — the black guy, and us by extension, look like the enemy.

And hell, let’s get real. 2012 started on November 5, 2008, and the goal then, as it is now, was to do something about the black guy in the White House.

That and make sure their rich benefactors stayed that way. But an election for the real America? Depends on who you think that is.

House Speaker to be John Boehner cried, he was so happy to become the powerful speaker of the House (that is, if his new and nutty Tea Party colleagues don’t figure out he’s part of the DC establishment and run somebody against him. Mmm. I hear Eric “They shot at a building where I have an office where one of my consultants works” Cantor is thinking about tossing his hat in the ring.

But Boehner. He says the message to Obama is clear – “Change course.” True, but the course he needs to change to isn’t the one Boehner wants. Still, Obama will probably take Boehner’s advice. Democrats always do. Boehner, though, he said Tuesday night that “It’s clear tonight who the winners really are … the American people.” I guess that’s right if the American people are all millionaires or their toadies. Otherwise, that’s not us.

And it’s not even the folks who put the crazies into the House. Exit polls showed that Americans believe the top problem the country’s facing is the economy – 62 percent – with 19 percent saying health care. And the top economic problem – unemployment, by far.

America’s voters blame Wall Street for the economic crisis, overwhelmingly. So what do America’s voters do? They return the party that refuses to regulate Wall Street back in the House. Voters had exactly the same unfavorable rating for Dems (53 percent) as Republicans, and favored the Ds 43-41. But they sent the Rs back anyway.

The “American people” — not us, not the tea party, but people like Jamie Dimon and Meg Whitman.

And how did this happen? Senior citizens, who have bought the Republican bullshit about keeping government’s dirty hands off their Medicare, voted in droves. Young folks, feckless cynics that they are, stayed home and got stoned. Hey, that’s not a criticism. I mighta done the same thing if I were 20-something and hadn’t stopped drinking and drugging 30 years ago.

Meanwhile, my beloved colleagues won’t say a thing about any of that. They had their scenario all lined up well before even the early voters started casting their ballots.

Obama and the liberals overreached. The country wants them to return to the center right, where all is good with the world.

Except, as we know, that’s complete bullshit. Obama and the Democratic Congress, with the Republicans blocking their every move, have been pretty damned center right, if not outright right-right. That’s not good enough for the GOP, though, because that group has moved so far right that they’d probably drum Nixon out of the party, if he didn’t leave voluntarily. When they say “center right,” they mean to the right of, say, Charlie Crist, who clearly is too far left for the Florida Republicans. Hugging Barack Obama obviously triggers an automatic suspension of your “I’m a Card Carrying Conservative Bastard” card.

So flip on any cable news show this week and hear this: The voters are angry about Obama’s liberal overreach instead of taking care of the things that are really important, like jobs and health care …

And here’s the part you won’t hear: … like jobs and health care, which the Republican minority and the blue dogs watered down so far that it was barely recognizable just to protect the capitalist interests of the banks and the insurance companies (yeah, I know, and STILL they called it socialism).

And right after that, you won’t hear the discussion progressives have been having for months, if not years – how the fuck is it that the GOP can so completely hornswoggle voters like they do? Are this many Americans really that stupid? Or that glued to the latest episode of Dancing With The Stars?

No, my dear colleagues are already working on the script for 2012. Here’s a hint – they really want Sarah Palin to win. They want America’s first woman president to be somebody they can feel smug over, someone they know isn’t as smart as they are. That’s why they won’t stop paying attention to her even though she has dismal approval numbers across the country and her “endorsements” appear to be as much of a hindrance as a help.

But I’ll make my own prediction on that. It’ll be Mike Huckabee. He’s a cool dude, man. Plays bass guitar. You could have a beer with him, that is if he weren’t a Southern Baptist teetotaler. But he’s the perfect extremist white Christian fundamentalist conservative.

Our own leftist extremists will try to primary Obama, but they will be labeled racist for doing so. Many of them actually will be, but that’s not the real reason behind the move to get a more progressive candidate at the top of the ticket. Getting a more progressive candidate at the top of the ticket is the real reason. It won’t work though, and Obama will be renominated. He’ll keep Joe Biden. He’ll lose, because, golly gee whillickers, Mike Huckabee is just so swell.

And hey, maybe he’ll pick Palin as vice president too, and 10 years from now we’ll have completely forgotten what a creep she actually is, and she’ll win too.

All of that will happen because my colleagues won’t come anywhere near the truth about what happened on Tuesday. They’ll just sit around their tables and laugh at each others jokes and say stupid shit about how “cannibalism” kept not only Christine O’Donnell but also Christian Reconstructionist Sharron Angle from winning their Senate races. They won’t say it was because they are batshit insane, and, thanks to the spotlight that progressives – and in some cases even my dear colleagues – kept on them, the erstwhile voters in their states figured that out before it was too late.

The only place that didn’t really happen was in Kentucky, where apparently the voters are as crazy as the candidates and thought Rand Paul, the George W. Bush of the Paul family, should go to the Senate. Good luck with that, Kentucky. Hide your Social Security checks. He’ll be coming for them.

The Christianists are all whining that the Dems abandoned them this election, saying that led the fickle fundamentalists to go back to the Republicans who are the only ones who really care about them anyway. I say it had more to do with the abandonment of Howard Dean’s 50-state strategy, the kind of strategy the Republicans have been using for decades. The kind of strategy that got Obama elected and turned both chambers of Congress over to Democrats.

At any rate, America, caveat emptor. No returns, no refunds. The Republican-led House will keep its promises – to shut down the federal government, impeach the president, hold dozens of hearings on the first two years of the Obama administration, repeal the Affordable Health Care Act, privatize Social Security, increase defense spending, cut all social programs (eliminating many), extend tax cuts for the rich permanently, pass a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, decimate the First Amendments guarantees of freedom of speech and religion, expand the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and attack Iran. And that’s just for starters. They have a mandate to do all that, John Boehner says, just like George W. had a mandate when the Supreme Court gave him the presidency in 2000.

Oh and, when all that comes to bite Boehner and buds in the ass, they’ll blame the black guy.

And it’ll work too. As long as the Democrats keep up with their spineless response to all the lies and distortions.

But hey, at least half the blue dogs are gone now, replaced by bright red Republicans. That should make it easier for the White House to tell friends from enemies … oh right. Obama stepped in it when he inferred that some of the more wascally Wepublicans were “enemies.” Only Republicans are allowed to call their political opponents “enemies.”

Or “traitors.” That’s what we are to them. Certainly not real Americans. Never real Americans.

The wrong enemy

I know, the Obama administration has given us plenty to be angry about. And we’re right to point it out, loudly and often. But seriously, my friends, we need to take a break from it right now. There’s an election coming up, and we’re targeting the wrong enemy.

Of course, that’s what we idealists do. We liberal, progressive idealists. We know what we want, and we want it now. And if you don’t give it to us, well, fuck you. We just don’t have time to waste on petty politics and game-playing.

Take don’t ask don’t tell, for example. Good god, the president could sign an executive order, but he won’t. He says only Congress has the authority to change the law, never mind that Constitutional scholars, which he’s supposed to be, says he can do it.

I don’t agree, though, with those who bitch about the Justice Department’s legal maneuverings to support the policy. We raise holy hell when Republicans refuse to enforce laws. We shouldn’t expect Democrats to do that, even though it’s an odious law that should never have been put on the books.

The health care reform bill wasn’t even a shadow of what it should have been. Obama’s still backing Bush-era civil liberties transgressions. Wall Street reform? Please. The “state secrets” bullshit? It’s ok for the president to order an assassination? Of an American citizen no less? I could go on and on and on and on, and many have.

And what do our leaders tell us when we do? Quit whining. That was Joe Biden on Monday. At a fundraiser, the vice president urged Democrats to

remind our base constituency to stop whining and get out there and look at the alternatives. This president has done an incredible job. He’s kept his promises.

Well, sort of. But still, where do you think we’d be if McCain had won the election? Worse than we are now, certainly, and very likely worse than we were on January 19, 2009.

Obama, speaking to college journalists on a conference call, wasn’t nearly as rude as Biden, and, in fact, made a lot of sense.

You can’t sit it out. You can’t suddenly just check in once every 10 years or so, on an exciting presidential election, and then not pay attention during big midterm elections where we’ve got a real big choice between Democrats and Republicans

We really do have a big choice, and there’s a world of difference between the parties this go-round. Obama and the Democrats, despite their incalcitrance, are not the enemy. The enemy is people like Mike Huckabee, explaining here why insurance companies shouldn’t be forced to cover “pre-existing conditions.”

It sounds so good, and it’s such a warm message to say we’re not gonna deny anyone from a pre-existing condition. Look, I think that sounds terrific, but I want to ask you something from a common sense perspective. Suppose we applied that principle [to] our property insurance. And you can call your insurance agent and say, “I’d like to buy some insurance for my house.” He’d say, “Tell me about your house.” “Well sir, it burned down yesterday, but I’d like to insure it today.” And he’ll say “I’m sorry, but we can’t insure it after it’s already burned.” Well, no preexisting conditions.

The enemy is Christine O’Donnell.

You know what, evolution is a myth.

The enemy is Oklahoma State Rep. Lewis Moore, defending his support of a law banning courts from using Sharia law in their decisions.

Are we not at war with this ideology? Are we not at war with them? Then why would we give in to this?

The enemy is Sen. Jim Demented, who has crowned himself king and vowed to block every piece of legislation he doesn’t like.

“The Executive Committee of the Senate Steering Committee has asked the Steering Committee staff to hold all bills that have not been hotlined by close of business Tuesday,” his chief of staff said in an e-mail, referring to the conservative advisory committee that DeMint chairs.

“If there are any bills you would like cleared before we go out, please get them to the Steering Committee staff along with a CBO score, if applicable, by close of business on Tuesday.”

The enemy is Ron Johnson, teabag senator wannabe who could well defeat the most progressive senator in the Senate, Russ Feingold, in Wisconsin. Johnson opposes child abuse legislation.

I think it is extremely important to consider the economic havor and the other victims [the Wisconsin Child Victims Act] would likely create. [...] I believe it is a valid question to ask whether the employer of a perpetrator should also be severely damaged, or possibly destroyed, in our legitimate desire for justice. [...] It would also send a chilling signal to avoid this civic minded activity in the future. [...] I have no doubt trial lawyers would benefit, I’m not so sure the actual victims would.

The enemy is Sharron Angle.

I hope that’s not where we’re going, but you know if this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies and saying my goodness what can we do to turn this country around? I’ll tell you the first thing we need to do is take Harry Reid out.

The enemy is John Boehner.

Studies show that children best flourish when one mom and one dad are there to raise them.

The enemy is Rush Limbaugh and the rest of the racist, conserverati media.

They’re 12 percent of the population. Who the hell cares?

The enemy is Sen. Charles Grassley.

You have every right to fear. You shouldn’t have counseling at the end of life, you should have done that 20 years before. Should not have a government run plan to decide when to pull the plug on grandma.

The enemy is Rep. Steve King, who can’t seem to open his mouth without saying something insane, like calling Joe McCarty “a hero for America.”

The enemy is Rep. Michelle Bachmann.

Literally, if we took away the minimum wage — if conceivably it was gone — we could potentially virtually wipe out unemployment completely because we would be able to offer jobs at whatever level.

The enemy is Michigan Assistant Attorney General Andrew Shirvell, who has spent the last six months running an anonymous blog viciously attacking the openly gay president of the University of Michigan student body, and Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox, who hasn’t fired the motherfucker.
The enemy is Newt Gingrich, who will do or say anything to get elected president.

I want to repeal the New Deal.

The enemy is Rand Paul, talking about how courts are so “jammed” with people suing because, you know, things just happen.

Yeah, those things just get so jammed — everybody playing the blame game. I mean, sometimes mines just collapse, you know? Nobody’s fault. I think it’s called gravity.

The enemy is Glen Urquhart, tapped to fill Mike Castle’s state house seat in Delaware when he lost to Christine O’Donnell in the GOP Senate primary.

Do you know, where does this phrase separation of Church and State come from? Does anybody know? … Actually, that’s exactly, it was not in Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists. He was reassuring that the federal government wouldn’t trample on their religion. The exact phrase “separation of Church and State” came out of Adolph Hitler’s mouth, that’s where it comes from. Next time your liberal friends talk about the separation of Church and State ask them why they’re Nazis.

Need I say more? I can, you know. And by the way, Urquhart is flat out wrong about Jefferson. Here’s the quote, in case some lunatic teabagger someday asks why you’re a Nazi.

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.

Clearly, my friends, the Obama administration and the Democrats, particularly those cowardly Blue Dogs who so fear losing an election that they act exactly like Republicans, have given us much to decry.

But now is not the time. We can do that again on November 3. Now, we must stop at least some of these ignorant and/or willfully wicked people from touching the reins of power. And there’s only one way to do that.

Vote.

The fall of the American empire

This country is fucked up, man. I’ve seen a lot in my rather lengthy years here, and I’ve never seen it like this. I know, I know, there’s some song out there that says something about “Every generation thinks it’s the last,” or some such. I hate that fucking song. And yeah, we’ve been pretty fucked up before. The Civil War comes to mind. But tell me when we’ve ever before had this harmonic convergence of stupidity, cowardice, cruelty, corruption, hatred, lies and obstruction. You can’t do it, because we’ve never had it.

And that’s just Congress. Never mind the corporations, the Tea Party, the militias, the states, religion and, of course, the people who create those monstrosities.

Maybe it has something to do with the bird we picked to symbolize our greatness, the bald eagle. Magnificent bird, but awfully lazy. They won’t leave their evening roost sites, usually on cliffsides, if there’s not enough wind because they’d rather not flap those enormous wings. And they’d much rather whack you over the head with those wings and steal the fish you just caught than catch one themselves. Ben Franklin was right about the wild turkey. Not a very attractive bird, true, but industrious and not a mugger.

Something needs to happen, and soon, before we end up crushed and broken like the Roman Empire, shattered into tiny pieces and living in a modern version of the Dark Ages.

But what the hell can we do? We elect people we think will do the right thing, and as soon as they get into office they become the same old politicians. And why not? They know which side of the bread has the butter, man, and it ain’t us.

So on this July 4, Independence Day, maybe we oughta be thinking about what kind of country we want.

Now, I know what kind of country I’d like to live in, and I’ll bet it’s pretty similar to the one you envision. But there’s an awful lot of folks out there who don’t share our dreams and hopes. But maybe they would, if only they could cut through the bullshit and understand the truth about who we are and where we come from.

Online, we largely talk to ourselves. While it’s good to know there are others as distressed as we are about the current state of affairs, we get nowhere in terms of making change happen. So start talking. Talk to your family, your friends, your coworkers. Let them see how you feel about things, not your strident ideological viewpoint, because they really don’t give a good goddamn about that. They only care about how they feel, which is why the Teapublican conservarati are so fucking successful. They play on feelings — on the scariest of feelings. But most of what the conservarati want us to fear is made up shit, or maybe exaggerated shit at best.

I don’t want to live in a world where I’m terrified to leave my house or frightened of a terrorist attack that is bound to strike where I am at that time or the coming takeover of our government by a hostile enemy. I know that bad things could happen at any time, and I know that the hostile enemy that is trying to take over our government is the very group that pretends to be the only ones who can save us. That’s a common movie plot, people. We oughta be able to recognize it by now — and that includes your family, friends and coworkers.

Michael Steele, the Republicans’ attempt to prove they aren’t a bunch of racist bastards, is a freaking idiot. And a liar. Or maybe he really believes his lies, I don’t know what’s in that guy’s head. He said last week that Afghanistan was the “war of Obama’s choosing,” that “this is not something United States had actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in.”

Christ, Steele, on what fucking planet? And yet, my friends, can you even imagine how many people out there now believes exactly that.

Steele forgot, apparently, that it was George W. Bush who started that war after 9/11. Of course, Bush too quickly forgot about it, preferring instead to wage a real war of choice in Iraq. Just a few short months after he started that war, loudly declaring we’d smoke al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden out of the caves where they hid, he was telling reporters he didn’t think much about bin Laden, that bin Laden didn’t concern him. Of course not. He was working on what had been his plan all along — the invasion of Iraq.

Is that the kind of country we want? Where our leaders can’t make up their minds what the fuck they’re doing and blatantly lie about it?

Do we want a country where the party with the majority in Congress repeatedly caves to the minority on important issues they were elected to address? I know I didn’t cast my ballot for Barack Obama in 2008 so we could still keep prisoners at Gitmo who have not been charged and probably tortured, or conduct electronic surveillance on anybody we choose, American citizen or no, just because.

I don’t want a country, in fact, whose people think torture is OK. Waterboarding. It wasn’t an unknown technique when we suddenly learned we were doing it. It has a long and ugly history, and for that entire history it’s been labeled torture. Right up until George W. Bush admitted we did it. Then suddenly it was just a “harsh interrogation technique that some consider torture.” Really? Fuck that. Waterboarding is torture.

Actually, watching our government implode is torture. Watching Teapublicans get everything they fucking want in a bill and still refuse to vote for it is torture.

These guys started out Obama’s administration saying they wanted it to fail. They’re doing a great job of making sure that happens. Is that the kind of country we want? I don’t think so.

And it’s only gonna get worse, I tell you. We’re on a rapid slide to a catastrophic failure, and we’re getting awfully close to the point of no return. Think it’s bad now? Put the Republicans back in power in Congress. Or elect more Blue Dog corporate slave Democrats. See what happens then.

The Republicans want a government that caters to the rich, that makes them more powerful than they need to be. They don’t give a shit about you and me, and they especially don’t give a shit about the poor or anybody not white. Except Michael Steele, apparently, and maybe Alberto Gonzales.

That’s why they go on and on about socialism and Nazism and terrorists and Muslims and immigrants. It’s why they destroyed ACORN. It’s why they’re doing everything they can to save BP and nothing to save the Gulf Coast.

And a lot of people who are not completely destitute or unemployed buy into their crap. Know why? Because they still cling to something that was never true — that elusive American Dream of someday being one of the rich guys.

Not gonna happen for most, because what they don’t understand is that to become one of those guys you have to sell your soul, or not have one to begin with.

I don’t want to live in a soulless country. It sounds to much like late Victorian England, with debtors prisons and despicable orphanages and health care provided by Jack the Ripper types if you can get it at all.

No, I want a country that cares about its people, not its profits. I want a country that sees despair and bends to lift it, that educates its children in the ways of science and history, that encourages innovation and invention and gives those children the means to create.

Instead, though, we have a country that devalues education, cuts funding and then wonders why China is leaping ahead of us economically.

We have a country that values killing people more than it values saving lives by keeping our own infrastructure in good repair.

Some Republican last week lamented that our economy was going the way of the Roman Empire, blaming Obama and Democrats for that, naturally. He was half right. Our economy is collapsing, but it’s 30 years of conservative fuckery that’s cutting the legs out from under it.

How quickly we forget. Obama entered his presidency in the midst of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, and Republicans have screwed up every single thing he’s tried to fix it.

It was going to be a long, hard road anyway, but now it’s gotten longer and perhaps impossible to travel.

I’m angry as hell at the Republicans for that, and angry too at Obama and the Democrats for letting them do it, for not countering their scary rhetoric.

So if they’re not gonna do it, we have to. Not just to ourselves, but to everyone. It’s our last chance to turn this ship of state around. It’s hard work, and it will take a long, long time.

But the alternative is just too painful to even imagine.