Tag Archives: vichy regime

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.