p.m. carpenter on Electile Dysfunction:
In 2006 Democratic pols raced around their little fiefdoms or would-be fiefdoms pulling the updated equivalent of the president's rhetorical 9/11-Saddam scam. Just as he never explicitly linked the two, they never quite said, if installed in the majority, they would end this farce of a war in Iraq. But they implied it. They dangled "change" and "new directions" and all manner of muscular confrontations with the executive warmonger.
Then they surprised themselves by winning, which only complicated things. Oh Jesus, what now? They had the wolf by the ears, yet no better idea of what to do then when they were merely promising -- well, sort of promising -- they would do something.
So they proceeded to do what all majoritarian charlatans do when the governmental going gets tough: they engaged battle with resolutions and non-binding pronunciamentoes and blustered and bluffed. They made much noise, accompanied by some merriment and hope in the land. There was an uptick in Congress' approval rating.
Then they broke off from battle, pleading there really wasn't much they could do. They had read the legislative rules and U.S. Constitution, it seems, and discovered a slim majority was no better, really, than a sizable minority, and that the president had this thing called veto power. They would have to back-burner the war issue and move on to domestic matters. So as reported yesterday, "It has been nearly three weeks since Democrats have held a formal Iraq debate or voted on an Iraq proposal in the House or Senate. Not since they assumed the majority in January has there been such a lull."
And lordy lord guess what? "During the three weeks, Congressional approval ratings have fallen." So now they're back, full of bombast again, and this time going whole hog with ... nasty letters. "The American people cannot and should not have to wait until later this year for changes in your flawed Iraq policy," wrote the speaker and Senate majority leader to the president with an insincerity that staggers.
But that bluster is only the half of it. Let's consider their intervening bluster -- that of pausing all that problematic war stuff so they could roll up their sleeves and advance much-needed domestic legislation.
Really? Damn, guys, that's a helluva trick. Somehow, suddenly and miraculously, the presidential veto no longer applied? Somehow a slim majority was now more powerful against a reactionary minority than it was yesterday? Somehow progressive domestic legislation was doable, although antiwar legislation wasn't?
And let us not forget that as long as this country spends two-billion dollars a week on someone else's civil war, any domestic advances, no matter how politically attractive, are simply, absolutely, undeniably unaffordable. The circus barkers know that, meaning they knew their domestic diversion was as impotent as their antiwar bluster.
For six months the "progressive community" has been scammed, fleeced and insulted by the "progressive" powers that be. At least the halfwitted Republican Congress first presented itself to voters in all its halfwitted glory, and, true to its word, proceeded to advance halfwitted domestic legislation and halfwitted wars. Republican pols may have hoodwinked and bamboozled voters as to the wisdom of their priorities, but they said what they were going to do and they did it.
The Republican Congress proved the power of democratic stupidity. The Democratic Congress is merely proving the impotence of democratic fraud...
But it gets richer. The Rethuglican party, it seems, is not to be outdone in the fraud department on its own popular base. On the other hand after last week's Immigration legistlation debacle, with the Company DINOcrats in bed with Dear Leader as the Rethuglicans caved in to their electorate in flyover country, the funding ba$e called in Commander Codpiece to show the Congress who's really boss.
The response was predictable. Digby notes:
...Trent Lott said yesterday, “talk radio is running America." Well, it may not be running America, but it is competing with the big money boyz to run the Republican party and having some success. The big money boyz are coming to regret the monster they created...
...Trent Lott is railing at the out of control rightwing talk radio hosts and Timmeh himself said this on Tucker yesterday:
RUSSERT: Traditionally, Hispanic voters in the 50s and 60s, smaller number obviously, were Republican. Strong family values. Now it`s trending more and more Democratic. The new registrants are overwhelmingly Democratic. And what the political advisers of the president are saying, we cannot afford to have another block like African-Americans, and Hispanic Americans. If we have Hispanics and blacks voting ten to one Democratic, we are in trouble.
Like many progressives, Digby views the myopic behavior of the populist conservative base with the myopia of the populist liberal base. Digby is absolutely right that the main reason most conservatives oppose the Immigration amnesty bill is racist xenophobia.
What many honest Democrats do not realize is that the Kennedy-Bu$h Immigration package codifies a corporate neo-slavery, where corporations will have a mechanism to bring vast numbers of underpaid overworked people with no real chance of gaining citizenship rights in the arcane and expensive process the bill codifies, regardless of the assurances of the law.
What many honest Republicans do not realize is that their own party leaders exist to serve a corporate imperial machine that has destroyed the economic base of much of the world, and whose aggregate greed longs to do at home what they've done for years in the sweatshops abroad.