Wednesday, October 6

But This Time, Baby, I Mean It

SO the President wants me--at least in so far as "Liberal" now means "anyone to the left of Joe Lieberman" in addition to its standard pejorative sense--to consider the alternatives.

Short answer: I wish there were some.

Slightly longer answer: So, it's come down to Who I Want Chairing The House Committee on Phone Answering at 3 AM? I wish Irony could have lived to see this.

Still longer answer, with implied "Motherfucker": It's what I've been doing since 1972, and, if I were four years older, since '68. I've been forced to find ways of surviving eight years of Nixon, eight years (plus reverb) of Reagan, and eight years of Bush II for the Inherent Promise of a moderate Democrat, another moderate Democrat, and you. What? Oh, this one's about Congress? Well, that's different, then. It's much worse.

The Democrats in Congress ran for the hills as soon as the last effective Democratic President, for Good or Ill--Lyndon Baines Johnson--ramrodded Civil Rights and Great Society legislation. It found enough courage, eventually, to mount a challenge to Vietnam, and impeach a criminal President. It seemed to totter for a brief moment in early 1981, considering whether to actually oppose Reagan or jump in and grab some personal profits before the Looting of America train left the station. Guess which one it chose?

Oh, right, I'm sorry; St. Ronnie's ideas were just go gawrsh-darn popular they couldn't be resisted. Because he was such an admirable communicator. Really sold us on the Grand Old Traditions of North American corporate privateering, Latin American death squads, and the Bottomless Cup O' Defense Contracting. That's why we haven't heard a peep from the Democrats in Congress for the last thirty years: Reagan's way with a quip.

That's why so many House Democrats, and a third of the Senate Caucus, lined up behind the Bush Tax Cuts even though he'd stolen the Pulpit it was delivered from just six months before. That's why they got maneuvered into voting Bush carte blanche in Iraq right before his first midterm election, on the grounds that otherwise they'd appear (Even) Weak(er) on Defense and Objectively Pro-Rape Room.

How'd that one work out? Not so bad for you; since you weren't there you got to use a streetcorner soapbox speech you'd made as your anti-Iraq War bona fides. Which convinced people, somehow, despite your record of voting for every Iraq War funding measure that crossed your desk; mind you, I'm not saying Democratic voters are blameless. But then, we're talking about Congress, right? So let's just recall the track record: Outmaneuvered, Cowed, Trounced in the Mid-terms Anyway. Given fresh majorities in 2006 ("Because the alternative was so much worse"), they put Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid in charge and proceeded, shockingly, to accomplish nothing. In 2009, with a man in the White House who'd pledged his support for Single Payer, they proceed to dick around to make sure the insurance companies and pharmaceutical privateers had enough time to weigh in, before managing to eke out a victory for Water Added Ham, Sometime in the Near Future, So Long As That's Okay with Everybody. Because it was that or look like a bunch of Unprincipled Do-Nothings about to be clobbered in the midterms.

You stood on the sidelines, sir. Saving your legendary oratorical skills for a month before the midterms, evidently.

I'm sorry, but Just how is it you implied motherfuckers don't get it? Why couldn't you come out and say "It's not Liberal vs. Conservative. It's not Big Tax and Big Spend. It's about Common Fucking Sense vs. Being Lied To and Robbed Blind for the sake of Corporate Profits."? There never was such an opportunity, at least not since Franklin Roosevelt. And he took his. His picture's on the dime. Yours is on a thousand Joker and Bone-through-the-nose placards.

I can somewhat forgive the Clinton administration for being blindsided on national healthcare (though for failing to respond once it happened, not so much). You guys, on the other hand, had that history, plus fifteen years of skyrocketing costs and fifteen years of rapidly descending levels of care on your side. You had an election which offered a generational realignment of the political scene as grounds for making things happen. You're a fifty-year-old man with thirty years of 100% Guano Republican Insanity in your adult lifetime (which had followed fifteen years of Goldwater and Nixon) and you thought these guys could be reasoned with. Even after they pointedly and unanimously kicked you in the teeth just after the Inauguration. In the midst of a fucking national disaster. You're a bright man with a first-rate education; you've been outsmarted by John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, and Sarah Palin, who don't combine to make a triple-digit IQ.

So now you think I should ride to the rescue, because they're so awful. And here's the thing: I'll be voting next month. I'll be enthusiastically pulling the level for the only African-American Muslim in the Congress, and the only Indiana representative who had the balls, and the safe district, to come out in favor of real health care reform. I'll be reluctantly voting for Blue Dog Brad Ellsworth to take Blue Dog Evan Bayh's seat (nothing you or anyone else could possibly have said would have gotten me to vote for that Time Bandit again), the way Ellsworth reluctantly voted for health care at the eleventh hour, and refuses to defend it in the face of his opponent's well-lubricated attacks. In a state you carried, historically, just twenty-three months ago. Call it force of habit; it's sure not loyalty to the cause. That I'll exhibit after the cause shows some loyalty to me. Hopeyness springs eternal.

And it sure as hell ain't Battered Spouse Syndrome, bub. I cringe when Republicans speak because of the shit they say. I'm not afraid of 'em, because I've seen the worst they can do. Repeatedly. And even if I were, I wouldn't run to a Democrat for protection.


StringonaStick said...


ice weasel said...

Here fucking here!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I can't vote for the "We promise to kill less Americans," party, anymore.

Anonymous said...

The only problem with not voting for the Democrats is that it amounts to a vote for the Republicans. (No, not really, but it really doesn't help, either.) So, hold your nose, walk into that booth, and vote for the person your really believe will do the best job they can. If they happen to have an R next to their name, so be it, but don't vote for any crazy people, OK?

KathyR said...


I got nobody to vote for here on 11/2. I got plenty to vote against, but I'm done doing that.

And I don't give a shit about Democrats v. Republicans any more. A pox on both of their corrupt houses.

M. Krebs said...

I'll be showing up, as usual, to press the button that says anything but Republican. Like you said, at this point it's just habit.

Anonymous said...

You said it, Krebs...I'm with you.

Doghouse, point by point perfect. I DID turn 18 in '68 and you nailed it.

heydave said...

I will vote Dem, then go my neighbor-the-frothing-Repub's house and shit on his front steps.

Just to make the process worthwhile.

Weird Dave said...

Bravo sir!

Oh, and consider the alternatives? It's a good thing for them there aren't any.

Kathy said...

I registered Green and Green is how I'll vote- when they have a candidate. I have the pleasure of choosing between Cowardly Corporate Sellout Reid and Crazy Stupid Lady Angle. (Deep sigh).

Mara said...

Same here, I've been pulling the Democratic lever with varying degrees of dissatisfaction since 1970. Certainly can't describe the experience any better than you, sir!

As I currently find myself living in the great state of Alabamy, my democratic vote offers little more satisfaction than spitting in the wind. Still, we trudge onward. Excelsior!!

lawguy said...

As the old joke has it: If you vote you just encourage them.

I will vote for my blue dog because of his position on Social Security, but here in Ohio I will not be voting in the Senatorial race.

I was going to sit out the last election because of Obama's various votes during the election on the bail out and on the wire tap stuff, but I was scared by Palin. I was wrong. It won't happen again, and I have been voting since 1968 and always for the lesser of two evils. Screw it.