The Stupid Party

With the ascension of Trent Lott to the position of Minority Whip and the ongoing kerfuffle regarding Nancy Pelosi and her choice of Murtha, it is time for something really rare here at Balloon Juice- my wholehearted agreement with Dean Barnett on a sentiment:

Is it just me, or is it becoming increasingly apparent that the Republicans and Democrats are determined to engage in a two year dumb-off?

The one positive aspect of this development is that the current Bush administration is, for lack of a better word, fucked. They now face a hostile majority party in both the House and the Senate, and their own party in the House will be run by people running as hard and as far as they can from this White House (as soon as they quit stockpiling ammo for the circular firing squad) and is now led in the Senate by Mitch McConnell and Trent Lott.

McConnell is, by all accounts, a straight shooter and an extremely wily strategist, but he also has the distinction of being livid with this administration for their behavior with Campaign Finance Reform. Lott, as you well know, is, I am sure, salivating at the prospect of reaming this White House a good one. He still feels that they threw him overboard in favor of Frist, and he has been getting his pound of flesh every chance he can over the past few years. I expect him to make the next two years as painful excrutiating for Bush, Cheney, and Rove as he possibly can. Another upside to Lott is that he has some bad blood with Dobson and company.

So, while the election of McConnell and Lott will no doubt further cement the party as a southern regional party (I am inclined to believe the 2008 Senate races will be a disaster for the GOP, leaving the party truly marginalized), no doubt dooming Republicans electorally for generations to come, there is the upside that Bush is going to get it handed to him right and proper with some pretty good regularity (already there are rumblings about wiretapping). That, I am inclined to believe, is a good thing for both Republicans and the country.






86 replies
  1. 1
    DougJ says:

    Lott was running against Lamar Alexander so it was bound to be a southerner. I’m glad to see Lott back — he got screwed last time so the Bushies could put their lackey Frist in. He’s behaved like someone who believes the Senate has a real role in our government — that it isn’t just an adjunct to the executive branch. Good for him all the way around.

  2. 2
    NDC says:

    Obviously the Internet is rife with references to The Who’s lyrics for “Won’t Get Fooled Again” in the wake of the opening leadership elections, but it’s dead on. These party hacks are like zombies – you think they might finally be dead and buried but they keep coming back.

  3. 3
    srv says:

    Ugh, that Lott/Dobson blood feud link had some icky stuff between ppGaz and Stormy.

  4. 4
    Gregory says:

    Bush is going to get it handed to him right and proper with some pretty good regularity (already there are rumblings about wiretapping). That, I am inclined to believe, is a good thing for both Republicans and the country.

    Word.

  5. 5
    Zifnab says:

    Wow. I thought this was going to earn the covetted Democratic Stupidity/Republican Stupidity double header for sure.

    Now that John’s broken the former out of the closet, he hasn’t shown any gunshyness.

  6. 6
    capelza says:

    I don’t know why anyone expresses suprise at a politican who comes back from the Grave…there’a very old country song talking about the 1968 election and the one line I rememeber vividly is “Nixon, he’s been running ever since time began”.

    That was before he won. Lott coming back, not as big a deal.

    As for the Southern Republicans (I call them Dixiephants)..it indeed does look like the GOP wants to marginalise itself there. Are there no GOP Senators outside of the South in leadershp positions? I swear…I know of one on the west coast, Gordon Smith, surely, there must be others.

  7. 7
    David says:

    Heaven help me, I agree with him too. The world, it is ending.

  8. 8
    TenguPhule says:

    Bite the Bullet and Play the Cards as they Fall.

  9. 9
    Andrew says:

    The one positive aspect of this development is that the current Bush administration is, for lack of a better word, fucked. They now face a hostile majority party in both the House and the Senate…

    I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that the Bush administration is fucked because they’re corrupt, incompetent, bad at governing, stupid, evil, immoral, lazy, and closed minded.

    Everything else is an externality that merely adds to their fuck-ed-ness.

  10. 10
    Marcus Wellby says:

    Lott, as you well know, is, I am sure, salivating at the prospect of reaming this White House a good one

    That is what I was thinking, and some GOP senators may be quite hopeful that he will ream away.

    Though 2008 predictions are a bit too early. Depends if the GOP run further into Dobson’s arms or the Dems still act like please the likes of Russert and Broder is the same as good governance.

  11. 11

    I guess I’m disappointed that Alexander didn’t win. He has always struck me as more of a moderate.

    That being said… I get the impression that McConnell/Lott signal the return of Honest Republicans. Hell, we may disagree with everything they stand for, but at least they aren’t afraid to admit what they stand for. That’s a big improvement over the Darrell wing of the Republican party.

  12. 12
    Jay says:

    Is it just me, or is it becoming increasingly apparent that the Republicans and Democrats are determined to engage in a two year dumb-off?

    Dumberer & Dumberest?

    Re: The Senate playing Whack-a-Bush, I wonder if Mr. President will hit the Ranch for the next two years. Washington will be a strange and unpleasant place for him with Pelosi saying neener neener! Lott letting the air out of his bike tires, the Religious Wrong stalking him moaning “Yooou proooomised,” like a bunch of very stale zombies and everyone else knocking him down and taking his lunch money.

  13. 13
    Davebo says:

    It’s pretty freaking amazing really.

    Was there an uproar upon Delays resignation over whether Blunt or Boehner should be the replacement? If you’ll recall, Blunt had seniority over Boehner, yet he lost in the House vote.

    But no one was talking about who Hastert supported for the job.

  14. 14
  15. 15
    Dreggas says:

    In all fairness to Murtha regarding his views on ethics reform:

    click here

    now granted there is still some shady stuff that Murtha did, even if it wasn’t completely illegal. However some want to pillory him over a sound byte and looks like MSNBC is taking those people to task, oh and Murtha will be on Tweetie here in a few if he hasn’t already.

  16. 16
    Zifnab says:

    I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that the Bush administration is fucked because they’re corrupt, incompetent, bad at governing, stupid, evil, immoral, lazy, and closed minded.

    Oh please, like that’s ever been a deterant in politics.

    Was there an uproar upon Delays resignation over whether Blunt or Boehner should be the replacement? If you’ll recall, Blunt had seniority over Boehner, yet he lost in the House vote.

    But no one was talking about who Hastert supported for the job.

    I think that was more of a “who can shove DeLay’s legacy wang farther down his finanical hole?” The Republicans never REALLY ran away from Tom DeLay. Sure he wasn’t admitted to the swag parties, at least through the front door, but he was still regular enough on FOX News not to escape notice. And Capital Hill picked him up fast enough to start lobbying again – he couldn’t haul ass out to Virginia fast enough. He still makes his appearance on Red State. He still pimps the Republican message on radio. He’s a martyr among his people, a benevolent Majority Leader struck down in his prime by furious and vendictive blue haters.

    He’ll be around for thirty years if he’s around for another day. His name will go down with Rove and Limbaugh and O’Reily as one of the voices of conservatism. Future congresscritters will idolize him and follow in his footsteps. And when the next wave of crazies takes over the Capital, they’ll be able to look back on DeLay as their blueprint for success.

    Fuck Tom DeLay.

  17. 17
    Fed up! says:

    Ha! Just wait…the House Dems will fuck up. I’m sure of it. Pelosi won’t put Jane Harman back on the House Intelligence Committee as the Chair and put that impeached federal judge next year destroying and credibility the Democrats had after winning 8 days ago. The House will most likely be a mess for the next 2 years with Dems playing defense. Senate’s a different story.

  18. 18
    Joe1347 says:

    Even though Lott has a racist past – he always seemed likeable enough. So maybe that’s the best that the Republicans (excuse me the Confederacy) can hope for.

  19. 19
    Chili says:

    In all fairness to Murtha regarding his views on ethics reform:

    click here

    now granted there is still some shady stuff that Murtha did, even if it wasn’t completely illegal. However some want to pillory him over a sound byte and looks like MSNBC is taking those people to task, oh and Murtha will be on Tweetie here in a few if he hasn’t already.

    That Kos story doesn’t get the whole quote either:

    From TPM/TPMmuckraker:

    “Even though I think it’s total crap, I’ll vote for it and pass it because that’s what Nancy wants,” Murtha told the Blue Dogs, according to three sources who were at the meeting. . .

    TPMmuckraker article
    Collection of Murtha stuff

    Although as I post this, I see the Muckraker article has been updated again saying 2 Dems in attendance say that this quote too is out of context. I’d really like to see the full quote in context. While ABSCAM I find a bit unnerving, it was years ago. The later comments about being ethics reform being “total crap” I find really stupid and make me wonder about Pelosi and Muthra as leaders.

  20. 20
    LA says:

    Is Murtha really so offensive?

    I’m no raving fan of his, but I admire the strength of his anti-war position.

    He also turned down the ABSCAM bribe, which, according to Malkin and her ilk still incriminates him. The $50k in cash was there in the room. The bribe was offered. He said no – maybe later. “No, maybe later” is still NO. A number of other officials left that room with the cash in their pockets. It seems terribly strange that people are trying to use a videotape of him NOT committing a crime against him.

  21. 21
    neil says:

    Murtha is hardly the poster boy for clean politics, but Roll Call reports today that he’s toeing the line on Pelosi’s ethics reform bill despite arguing that the bill is ‘total crap.’

    So we’ve got corrupt politicians going along with ethics reform for the sake of party unity. Compare that to the last decade: ethical politicians going along with corruption for the sake of party unity. I know what I think leads to better governance.

    Anyway, remember who the old Majority Leader was? Murtha is a boy scout compared to that guy.

  22. 22
    Chili says:

    Anyway, remember who the old Majority Leader was? Murtha is a boy scout compared to that guy.

    Here’s my problem with that statement:

    “They were worse” is not an excuse or a reason to look the other way if Murtha is indeed corrupt.

    I’m sick of the lesser of two evils. The Dems ran on ethics among other things and if the details about Murtha turn out to be true, Pelosi and the Dems need to find someone else.

  23. 23
    Dreggas says:

    Chili,

    I agree if this crap turns out to be true then Murtha should not get the post. I’m just tired of seeing things taken out of context like they were with Kerry. Murtha was saying he thinks this is crap because the members of the house should not need ethics reform and should be ethical in the first place, at least that is my take.

    As for Hoyer I have no opinion on him one way or the other at this point.

    As far as Lott goes, gee thought the GOPers didn’t like him for his racist remarks and such, guess they changed their tune, then again giving his comments he fits right into that spot of whipping minorities.

  24. 24
    ThymeZone says:

    Ugh, that Lott/Dobson blood feud link had some icky stuff between ppGaz and Stormy.

    Yeah, the good old days. That was before Stormy did the Light up Palestine thing, and then started talking about her mother, whereupon I said something about her mother, whereupon she said How Dare You Talk About My Mother, whereupon I said, well, you brought her up, so Go Fuck Yourself.

    It’s been downhill ever since.

  25. 25

    “It’s total crap…” Yeah, I’d like to see context as well.

    Is it crap that they’re trying to reform it, or is it a crap method (won’t do what it claims it’s trying to do, too many loopholes, etc), or is it a case of crap because once more the rules are there and what’s really needed is ENFORCING them, or…

    dunno. Just know I’ve described things as crap for all the above plus some others.

  26. 26
    neil says:

    The fact is, we didn’t have a revolution on the 7th, we had an election. And in that election, some less than perfect politicians were reelected. The election was not a mandate to throw everybody out of the government who doesn’t meet certain ethical standards; and if it were, the system would probably be worse for it, since there is no objective way to measure that.

    Whining that Murtha is just as bad as Tom DeLay before Murtha has even been elected leader is not the way to fix the system. Tom DeLay would rather people just believe “Republicans were crooks, Democrats are crooks” than realize the extent to which he ran the House like a crime syndicate.

    There’s no reason to look the other way, but similarly there’s no reason to shut your eyes and refuse to see the reality of the situation. Murtha is backing an ethics bill that Tom DeLay wouldn’t have used as kindling. So far, so good. If anything goes wrong, raise hell, but don’t cry wolf — that doesn’t help the cause of reform.

  27. 27
    neil says:

    Or else, you could demand nothing short of perfection. Remember what a powerful message was sent by all those people who voted Ralph Nader in 2000?

  28. 28
    Larry says:

    Just read the Dobson DeLay retrospective about the nuclear option.

    Pity they didn’t push that thru.

  29. 29
    Otto Man says:

    Remember what a powerful message was sent by all those people who voted Ralph Nader in 2000?

    Yes, I believe their message was “I don’t understand the American political system.”

  30. 30
    TenguPhule says:

    Whining that Murtha is just as bad as Tom DeLay before Murtha has even been elected leader is not the way to fix the system.

    Amen to that. Can we at least wait and see what Murtha does first in 2007 before lining up the firing squad?

    If he starts behaving badly then, I’ll be the first to apologize to all who called for his scalp before.

  31. 31
    stickler says:

    I don’t know if John Cole is taking this whole show the same way as me, but as a disaffected Republican, too, let me just add:

    Amen to that. Can we at least wait and see what Murtha does first in 2007 before lining up the firing squad?

    This is not, usually, how Republicans function. The circular firing squad is supposed to be a Democratic tradition, and it’s making an appearance already. Kind of entertaining to watch it from “inside,” so to speak.

    Ronald Reagan used to talk about the 11th Commandment: “Thou shalt not speak ill of other Republicans (in public)” … and I think Democrats ought to adopt it for the time being. Get our country out of the shithole, neuter George Bush, and then start trying to purify the Democratic Party.

  32. 32
    CaseyL says:

    Murtha’s statement was taken out of context.

    Murtha was referring to how crappy the situation was; i.e., that corruption had gotten so bad that new rules were needed to define ethical behavior.

    The full story was on MSNBC. Rep. Jim Moran confirmed it, and so did Murtha on Hardball.

  33. 33
    Jane Finch says:

    I like Trent Lott….not for his politics, not for his toupee, certainly not for his regional allegiances…but because he “gets” how to be effective in the Senate. He was one of the very few who got it during the Clinton impeachment, and I remain convinced that he helped the Senate on the way to “no”. He has the added credential of being screwed by Katrina…i look forward to the next two years.

  34. 34
    Pb says:

    Woo… Faux News is right… hacktacular memo:

    “be on the lookout for any statements from the Iraqi insurgents, who must be thrilled at the prospect of a Dem-controlled congress.
    […]
    The question of the day, and indeed for the rest of bush’s term, is: What’s the Dem plan for Iraq?
    […]
    We’ll continue to work the Hamas threat to the US that came hours after the election results.
    […]
    Just because the Dems won, the war on terror isnt’ over.”

    John Moody likes pie!

  35. 35
    KC says:

    I totally agree with John on this one. I think Republicans would do good to start taking a look at this administration with some critical eyes. Really, it would only help the country.

    As for both parties playing stupid, I agree with that too. I don’t know what they hell Pelosi is thinking, or even if she is. Ditto for the Senate Republicans (though I have to admit, I admire Lott’s legislative abilities).

  36. 36
    Kimmitt says:

    If everyone is being stupid, there must be some return to stupidity.

  37. 37
    Pooh says:

    If everyone is being stupid, there must be some return to stupidity.

    I know what you mean, but if I were being stupid myself I might say “Why do you think we ever left?”

  38. 38
    pie says:

    (I am inclined to believe the 2008 Senate races will be a disaster for the GOP, leaving the party truly marginalized), no doubt dooming Republicans electorally for generations to come

    Unfortunately, no. Lawyers, guns, and money will see them through as they always have. I’m predicting a major comeback in 2014 or 2016, but it could always come sooner if the Democrats really screw something up.

    Lott was running against Lamar Alexander so it was bound to be a southerner. I’m glad to see Lott back—he got screwed last time so the Bushies could put their lackey Frist in. He’s behaved like someone who believes the Senate has a real role in our government—that it isn’t just an adjunct to the executive branch. Good for him all the way around.

    True, but there’s still the whole racism thing that got him in trouble in the first place. At the time, I was happy to see him go in favor of a bungling incompetent like Frist. (Mind you, those were dark days for the Democratic Party, and we had to take whatever small victory we could get.)

  39. 39
    ThymeZone says:

    Well, if the topic here is stupidity, I cannot fathom how you can beat this for stupidity.

    Again and again, the massive fecklessness of this administraton just takes your breath away.

    I am humbled.

  40. 40
    Pb says:

    Wait… so now we’re in our last throes?

  41. 41
    neil says:

    One more thing about Murtha and his penchant for pork. If he doesn’t get to be Majority Leader, a ceremonial position, he’ll have to settle for Chairman for the House _Appropriations Sub-Committee for Defense_.

    If he wanted to cash in, that’s where he’d stay. You don’t need to go as far as Louis Phillipe commodes to get fat off of that job.

  42. 42

    “They were worse” is not an excuse or a reason to look the other way if Murtha is indeed corrupt.

    Can anybody actually confirm Murtha is corrupt?

    I hear a lot of whining from Michelle Malkin, but she thinks all Democrats are corrupt and Republicans are saints.

  43. 43
    neil says:

    Sheesh, he’s the ranking member on the friggin’ Defense Appropriations subcommittee, of course he’s corrupt! I was sounding too credulous above, I do believe in giving leaders a chance, but come on, this is Congress we’re talking about. Congress has done great things with corrupt leaders, just not leaders with the DeLay brand of corruption.

  44. 44
    J. Michael Neal says:

    Murtha was referring to how crappy the situation was; i.e., that corruption had gotten so bad that new rules were needed to define ethical behavior.

    Yeah. The funny thing is that Murtha is part of the reason that we need to have ethics legislation.

    Can anybody actually confirm Murtha is corrupt?

    Try TPMmuckraker.

  45. 45
    Punchy says:

    Typical JC post. Blast both parties, when really it’s the Republicans who can’t get their shit straight. Just like CNN, he’d better get both parties muddy, just in case, when the fucking Dems aren’t even in control yet.

  46. 46
    ThymeZone says:

    Typical JC post. Blast both parties, when really it’s

    Since we’re heavily into theater here (more than usual), I’ll read the part of John’s lawyer, and say ….

    …it’s about theater. John teaches about this stuff, I think, and he gets that it’s about appearances and theatrics, not about proving Murtha guilty of anything, or innocent of anything.

    And in that context, he’s right.

    And if you were writing some bad stageplay for Dems here, wouldn’t you start with having the character of Nancy start out with a big, empty boast about “draining the swamp?”

    I sure would, because it sets up the next scene where Nancy falls back on the same old inside-the-beltway power crap that makes the average person want to puke.

    Now to the land of bloggorrhea, where the hot blooded young Dems, fresh from their great victory, want to rub the enemy’s nose in the thing with great cries of “I got your ethics concerns right here!”

    This is a great play.

  47. 47
    Pb says:

    Um, J. Michael Neal? TPMmuckraker is currently quoting the latest pathetic out-of-context Murtha smear quote on their front page, so I’m going to pass on them for this one.

  48. 48
    Perry Como says:

    I’m sick of the lesser of two evils.

    That’s why I think Cthulhu should be the next majority leader. Democrats are always too quick to settle.

  49. 49
    John Cole says:

    Did you really think that was me ‘blasting both parties?’

    I mean, is that what you really got out of this post?

  50. 50
    TenguPhule says:

    John Cole Says: I mean, is that what you really got out of this post?

    Well, it would probably help if the Democrats do something wrong first before going after them. I mean so far all we’ve seen is a 26 year old tape, some rather sloppy editorials/’news’ and an old smear on Reid that’s been debunked repeatedly. I don’t mind taking pot shots at the ones who are crooks, like the guy who got caught with wads of money in his fridge…but if you were willing to give Bush 4 years of the benefit of the doubt, can the Democratic Party at least get a Freidman Unit to show what they can do before the BJ chainsaw start chopping them up?

  51. 51
    Chris Stevens says:

    I think Murtha is a good choice. He will not be grandstanding thinking about a Whitehouse bid. He will be about the nuts and bolts and get the job done, doesn’t need to take shit from anyone. A real good choice. Nancy Pelosi backing him was really smart. His opinion of the war fits squarely with hers. The Democrats don’t need some ass in a leadership position thinking “Stay the Course” is a real strategy.

    Trent Lott on the other hand, is a terrible choice. He is too much of an old school Southern Republican to appeal to the broader American populous. He might be popular inside the GOP but is not outside of it or with independents. He will know how to mess with Harry Reid but he is not going to just stop there. He is going to be a thorn in the foot of Rove, Bush and Rice. He probably already knows that there is nothing you can do to mess with Cheney who just does not give a shit. My best guess is that he will really try to mess with Rice as payback.

    If he asks for favors from GOP Whitehouse hopefuls, he could end up blowing the election for them. The “Maverick” had better watch his step.

  52. 52
    pie says:

    John Moody likes pie!

    Yeah, I’m a pretty popular guy in right-wing circles.

  53. 53
    pie says:

    That’s why I think Cthulhu should be the next majority leader. Democrats are always too quick to settle.

    There are plenty of people who agree with you.

    Q) What is your candidates stand on abortion? Will it/he/she merely outlaw human life itself and thus end the issue?
    A) The Great Cthulhu cares little for mortal affairs and mortal politics. However, as a presidential candidate, it must take a stand. Cthulhu is, therefore, pro-choice because it cares little for what you do. However, it’s in favor of keeping humans alive, so that it can taunt and toy with them before they go insane and it eats them.

  54. 54
    p.lukasiak says:

    I’m sick of the lesser of two evils. The Dems ran on ethics among other things and if the details about Murtha turn out to be true, Pelosi and the Dems need to find someone else.

    yes, and I wish pigs had wings, so they could fly.

    The fact is that Hoyer had the majority position wrapped up (and Hoyer is even more corrupt than Murtha — he’s just smoother) until someone with Murtha’s balls was willing to take him on.

    **********
    re: Lott —
    where did he come from? I mean, this was totally from left field, I don’t recall any stories about a whip battle in the Senate.

    and as for McConnell, lets just say that the rumors circulating about his “private” life aren’t going away any time soon — not if Mike Stark has anything to say about it….

  55. 55
    Zifnab says:

    re: Lott—where did he come from? I mean, this was totally from left field, I don’t recall any stories about a whip battle in the Senate.

    They basically scrapped the entire existing leadership. After Bill “My last name is now synonimous with incompetence” Frist completely bumblefucked the first Republican Senate Majority in forever, they’re getting back to basics. People still remember when Trent Lott ran the Senate competently.

    and as for McConnell, lets just say that the rumors circulating about his “private” life aren’t going away any time soon—- not if Mike Stark has anything to say about it….

    Horray! More gay Republicans!

  56. 56
    Zifnab says:

    According to the USDA “hungry” in the US just went away! Horray for Bush and the Republicans!

    Every year, the Agriculture Department issues a report that measures Americans’ access to food, and it has consistently used the word “hunger” to describe those who can least afford to put food on the table. But not this year.

    The USDA said that 12 percent of Americans — 35 million people — could not put food on the table at least part of last year. Eleven million of them reported going hungry at times. Beginning this year, the USDA has determined “very low food security” to be a more scientifically palatable description for that group.

  57. 57

    Beginning this year, the USDA has determined “very low food security” to be a more scientifically palatable description for that group.

    LOL!

  58. 58
    Pb says:

    So wait, does that elevate the threat? Is this now an issue of national food security? Or will that just be their reason for not releasing the report in 2007?

  59. 59
    Jay says:

    Beginning this year, the USDA has determined “very low food security” to be a more scientifically palatable description for that group.

    “What’s to eat mom? My food security is low.”

    Maybe the homeless can get little colour coded signs to show their food security level. “Please help this homeless vet. Food security level is Code Orange.”

    I mean, this is a joke, right?

  60. 60
    Krista says:

    Beginning this year, the USDA has determined “very low food security” to be a more scientifically palatable description for that group.

    Well yes, because heaven forbid that we acknowledge that some people are starving to death while living in the Best Country in the World(tm).

  61. 61
    Ryan S. says:

    Hunger = very low food security

    Proudly brought to you by the Department of Homeland Redefinition. Giving Americans new meaning since 1981.

  62. 62
    Pb says:

    So, the news is that Hoyer won… best of luck to him!

  63. 63
    CaseyL says:

    Oh, good; the office space wars are over. Now the Dems can get to the stuff that really matters, like governing.

  64. 64
    Zifnab says:

    Gak. I should probably drop a link to that. If only because it gets better.

    That 35 million people in this wealthy nation feel insecure about their next meal can be hard to believe, even in the highest circles. In 1999, Texas Gov. George W. Bush, then running for president, said he thought the annual USDA report — which consistently finds his home state one of the hungriest in the nation — was fabricated.

    “I’m sure there are some people in my state who are hungry,” Bush said. “I don’t believe 5 percent are hungry.”

  65. 65
    jg says:

    Hunger = very low food security

    I guess doubleplus unfull would have been too obvious.

  66. 66
    Pb says:

    In other news, tax cuts don’t really help the people who don’t make enough to pay taxes in the first place. Cutting funding for food stamps doesn’t help them either, go figure.

  67. 67
    Jay says:

    Thanks for the link. What does it say about the state of the nation when straight news looks like very clever snark?

    “I’m sure there are some people in my state who are hungry,” Bush said. “I don’t believe 5 percent are hungry.”

    Goodness. Bush out of touch and refusing to believe information he doesn’t like? I am shocked. You’d think he’d pounce on this opportunity to make light of the hungry food impaired a la his death-row inmate impersonation: “Please feeeed meeee! Heh heh.” However, Mama Bush must have been so proud:

    “And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this–this (she
    chuckles slightly) is working very well for them.”

    Time for the Aerosmith solution: Eat the rich. Iron Babs could keep a family of four out of the low food security range for a month.

  68. 68
    ThymeZone says:

    So .. update: Hoyer wins, Murtha loses, according to CNN.

    We don’t know what happened behind closed doors, so we are left to guess …. I’ll guess that Dem members were expressing their unhappiness with being put in the position that Pelosi put them in with the Murtha flap, and voted against her choice to send a message.

    But, who knows? Maybe they flipped a coin ….

  69. 69
    jg says:

    I’ll guess that Dem members were expressing their unhappiness with being put in the position that Pelosi put them in with the Murtha flap, and voted against her choice to send a message.

    Or maybe they voted for the guy they wanted and left all the soap opera drama for the blogs.

  70. 70
    ThymeZone says:

    Or maybe they voted for the guy they wanted and left all the soap opera drama for the blogs.

    Probably a better guess than mine was.

  71. 71
    Punchy says:

    I mean, is that what you really got out of this post?

    I get a lot out of your posts, but in this case specifically, it really seemed you stretched to make sure you trashed the Dems. Two-year dumboff? Based on ONE week of action, and still 2 months from actual control? That’s like blaming the new tenants of a house for the damage seen in a 29 year-old carpet.

  72. 72
    Face says:

    In other news, I cannot wait to buy the new O.J. book. I’m DYING to know how he would have deep-sixed his old lady and her john. Promises to be full of surprises. My guess is that he would have sliced them up good, wearing very ubiquitous Nikes, disposible latex gloves, and no socks.

  73. 73
    Pb says:

    ThymeZone, jg,

    From what I heard, Steny had 150 votes or so all along, and apparently all the Murtha sliming in the media either had no effect, or just served to keep the votes more or less where they already were. Now if we had a real press that did research instead of stenography, then maybe we could have found out just where all that slime was coming from. But oh well, one more trumped-up non-event over and done with, and good riddance. Incidentally, I love how the news media focuses on what the Dems are or aren’t, or might be, or should or shouldn’t do instead of looking at what they’re, you know, actually saying or doing.

    For example, MS-NBC had a split screen–panel discussion on the left devoted to reporting on this non-story, while on the right they showed the video feed (without audio) of the Dem’s presser. Of course, if you actually had the audio, you would have heard that the Dems were united and talking about their agenda going forward. But since you didn’t, you just heard a bunch of hacks talking about how the Dems were divided, and nothing about an agenda, period. The Dems have no plan? No, you dishonest hacks just can’t report worth shit!

    On the other hand, Fox was reporting on the weather instead. Could be worse?

  74. 74
    jcricket says:

    So .. update: Hoyer wins, Murtha loses, according to CNN.

    Sounds fine to me. Pelosi supported Murtha, but she’ll respect the votes and Hoyer’s now in charge. No need to hide all this stuff.

    Democrats = big tent, capable of having disagreements in public, don’t need lock-step agreement on everything to make progress.

    I think it’s the whole lock-step Delay-style approach that ends up hiding corruption and leading to more “extreme” decisions than would be supported if people aired their grievances and had debates in public.

    Shorter me: Open debate healthy.

  75. 75
    ThymeZone says:

    No, you dishonest hacks just can’t report worth shit!

    They are in the business of attracting eyeballs, and the Murtha flap is perfectly suited for that purpose.

    Still, you have to wonder … if Hoyer had the votes all along, why would Pelosi stir up this hornet’s nest? Knowing where the votes are is the single most important thing in legislative leadership. It’s what they do.

    It’s all rather odd, at this point.

  76. 76
    Pb says:

    if Hoyer had the votes all along, why would Pelosi stir up this hornet’s nest? Knowing where the votes are is the single most important thing in legislative leadership.

    And considering that, maybe it’s a good thing that Hoyer got the job instead of Murtha–Hoyer obviously knew where the votes were, whereas Murtha was dead wrong.

  77. 77
    ThymeZone says:

    Hardball with Chris Matthews:

    Matthews: Eyeball to eyeball, do you have the votes?

    Murtha: Eyeyball to eyeball, we have the votes.

    —-//

    That was either yesterday or the day before.

    So much for eyeballs as the standard.

  78. 78
    Pb says:

    ThymeZone,

    Yep. Either a lot of people lied to Murtha’s face, or he’s losing it. Neither option is particularly good there for him. And he did look crushed today, obviously disappointed.

  79. 79
    RoonieRoo says:

    Thank you! I needed a good laugh today. That did it.

    “Is it just me, or is it becoming increasingly apparent that the Republicans and Democrats are determined to engage in a two year dumb-off?”

    After reading today all the whining about the evil Pelosi/good Lott and then the other side whining about the evil Lott/good Pelosi, that quote just hit the mark.

  80. 80

    Who cares. We control Congress.

    BTW, fuck the south.

  81. 81
    jcricket says:

    BTW, fuck the south.

    You know, I like this DailyKos post on the Democrats and the South.

    The difference is between need and want. We don’t need the South to win congress and the White House. The short-term Democratic path to victory clearly runs outside Dixie.

    But we want to win those states because no truly national party can leave anyone behind. And we won’t.

    (emphasis added by me).

    I think that sums it up nicely. Democratic power bases are not in the South right now and contrary to people like Carville, Democrats needn’t run lots of farther to the right (a la Harold Ford) candidates across the South and elsewhere to win control of congress or the Presidency. Instead, the first orders of business are:

    * Consolidating gains in the existing strongholds (like how the NY, Delaware, NH and WA GOPs are taking a beating in election after election)

    * Spending lots of energy turning the West and Midwest from purple to solid blue is what’s importance.

    * Maintaining existing seats in the South – if nothing else as a bulwark against extreme policies as Republicans try to make gains there.

    Secondarily, the Democrats should make sure they have operations in every state and push the Democratic agenda and message in a way that helps the long-term growth of Democratic chances in the South.

  82. 82

    >The difference is between need and want.

    Precisely what I mean. We want the Southern vote, but increasingly we don’t need it. And if you have ever actually read the piece at http://www.fuckthesouth.com you will understand where I am coming from.

    Arrogant? You wanna talk about us Northeasterners being fucking arrogant? What’s more American than arrogance? Hmmm? Maybe horsies? I don’t think so. Arrogance is the fucking cornerstone of what it means to be American. And I wouldn’t be so fucking arrogant if I wasn’t paying for your fucking bridges, bitch.

    All those Federal taxes you love to hate? It all comes from us and goes to you, so shut up and enjoy your fucking Tennessee Valley Authority electricity and your fancy highways that we paid for. And the next time Florida gets hit by a hurricane you can come crying to us if you want to, but you’re the ones who built on a fucking swamp. “Let the Spanish keep it, it’s a shithole,” we said, but you had to have your fucking orange juice.

    The next dickwad who says, “It’s your money, not the government’s money” is gonna get their ass kicked. Nine of the ten states that get the most federal fucking dollars and pay the least… can you guess? Go on, guess. That’s right, motherfucker, they’re red states.

  83. 83
    jcricket says:

    Yes, Yes, I’ve read fuckthesouth. It was cathartic after Kerry lost the election in 2004. But I don’t think it’s a good attitude long-term, if only because I believe that the Democratic “agenda” is good for the people of the South. They just don’t know it yet :-)

    So there needs to be lots of convincing for a majority of Southernors to vote for Democratic policies. Between now and then, we don’t need to pander to the South, because they’re policies are not what we want to support nationally. Nor should we abandon them, as we do have an actual presence in the South we need to maintain. There are lots of places where, if nothing else, Democratic presence prevent Republicans from achieving “super majority” status in various state legislatures. We can at least act as an opposition party in Dixie.

    If I were more vindictive I’d support the whole “let’s give them what they keep asking for” attitude – Like changing the laws so that states only get as many federal dollars as they pay in. See how “self-sufficient” they really are, right?

  84. 84

    Perhaps the GOP is planning to consolidate their strength in the South and then secede from the union?

  85. 85

    John wrote:

    “McConnell is, by all accounts, a straight shooter”

    McConnell is a GOP Joe Isuzu for the 21st century. If prevarication was an Olympic sport, Snow, Mehlman and Mcconnell would make an unbeatable team.

  86. 86
    jcricket says:

    “McConnell is, by all accounts, a straight shooter”

    Yeah, but apparently so is Cheney. So hopefully he’s not aiming at us :-)

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