Why We Can’t Have Nice Things, Part (n)

Via TPM, exhibit A:

As expected, Senate Republicans filibustered legislation Thursday to simultaneously keep the federal government open and invest in infrastructure and housing projects — a significant setback for efforts to bridge budget disagreements and avert a shutdown this fall.

The vote was 54 in favor, 43 against, falling short of the 60 votes needed to move forward. The only member to cross party lines was Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), who helped write the bill and urged colleagues not to block it — to no avail.

Six Republicans voted with Democrats on the higher spending levels when the bill was before the Appropriations Committee: Sens. Collins, Thad Cochran (MS), Lisa Murkowski (AK), Mark Kirk (IL), John Hoeven (ND) and Jerry Moran (KS), who chairs the Senate GOP’s election arm. But a concerted whipping effort by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) compelled all but Collins to vote to filibuster the transportation, housing and urban development bill.

At a Capitol press conference immediately after the vote, Democrats, flanked by construction workers, fumed over the filibuster, accusing McConnell of arm-twisting his members and letting concerns about his reelection drive the outcome. The vote comes one day after House Republicans abruptly pulled THUD legislation from the floor, which cuts deeply into housing and transportation programs, after deciding it lacked the votes to pass.

 

Magnasco,_Alessandro_and_Spera,_Clemente_-_Bacchanalian_Scene_-_1710s

Who needs a government shut down when you can just shut down government?

Exhibit B:

Yesterday’s abrupt decision to yank a bill to fund the Departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development off the floor, in addition to similar snags for the farm bill and a health care bill pushed by Majority Leader Eric Cantor earlier this year, amounts to a series of recent setbacks for a party struggling to adhere to spending levels outlined in Paul Ryan’s budget.

Asked by a reporter if he was concerned that his party’s recent stumbles on bills funding the government may instill a notion that his caucus is unable to govern properly, Boehner said he was “not the least bit concerned” about perception.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) didn’t mince words after Wednesday’s THUD bill failure, however, lashing out at leadership for pulling the bill.

“I am extremely disappointed with the decision to pull the bill from the House calendar today,” Rogers said in a statement. “The prospects for passing this bill in September are bleak at best, given the vote count on passage that was apparent this afternoon. With this action, the House has declined to proceed on the implementation of the very budget it adopted just three months ago.”

I don’t think this ends well for the Republicans as a party or for McConnell himself.  I even think the MSM is beginning to notice what’s actually going on in Washington.  But we’re all collateral damage until this hash gets settled.

Image:  Alessandro Magnasco and Clemente Spera, Bacchanalian Scene,  c.1710

100 replies
  1. 1
    Tone in DC says:

    House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) didn’t mince words after Wednesday’s THUD bill failure, however, lashing out at leadership for pulling the bill.

    “I am extremely disappointed with the decision to pull the bill from the House calendar today,” Rogers said in a statement. “The prospects for passing this bill in September are bleak at best, given the vote count on passage that was apparent this afternoon. With this action, the House has declined to proceed on the implementation of the very budget it adopted just three months ago.”

    They can’t even stick to a budget they agreed to in APRIL.
    I am so sick of these assholes.

  2. 2
    Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader says:

    The bill failed 54 for, 43 against, in a flagrant violation of the U.S. Constitution which requires a simple majority to pass legislation, the latest of a long string of such violations that have been perpetrated by what can only be described as a Republican coup against Constitutional, democratic representative governance.

  3. 3
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    I can’t link right now but Cromwell’s speech dissolving the Long Parliament seems appropriate reading.

  4. 4
    BGinCHI says:

    Fucking Mark Kirk. Protecting rich people on the North Shore must be very good business indeed.

    I can’t wait until that motherfucker is up for election again.

    I hope this pulls McConnell further to the right so that he can get his ass beat in the KY general. Even KY isn’t this goddamn stupid. The 5th district is, for example, one of the poorest in the nation. If they don’t wake the fuck up they are going to lose all their redneck welfare.

  5. 5
    BGinCHI says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader: I await Carl Levin’s tut-tutting over the rules and the glorious history of the world’s greatest deliberative sack of shit.

  6. 6
    Baud says:

    Ezra has a piece today that says that, after crowing about the sequester, the defense cuts are now starting to bite the Republicans in the ass. Here’s hoping.

  7. 7
    NickT says:

    Has any American political party been so openly incompetent, dysfunctional and nihilistic in recorded history? I can’t think of any candidates that come close to the monstrosity that the teabaggers have kludged together from bad religion, militant ignorance and a sense that the universe owes them something because they have such lily-white skin-folds.

  8. 8
    beltane says:

    @Baud: The GOP has a very big ass so it might take them a while to realize it’s being bitten.

  9. 9
    Mike in NC says:

    Meanwhile, the NC Tea Party legislature has sent a bill to our crooked governor to require anybody seeking public assistance to be drug tested. This move failed in Florida, so Republicans want to try it again. Brilliant.

  10. 10
    Baud says:

    @beltane:

    The GOP has is a very big ass so it might take them a while to realize it’s being bitten.

    Fixed for greater precision.

  11. 11
    Chris says:

    @NickT:

    I don’t know enough about pre-Civil War history, but I suspect the people who would go on to form the Confederacy might qualify, especially in the years leading up to the war.

  12. 12
    Short Bus Bully says:

    @Chris:
    Just barely qualify.

    As soon as open violence commences we’ll have an apt comparison.

  13. 13
    maya says:

    Sen.Ozymandias McConnell, Most Exalted Grand Dragon of the GOP, said, ” It will be good for all Americans to learn how to make their own snow shoes so they can walk 5 miles to work or school. By God, if your grandparents could do it, as we all know they did, so can you.”

  14. 14
    beltane says:

    Susan Collins is up for reelection in 2014 in a state that has teabagger fatigue due to their looney-tunes governor. The GOP should play nice with her.

  15. 15
    Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader says:

    @Chris: The anti-regulators, 1765-1771.

  16. 16
    The Other Chuck says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I can’t link right now but Cromwell’s speech dissolving the Long Parliament seems appropriate reading.

    Here:

    It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonoured by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice; ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government; ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money.

    Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess? Ye have no more religion than my horse; gold is your God; which of you have not barter’d your conscience for bribes? Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth?

    Ye sordid prostitutes have you not defil’d this sacred place, and turn’d the Lord’s temple into a den of thieves, by your immoral principles and wicked practices? Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation; you were deputed here by the people to get grievances redress’d, are yourselves gone! So! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors. In the name of God, go!

  17. 17
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Dissolution of the Long Parliament

  18. 18
    Berial says:

    @NickT: It doesn’t matter how bad they are. Their BASE WANTS THIS! Our problem isn’t just the elected officials in DC, it’s all those people ELECTING THEM! Until the population itself comes to the conclusion this is BAD it will not change. I find THAT realization maddening.

  19. 19
    Anoniminous says:

    Until the media companies start covering it, it isn’t happening.

  20. 20
    beltane says:

    @The Other Chuck: Tut, tut. Where is the civility? The comity? If the WaPo editorial board were alive back then this speech would have killed them.

  21. 21

    Republicans want to win their primaries; primaries are low-turnout affairs; the GOP base trusts no one but Fox, and thinks Obama is a fascist socialist.

    The long-term interests of the party, and the interests of the country at any point, are not on the radar screen for any Republican officeholder or commentator.

  22. 22
    BGinCHI says:

    @beltane: Maybe reading it now would kill them. We should be so lucky.

  23. 23
    Mike G says:

    Time for a pablum round of Both Sides Do It, closely followed by a blogger ethics panel.

  24. 24
    beltane says:

    @reflectionephemeral: The only way to combat this over the long term is to attack Republican voters rather than the politicians. A “Northern Strategy” of laying all the country’s ills at the feet of the nasty, butt-ugly degenerates that make up the Republican base is the only thing that can change any of this. Given the demographic changes in the country, and the intransigence of GOP voters, it’s only a matter of time before someone out there will think to go where no American has gone before.

  25. 25
    Violet says:

    I even think the MSM is beginning to notice what’s actually going on in Washington.

    Heard this being discussed on NPR. I think it was the Diane Rehm show yesterday. Discussions of how McConnell isn’t as effective because he’s afraid of a Tea Party primary challenge and McCain has stepped in to make some things work. And how Boehner can’t get much of anything done because he’s held hostage by the Tea Party in the House. Interesting to hear on NPR.

  26. 26
    Botsplainer says:

    @BGinCHI:

    Even KY isn’t this goddamn stupid.

    I live in KY, in the suck, gerrymandered KY-04, represented by a Bona Fide Teatard. There’s so much stupid in districts like mine that there is a surplus to go around.

    The only thing that keeps me in this state is that I was raised in and work in the People’s Republic of Louisville, represented by the eminently progressive John Yarmuth.

  27. 27
    danimal says:

    I know we’re all supposed to be despondent because of Gerrymander: the Reckoning! as well as Voter Registration Follies, but I’m not hearing much love for the GOP from liberals OR conservatives these days. There seems to be a consensus in place that these useless wastes of air are useless wastes of air. The grass roots energy is coming from the left while internecine power struggles are consuming the right. That doesn’t bode well for 2014, even if it is The Dreaded Sixth Year. While the GOP’s issues can be resolved in a sane world, we are more likely to watch the remake of Government Shutdown and a sequel to Debt Ceiling Crisis. Same plot, same actors, same directors.

  28. 28
    Jay C says:

    I don’t think this ends well for the Republicans as a party or for McConnell himself.

    Yeah, well, while this is certainly a nice thought, I’m not so sanguine about the prospects: recent history has proven, sadly, time and again, that there is NO FUCKING DOWNSIDE _ EVER _ for any Republican for even the most blatant, egregious or destructive obstructionism in Congress. EVER. The one and only thing that would ever make even the least impression on this current gang of nihilists would be a massive electoral repudiation (on a national AND local level) on the lines of their defeats in 1932 and 1964. Needless to say, this would also posit an Opposition worthy of its name, and a political master along the lines of FDR or LJB to take advantage of it: and what are the odds of both those situations occurring…..?

  29. 29
    Baud says:

    @Violet:

    I’ve noticed a shift in the news over the last few weeks away from Obama and more towards Congress and other political players. I think it’s a good thing.

  30. 30
  31. 31
    p.a. says:

    I don’t think this ends well for the Republicans as a party or for McConnell himself. I even think the MSM is beginning to notice what’s actually going on in Washington.

    Oh you optimist! The Villagers have the attention span of a JRT puppy with ADD. It’s only a matter of time before a new intertube schlong photo drops in front of their noses.

  32. 32
    beltane says:

    @danimal: The GOP used to be able to hide their sociopathic nihilism under a smooth veneer of bland, businesslike competence. Now they just look like a bunch of batshit crazy dumbasses in poorly fitting suits. Soon, everyone but the true believers will be after them with proverbial pitchfork in hand.

  33. 33
    piratedan says:

    but don’t you understand, the GOP are the “real” victims here. After all, look at everything they’ve lost…

    sanity
    self respect
    reasoning ability
    ethics
    morals
    voters
    issues

    if you think on it, that’s quite a bit to deal with

  34. 34
    Comrade Jake says:

    @Violet: right, especially since NPR is nearly as bad as CNN when it comes to the whole “both sides do it” nonsense.

  35. 35
    Violet says:

    @Baud: Forgot to mention that on the same show, Boehner was described as “going down in history as possibly the least effective Speaker of the House ever.” So there’s that.

  36. 36
    Chris says:

    @beltane:

    THAT would ROCK.

    We can call it “waving the bloody shirt,” even.

  37. 37
    Violet says:

    @Comrade Jake: Yep, they are just as bad. That’s why I found it interesting that such comments were even allowed to be made.

  38. 38
    Yatsuno says:

    @Mike G: The Democrats filibustered Saint Ronaldus Magnus once. So yeah, totes both sides do it, and stuff.

  39. 39
    kc says:

    I don’t think this ends well for the Republicans as a party

    What do they care; it will end with the obstructionist assholes getting re-elected and that’s all that matters.

  40. 40
    Chris says:

    @p.a.:

    Plus, Republicans are just the Villagers’ kind of people.

  41. 41
    Baud says:

    @Violet:

    I hope the harsh criticism doesn’t drive him to drink.

  42. 42
    Jack the Second says:

    I don’t think the mainstream media is “noticing” so much as “getting bored”. It’s just the same story over and over and over again, and the one trick ponies are even getting bored. Debt ceiling crisis? Critical government program funding crisis? No bills about anything being passed? It stops being even fake news at some point.

  43. 43

    @beltane:

    The only way to combat this over the long term is to attack Republican voters rather than the politicians. A “Northern Strategy” of laying all the country’s ills at the feet of the nasty, butt-ugly degenerates that make up the Republican base is the only thing that can change any of this.

    Well I think step 1 would be a better attack on the GOP itself. You don’t see Democrats, other than a stray Alan Grayson, calling out the GOP in vituperative terms of the sort roughly every Republican deploys against Democrats all the time.

    In theory, I don’t like targeting voters, but then senior GOP politicians say that everyone whose family lives where mine does– a solidly blue state– isn’t a real American. So… yeah, I wouldn’t take it off the table.

  44. 44
    mclaren says:

    But we’re all collateral damage until this hash gets settled.

    Who says this hash is going to “get settled”?

    If we want this dysfunctional congress fixed, we’re going to have to fix it ourselves. Take to the streets. Millions upon millions of enraged protesters clogging the halls, blocking the streets in Washington D.C., blocking every congressman and senator’s driveway, hemming in their homes, making it unable for them to cross the street or enter their offices.

    And when the national security stasi get called out, millions more protesters must swarm the capitol. When the DHS uses flamethrowers against little children and old men, more little children and more old men must swarm them. When the national guard unloads belt-fed weapons to mow down armies of non-violent protesters, more armies of non-violent protesters must take their places.

    Eventually the sadists and thugs will run out of bullets. Eventually the country will sicken of the carnage. Eventually the protesters will force change.

    Today’s protesters are too scared of being arrested to even use bullhorns.

    We need to convert every capitol policeman and every DHS officer and ever national guard goon called out to disperse the protests into another Lt. James Pike. They’ll gladly oblige, since the militarization of American police has now gone far into Sicherheit Dienst territory.

    But contra the comments I’m hearing in this thread, no one else is going to save us. We’re going to have to save ourselves. The press won’t save us. Obama won’t save us. Conservative moderate politicians won’t save us. Liberal progressive politicians won’t save us.

    The people inside the Beltway in D.C. are now prospering from the forces that feed America’s decay. We can’t fix this procedurally, or by taking votes. We have to have millions of people in the streets chanting for an end to this insanity and making it impossible for wheeled vehicles to travel anywhere in D.C. until Obama panics and orders tanks to attack the non-violent protesters and the senators and congressmen cower inside their officers whimpering for buses to be set up as barricades.

  45. 45
    Baud says:

    @mclaren:

    You lead the way. I’m right behind you.

  46. 46
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    Scar and Mika can be useful idiots sometimes, this morning they played Boehner’s “poll numbers” schtick and then put up HIS poll numbers 18%.

    Barnicle made a good point, how are you supposed to deal with a bunch of folks who do not even believe that you are a legitimate president to begin with. Scar jumped in and spewed some false equivalence bullshit about how Bush was called a Nazi and then completely and utterly disproved his own point by saying that Bush was such a likeable chap that he managed to get legislation passed.

    I know, I really don’t know why I torture myself every morning watching it but there it is.

  47. 47
    mclaren says:

    @beltane:

    The only way to combat this over the long term is to attack Republican voters rather than the politicians. A “Northern Strategy” of laying all the country’s ills at the feet of the nasty, butt-ugly degenerates that make up the Republican base is the only thing that can change any of this. Given the demographic changes in the country, and the intransigence of GOP voters, it’s only a matter of time before someone out there will think to go where no American has gone before.

    Fatal. Counterproductive. Disastrous.

    Targeting Republican voters will only strengthen the Tea Party. Extreme far-right conservative candidates will win even greater support by crowing “Look, them Yankee devils don’t want you to vote for me! What am I saying that those god damned northerners don’t want you to hear?”

    If you get really hardcore about targeting Republican voters, leveling sanctions against them as well as just ads, now you’re building up to another Civil War.

    This is an absolutely fatal tactic. If you want to destroy this country, that’s a good start.

  48. 48
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    @mclaren:

    Today’s protesters are too scared of being arrested to even use bullhorns.

    The Moral Monday people in North Carolina would beg to differ.

  49. 49
    mclaren says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    And good for them.

    You know, one solution no one has mentioned is dismantling gerrymandering. A lot of these lunatic-fringe Republicans can only behave like this because they’re in districts so gerrymandered that they’re guaranteed re-election. If we could redraw congressional districts to force genuinely open races in a lot of these districts, that would go a long ways toward fixing things.

  50. 50
    Comrade Jake says:

    @mclaren: the fact that gerrymandering is even constitutional is pretty ridiculous.

    Good luck dismantling it tho.

  51. 51
    Seanly says:

    @The Other Chuck:

    Nothing ever really changes…

  52. 52
    Bill Arnold says:

    @mclaren:

    If we could redraw congressional districts…

    We get our next chance in 2019, in state elections. Or do you know of a plausible way to do it sooner? (Hoping I’m just being ignorant here…)

  53. 53
    NotMax says:

    GOP credo:

    “Budgets? We ain’t got no budgets. We don’t need no budgets! We don’t have to show you any stinkin’ budgets!”

  54. 54
    feebog says:

    I can’t believe I’m agreeing with McLaren, but he has a point on districting. There are a lot of states out there that have the initiative process. We should be working in every one of them to set up a citizen commission to redistrict, just like California did in 2010. The results speak for themselves; 2/3 control of both houses and we gains in the number of house seats. This should be priority one for a number of states, yet there seems to be little to no interest.

  55. 55
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    Barnicle made a good point.

    This is considered one of the signs of the End of Days.

  56. 56
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @beltane: She is the state GOP, now that Princess Olympia has gone into retirement. A.) She’s not going anywhere, the party is stocked with her creatures, they’re the ones leading the substantial intra-party pushback against LePage. B.) If she lost the GOP nomination she’d win her seat as an Independent without breaking a sweat. She’d triple Murkowski’s 10,000 vote margin in Alaska.

  57. 57
    gbear says:

    @Jay C:

    recent history has proven, sadly, time and again, that there is NO FUCKING DOWNSIDE _ EVER _ for any Republican for even the most blatant, egregious or destructive obstructionism in Congress.

    Same sex couples are getting married in MN starting today. This is a direct result of republicans overplaying their hand very badly in 2012. They (and their constitutional ban on same-sex marriage) were kicked to the curb, and I think we are done with republicans for at least a while.

    It’s kind of easy for me right now to have some optimism that things can get better (it’s easy to feel good when represented by McCollum, Klobuchar, and Franken). I think Wisconsin will come back around next cycle. I don’t want to feel defeated by the current crop of asshole US reps, and I am hoping that we’ll see some results of a GOPs meltdown in 2014.

  58. 58
    Redshirt says:

    Some people just want to watch the world burn.

  59. 59
    Yatsuno says:

    @Bill Arnold: Congressional districts, depending upon state law, can be redone at any time really. It just makes more sense to do them when the population gets counted, which is why it’s usually done every ten years after the Census. The fact that Texas decided to just redraw shit because they felt like it just makes them bastards.

  60. 60
    Redshirt says:

    @Davis X. Machina: Collins is the Queen B of Maine, to be sure. It’s a testament to her skill, really. She’s threading the needle of appealing to local interests while also part of Team Republican. And doing it well. Apparently.

  61. 61
    gene108 says:

    @Jay C:

    on the lines of their defeats in 1932 and through 1964.

    From 1932 to 1952 Democrats occupied the White House. Only the 8 years of Ike was a respite from 24 years out of 32 years of Democratic rule up to 1964, or in other words Democrats had the White House 3/4’s of the time over that 32 year period.

    Flog the GOP that long and that hard and they’ll change.

  62. 62
    ruemara says:

    completely OT, I’m so bored I’m pulling arm hair out with tweezers. There may not be anything like unskilled labour, but jeez, a highly skilled person in a low skilled job is on a path to madness. I complete every reprographic job and all the low level IT work in less than 3 hours. And I already cleaned every surface and the doors.

  63. 63
    Amir Khalid says:

    @gene108:

    Only the 8 years of Ike was a respite from 24 years out of 32 years of Democratic rule up to 1964

    As I recall it, the Democratic party held the White House until Nixon’s victory in 1968.

  64. 64
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Redshirt: It’s her staff. (She herself is….well… as we say up heah, ‘Numb as a hake.”)

  65. 65
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader:

    Holy shit, you are actually being serious? The end is nigh!

    OT (because that’s the way we roll here!):

    I am enjoying the latest faux outrage over at Daily Snowden about the woman who had the Joint Terrorism Task Force show up at her door because of a couple of internet searches. When nothing evil was found, they departed and she hit the internet to tell everyone what the evil government did to her and her family by spying on them when all they were searching for was info about backpacks and pressure cookers. How dare the government spy on them! Obama is trampling on all of our freedoms!! Of course, the outrage meters have shattered over at the Daily Snowden and other hangouts for conspiracy nuts and crazy people.

    TEH GOOGLE SERCHES R KNOT SAIF NEMOOR!11!!1

    But wait, the FBI says that they had nothing to do with it! Of course they are liars and covering it up, what else could it be? How about the fact that it was actually a former employer who called the police because they found what they thought were suspicious searches on one of their computers that the former employee used.

    Of course Charles at LGF is on it and the last update there says it all.

    Once again, LGF has it right…lol!

  66. 66
    gene108 says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Yes they did and Johnson’s win in 1964 was the most lopsided win in U.S. history until that point in time.

    Nixon won a close election in 1968, with a Democratic Party in disarray. Johnson did not seek re-election, because of his escalation of the Vietnam War was unpopular.

    From what I understand, Nixon more or less continued the Johnson era domestic programs for poverty eradication, he expanded environment protections and did not look to radically alter the economic blue print his Democratic predecessors had drawn up.

  67. 67
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    Hep me! Hep me! Teh BJ Mod Gawd done et me post!

    I demand that my free speech not be impaired! Oh, right… FYWP.

  68. 68
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mike in NC:

    Oh, no, it succeeded in Florida. The household of Governor Luthor profited handsomely from the drug testing program. Furthermore, the vile poors were put through the entire process as yet another punishment for being poor.

  69. 69
    Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader says:

    @Redshirt: We didn’t start the fire.

  70. 70
    Redshirt says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader: Imagine that first Ape Man that did. I mean, literally, way, way back when, there was ONE dude who first figured out how to light a fire. Or lady. Who knows who it was, but whomever it was, you, dude, I salute you!

  71. 71
    srv says:

    Hey, it’s IPA Day, so accept our lot and go out and drink an IPA

  72. 72
    kc says:

    @mclaren:

    If we want this dysfunctional congress fixed, we’re going to have to fix it ourselves. Take to the streets. Millions upon millions of enraged protesters clogging the halls, blocking the streets in Washington D.C., blocking every congressman and senator’s driveway, hemming in their homes, making it unable for them to cross the street or enter their offices.

    And when the national security stasi get called out, millions more protesters must swarm the capitol. When the DHS uses flamethrowers against little children and old men, more little children and more old men must swarm them. When the national guard unloads belt-fed weapons to mow down armies of non-violent protesters, more armies of non-violent protesters must take their places.

    That would be the most awesome BJ meetup EVER!

  73. 73
    the Conster says:

    @mclaren:

    You must be a blast at parties.

  74. 74
    Jay C says:

    @gbear:

    Good for MN! And all the best to all those new happy couples! Nice news, but – tragically for the country – pretty counter to the general run of GOP luck with Statehouses. Even in parts of the country one would assume were relatively sane..
    But my comment was related more to the national picture – especially Congress, and given the (sorry) state of partisan politics in this country, it’s hard to see where (save in the “landslide” scenario I mentioned) we can get to a place where sanity can reign again in Congress.

    For my “light” summer reading, I downloaded and have read three of the four volumes of Robert Caro’s vastly-detailed biography of Lyndon Johnson. One thing that struck me was his (Caro’s, not LBJ’s) trenchant analysis of the role of the US Senate in our governmental system: what seems to us to be its hideous dysfunctionality (and believe me, “we’re” not the first or last to notice it) was actually designed as a feature, not a bug. LBJ’s ability to get the Senate functioning as a reasonably functional deliberative body was all the more remarkable for it being counter to pretty much all of American history: where the Senate has basically served as “the dam to stem all tides” – of just about anything even remotely progressive or beneficial to the masses. What I find interesting (in the Chinese curse sense) is how thoroughly the Senate seems to have reverted to its traditional awfulness in just a few years….

  75. 75
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: Madison 2011 as well.

  76. 76
    Ruckus says:

    @beltane:
    I have.
    I rail all the time that all conservatives/republicans are fucking assholes whose only thoughts are that of a jackal, one who would cut off their own genitalia to spite their own mothers.

    I may have not been descriptive enough.

  77. 77
    Ted & Hellen says:

    The only reason the Republicans can keep doing this is because Reid and his codependent cronies agree to allow them to do it.

    So you know, fuck Reid and his cronies.

  78. 78
    Roger Moore says:

    @beltane:

    If the WaPo editorial board were alive back then this speech would have killed them.

    I think Cromwell would have counted on Jack Ketch to do the job rather than his speeches.

  79. 79
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Violet:

    Heard this being discussed on NPR. I think it was the Diane Rehm show yesterday. Discussions of how McConnell isn’t as effective because he’s afraid of a Tea Party primary challenge and McCain has stepped in to make some things work. And how Boehner can’t get much of anything done because he’s held hostage by the Tea Party in the House. Interesting to hear on NPR.

    I didn’t hear that show, but I did hear yesterday’s Fresh Air, which had as guest Jonathan Weisman (NYTimes congressional correspondent) discussing much the same. Yes, at least some in the MSM are noticing. Now if only we can keep them from going Full Broder about it.

  80. 80
    Redshirt says:

    @efgoldman: I’ll be working/voting against her to be sure, please note. While she is one of the few remaining non-screaming insane Republicans, she’s still a Republican. And I will not support a Republican anywhere, at anytime.

  81. 81
    Keith G says:

    Old thread this is. Need Steve pictures we do.

  82. 82
    Roger Moore says:

    @feebog:
    You need to watch out for the citizens’ redistricting commissions. Part of the reason the Democrats came out so well in California is that we were able to work the commission with astroturf groups while the Republicans were too disorganized to mount the same kind of effort. If you try the same trick in a state where the Republicans are organized and the Democrats are disorganized, you might not wind up with much improvement.

  83. 83
    The Other Chuck says:

    and Jerry Moran (KS), who chairs the Senate GOP’s election arm.

    Wow, their guy in charge of elections really is a Moran.

  84. 84
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @efgoldman: Maine’s institutional GOP has been edging away from LePage for two years now — and that’s Collins’ faction. She’s no tea-friendly than she needs to be. (The first op-ed is from the assistant senate GOP leader…)

  85. 85
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Yatsuno:

    Congressional districts, depending upon state law, can be redone at any time really.

    OK, then the plan, roughly, is to win a bunch of statehouses this year (2013), and then get rid of the gerrymandering in all the states that are controlled by Democrats, where it wouldn’t hurt Democrats, in time for the 2014 election?
    (A lot more focus on state elections would be good.)

    Edit: or approach outlined by feebog of using citizen initiatives to set up redistricting commissions. What are the states where this is possible and would be helpful to Democrats?

  86. 86
    joes527 says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader:

    The bill failed **cloture** 54/43. Find me the rules for that in the constotooshun. I’ll wait …

    Let me try… because what happened today had the word “vote” in it, and because the constotooshun has the word “vote” in it, it is clear and unequivocal that … something, something, something ….

    Argue that the Senate rules are moronic. Argue that the cloture rules should be changed. Argue that the Senators themselves are a waste of the oxygen that they consume. I won’t disagree.

    But a misapplication of the constitution to ‘splain why you should be getting whatever it is that you want is Tea Party level discourse.

    Oddly enough, I’m disappointed.

  87. 87
    Chris says:

    @mclaren:

    When the national guard unloads belt-fed weapons to mow down armies of non-violent protesters, more armies of non-violent protesters must take their places.

    “… You mean to tell me that U.S. policy towards Afghanistan is to keep walking Afghans into Russian guns until the Russians run out of bullets?”

  88. 88
    mai naem says:

    If I was Obama, I would bargain hard and let a government shutdown happen unless he pretty much gets whatever he wants. The House Dems can’t make a difference. The red state Senate Dems up for election in ’14 can vote with the Repubs. Obama doesn’t have to run again. Hillary or whoever runs in ’16 can disagree with Obama’s action if they find it politically expedient.

  89. 89
    Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader says:

    @mclaren:

    Who says this hash is going to “get settled”?

    If we want this dysfunctional congress fixed, we’re going to have to fix it ourselves. Take to the streets. Millions upon millions of enraged protesters clogging the halls, blocking the streets in Washington D.C., blocking every congressman and senator’s driveway, hemming in their homes, making it unable for them to cross the street or enter their offices.

    And when the national security stasi get called out, millions more protesters must swarm the capitol. When the DHS uses flamethrowers against little children and old men, more little children and more old men must swarm them. When the national guard unloads belt-fed weapons to mow down armies of non-violent protesters, more armies of non-violent protesters must take their places.

    Eventually the sadists and thugs will run out of bullets. Eventually the country will sicken of the carnage. Eventually the protesters will force change.

    Today’s protesters are too scared of being arrested to even use bullhorns.

    We need to convert every capitol policeman and every DHS officer and ever national guard goon called out to disperse the protests into another Lt. James Pike. They’ll gladly oblige, since the militarization of American police has now gone far into Sicherheit Dienst territory.

    But contra the comments I’m hearing in this thread, no one else is going to save us. We’re going to have to save ourselves. The press won’t save us. Obama won’t save us. Conservative moderate politicians won’t save us. Liberal progressive politicians won’t save us.

    The people inside the Beltway in D.C. are now prospering from the forces that feed America’s decay. We can’t fix this procedurally, or by taking votes. We have to have millions of people in the streets chanting for an end to this insanity and making it impossible for wheeled vehicles to travel anywhere in D.C. until Obama panics and orders tanks to attack the non-violent protesters and the senators and congressmen cower inside their officers whimpering for buses to be set up as barricades.

    I have to work this week and next week.

  90. 90
    Bill Arnold says:

    @gene108:

    Nixon more or less continued the Johnson era…

    Nixon ordered wage and price controls. (Included in Executive Order 11615, 1971.) Can you imagine any president in the current era even thinking about doing such a thing?

  91. 91
    MomSense says:

    @efgoldman:

    She will be the Senior Senator from Maine as long as she wants to be. She is ridiculously popular.

    So what is next for the drown the government in a bathtub crowd?

    How bad do they want our roads to be? How unsafe should our bridges get? How many kids should we cram into each classroom in how many falling down schools before the Republicans declare mission accomplished?

  92. 92
    Chris says:

    @Bill Arnold:

    Nixon being an absolute control freak, big government economics actually fits him like a glove, I’d say. He wasn’t like Reagan or Bush who preferred to kick back, enjoy the perks, and let other people handle everything.

  93. 93
    Bill Arnold says:

    @MomSense:

    How bad do they want our roads to be? How unsafe should our bridges get? How many kids should we cram into each classroom in how many falling down schools before the Republicans declare mission accomplished?

    Are we making grim bets?
    No worse than business interests (shipping) will tolerate, even if counterbalanced by business-friendly policies (and a lot worse than now). No more than 4 major bridge collapses involving loss of life in a 1 year period. 37, nationwide average.

  94. 94
    Chris says:

    @MomSense:

    How bad do they want our roads to be? How unsafe should our bridges get? How many kids should we cram into each classroom in how many falling down schools before the Republicans declare mission accomplished?

    Pick a third world country in which economic elites dominate absolutely everything with no recourse for the little people whatsoever.

    Tell me how bad their roads are, how unsafe their bridges are, how many kids are crammed into each classroom in how many falling down schools.

    That’s what they want.

    In other words, yeah, it can still get plenty worse.

  95. 95
    magurakurin says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee:

    jesus, the assholes at GOS really needed to have re-read The Boy Who Cried Wolf about 5 years ago.

    That thread is ridonculous. Nazi pictures galore. But, the story is complete bullshit. Somebody called the cops, the cops, Nassau County Cops, investigated. No NSA, no FBI, no Stassi, no KGB.

    Those people are why the left in America is so weak. There are real issues at hand with the NSA. More transparency on the scope and scale, more accountability for actual results (is the program worth the money and loss of privacy) more oversight, less involvement or no involvement of contractors in the entire program.

    But those people aren’t doing anything to achieve those aims. Instead they are posting Nazi pictures over what is now known to be ….a lie. A reporter lies and basically starts up a propaganda campaign of her own and the dumbshits at KOS respond by posting pictures of Josef Goebbels.

    for fucks sake….

  96. 96
    Redshirt says:

    I’ve got an idea: Eat the Rich.

  97. 97
    MomSense says:

    @efgoldman: @Bill Arnold: @Chris:

    You are not making me feel better!!!

    One of my dearest friends is a humanitarian worker so she ends up working in all the places where the institutions have fallen apart and even she is shocked by the attitude here. Her latest was WTF why do Republicans want us to become Somalia?

    Sometimes, in a one on one discussion with a Republican I can persuade them that if you really believe this is the greatest country on earth why would you want to let it get run down and shabby? Mostly I just get these recitations of government too big, spending bad, let the private sector run…blah blah blah.

    In my experience, letting the private sector run things usually ends up in having to do bake sales. This nonstop-crazy-tear-everything-down-riot mentality of the Republicans is no way to run a superpower.

  98. 98
    Chris says:

    @MomSense:

    Mostly I just get these recitations of government too big, spending bad, let the private sector run…blah blah blah.

    I’ve been binging on the website “Tvtropes” lately and realized that “Wrong Genre Savvy” (meaning when a character realizes they’re in a story but is completely wrong about what kind of story it is or what their role in it is) describes Republicans to a tee.

    In movie terms, they think they’re in a “1984,” “THX-1138” or just “Star Wars” type dystopian future, in which The State has become a totalitarian monster gobbling up every aspect of society, which is why they keep obediently reciting all these platitudes about the dangers of a government that’s too strong. When in reality, they’re living in a “Blade Runner”/”Fifth Element” cyberpunk type future, in which the strong government they so fear doesn’t exist, its real life counterpart is weak as hell and the corporations are the ones amassing all the power to rule without supervision.

    I don’t disagree inherently with their critiques about the dangers of government. I just think they’re ridiculous tools for thinking these critiques apply to the United States, which has always had an unusually weak central government compared to most of the developed world and did even at the height of the New Deal years.

  99. 99
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @magurakurin:

    Yeah, Kos has pretty much become a ratfucker-infested liberaltarian mosh pit of stupid and this ‘story’ is letting them proudly fly their freak flags. Everything in their ‘reporting’ is wrong, every bit of it is bullshit. They should be embarrassed about this but that is asking too much of the Cult of the Patron Saint of Rio, St. Glenn.

    His followers are insufferable pricks who will never admit they are wrong, much like their vaunted Brazilian saint.

  100. 100
    MomSense says:

    @Chris:

    I don’t get being terrified of big government but welcoming unelected big government in the form of mega corporations and too big to fail banks. The average person has no recourse with these mega corporations. Our democracy may be flawed but at least there is a mechanism by which we could choose to hold officials accountable.

    And I know that corporations have shareholders–but most people are not at least in any significant way.

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