As we all know, Senator Larry Craig is an anti-gay, right-wing zealot and fantastically gifted hypocrite who was arrested while allegedly attempting to solicit gay sex in an airport men's room; he was booked on charges and nationally disgraced.
Despite all of that, Senator Craig has brazenly defied his party and has returned to the senate to help filibuster and obstruct every important piece of legislation the Democrats introduce.
Meanwhile, the Democrats, who we specifically elected to end the occupation of Iraq and, to a lesser extent, check the power of the president, allowed the Republicans to filibuster, 1) an amendment that would've restored habeas corpus, one of our most cherished constitutional rights; and 2) an amendment that would've supported the troops by giving them more family time between tours.
Prior to this embarrassing week of events on the Hill, the Democratic majority has acquiesced on war funding and have fallen over themselves backpedaling as fast as their trembling legs could carry them in the face of everything President Loser and the Republicans have farted in their general direction.
It's clear that the Democrats could learn a lot from Senator Craig's comparatively mighty balls.
(And I hasten to note that there is a dozen or so senate Democrats -- Senators Webb, Dodd, Leahy, Feingold, etc... -- who are most definitely not indicative of their party's recent castrata status.)
Unlike the era prior to the 2006 midterms, suddenly 51 votes -- or 56 votes -- aren't good enough. Somehow, the Democrats have allowed the White House and GOP to obstruct so vigorously that attaining 60 senate votes is the only way to bring a piece of legislation to a vote in the first place. 60 votes, plus or minus a Lieberman. But other than in the blogosphere, we're not hearing protests of obstructionism. We're not hearing vocal demands all across the media spectrum for an up-or-down-vote. Instead we get the idling hum of Senator Reid's voice and a distraction from MoveOn, bless them.
And the president, in his special needs press conference* this week, continued to bully the Democrats as if he's still performing his Vincent Chase from Entourage strut in that flight suit (one of the early indications of the president's move towards, as Keith Olbermann called it Thursday night, a military junta) waving his giant stuffed cod piece with more vigor than Britney's saddlebags at the VMAs.
There is no reason whatsoever why the Democrats need to even acknowledge the existence of the president and his childish disciples in Congress. "Who's that talking? Cornyn? 'The hell's a Cornyn?" After all, the American people want everything the Democrats say they stand for: a rapid end to the war, a restoration of the Constitution, universal health care, clean energy, less outsourcing, and all the rest.
So why, given the choice, do the Democrats, at the expense of their voters, continue to flinch when confronted by the unpopular and widely disgraced Republican Party?
It's because they're locked into bad habits established prior to the invasion and occupation of Iraq. I call it the Dreaded Lieberman-Gephardt-Stockholm Syndrome.
They somehow continue to believe that if they fall too far to the left -- if they take too bold of a fuck you posture -- Karl Rove and Roger Ailes will cold cock them with a rubber bullet -- a massive legal (and illegal) propaganda campaign labeling them as "with the terrorists" or "too French" or whatever lowest common denominator bullshit they yank from their white asses in order to jazz up their ignoramus base.
Restore habeas rights? With the terrorists! Give the troops more time off? The Democrats hate the troops!
This week, for instance, the Democrats should've carpet bombed the media with quotes including the phrase "obstructionist Republicans". The big ticket amendments this week should've been unofficially nicknamed "The Military Families Amendment" or the "Save The Constitution Amendment".
This way, they could saturate the media with quotes like, "Why is Senator McCain against saving the Constitution?" or, "Why is Republican Senator Lieberman against military families?" For fuck's sake, I at least hope the DNC is saving some of the floor debate video for next year. An entire campaign's worth of TV buys could be produced from yesterday's White House and senate floor performances.
But instead of a bold and aggressive Democratic Party empowered by the support of legions of Americans as well as a disgraced and unpopular GOP, we get this bungled and botched week of wet-bread politics. I know we're not supposed to eat our own, but screw that. The Democrats embarrassed, disappointed and pissed me off this week. Have I made myself clear on that yet?
And if that wasn't bad enough, on the campaign front, we have a Democratic presidential frontrunner who released a health care plan this week that's nothing more than a veiled GOP health care plan -- with an extra step or two between your tax dollars and gigantically profitable insurance companies. I'm sure if you asked a policy staffer (in private) why the plan is so fucking awful, they might admit to something like, This is a plan that will actually pass (because of lobbyist support and more bipartisan votes).
It's a plan that smacks of lobbyists and preemptively bipartisan cooperation, when, in fact, Americans are starved for something a thousand times more courageous.
Bill Maher told Wolf Blitzer this week that Senator Craig might bring the whole party down with him. I wish that were true. The truth is that Senator Craig only reinforces the reasons why the Republicans won the week and why the Democrats and, in turn, the American people lost.
* President Bush in Thursday's press conference: "I heard somebody say, 'Where's Mandela?' Well, Mandela's dead because Saddam Hussein killed all the Mandelas." First, huh what? Second, Mandela is still alive.
Help save John From Cincinnati here. Bill Jacks would do the same for you, ya' mope.
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