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The Grinches (Who Tried) to Steal the Lame Duck

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The people of Whoville wanted leadership a lot,
But the Grinches who run the GOP did not.

Legislation in the Lame Duck? How could it be?!
They wanted Mr. Obama to take the fall,
Though now the public is starting to see
Whose heart is two sizes too small.

It is amazing that Republicans can walk down the streets of Washington D.C. wearing those shoes with the nine inch heels for digging in. You'd think that they should fall over, but the forward pitch of the heel apparently counter-balances their backwards thinking about politics.

They have squandered their early Christmas gift of anger over the economy in yet another show of not doing the people's business to the pure purpose of playing politics. Instead of showing the hand of legislating towards a 2012 where they can get re-elected, they tried to grind the legislation of this Congress into the dirt to show up the Democrats for political purposes.

It failed, and failed miserably, as the Democrats pushed through the most significant batch of legislation to make it through Congress in a Lame Duck session in decades.

I would like to take a moment to eulogize John McCain, who died politically this week when the repeal of Dont Ask, Don't Tell was sent to the White House for President Obama's signature. It was over his dead body that the bill went, in spite of his endless stonewalling.

While I understand that Fox News has bent the reality curve to look more like a fun house mirror, you have to ask yourself what kind of dopes are the GOP's governing politicos smoking with in those back rooms?

What pea-brained politico pandering for the party of the ponderous pachyderm thinks this is working for them still with anyone other than the Fox News cheerleaders and their niche audience of extremist zombies?

This was a historic Lame Duck session of Congress. The Democrats running Capitol Hill for a while longer admittedly had to have their back to the wall to get there, with the new Republican-led House just a couple of weeks around the corner, but they did manage to pass historic legislation through that respects the rights of our citizens and protects the nation from a dark nuclear future.

They are doing that, though, because the methodical leadership of Mr. Obama's methods are not that mad after all. Liberals criticizing the centrist Mr. Obama for his slow and deliberate approach should open their eyes as much as our delusional GOP friends: The man has invested his political capital well. It is starting to pay dividends.

Had President Obama swept away Don't Ask Don't Tell (DADT) with a pen, as many of his supporters in the LGBT community had demanded, the change would have been roundly criticized by the center and the Right as being by Obama's fiat. The Republicans would have had a strong rallying point to reverse or repeal as well.

Instead, working with the Defense Department, the survey conducted showed clearly that, other than amongst the jarheads of the Marines, there really was not much ballyhoo about finally allowing lesbian and gay members of the Armed Forces to serve openly. The Pentagon will be able to roll out the change in a way that works for the comfort level of its leadership, and this will be a non-issue by 2012.

The study, and the repudiation of critics by the Pentagon brass certainly trivialized John McCain's battle cry for more studies. It made the Republicans look a little foolish without the military brass' backing. Other than General Amos, the newly installed Commandant of the Marine Corps, no one was willing to look homophobic for the cameras prior to the dropping of DADT.

The truly ridiculous pushing of the sleigh loaded with the hijacked legislation of the American people up the mountain to their lair though has come with the gaming of the START treaty by the Republican leadership of the U.S. Senate.

The START treaty has been negotiated and negotiated and crafted with tons of input from the members of the Senate Foreign Relations committee. It is backed by the Pentagon, the State Department, and by hundreds of generals, atomic experts, and even members of the defense businesses much-vaunted lobbying crowd.

The only reason that Mr. McConnell, the leader of the Grinches in the Senate, was gaming the START treaty was because it makes Mr. Obama look good, and well, we can't have that, now can we?

The posturing, which included the Republicans now-clichéd battle cry of "More time to study this important legislation" was not enough to keep GOP senators who either can still think, or who represent states where their defense votes are highly scrutinized, in lockstep.

Mr. Obama sent Mr. McConnell and his minion Mr. Kyl to the showers with a 71-26 drubbing of the GOP on START. Senators Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), Robert Bennett (Utah), Scott Brown (Mass.), Thad Cochran (Miss.), Susan Collins (Maine), Bob Corker (Tenn.), Judd Gregg (N.H.) Johnny Isakson (Ga.), Mike Johanns (Neb.), Richard Lugar (Ind.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska.), Olympia Snowe (Maine.), and George Voinovich (Ohio) all voted to pass it, which is, after all as it should be.

The lower house of the Russian Federation has responded today by ratifying the treaty as well. Just wait for Fox to tie that into their latest smear: "Republican turncoats side with Russians."

During the holiday break, it might be a good idea, while Mr. Boehner and Mr. McConnell plan for their mischief over the next two years with a majority in the House, to start looking seriously at where legislating begins, and politicking ends. The GOP has lost its way on that issue, and it needs to find its way back because Mr. Obama has proven very adept at using the time and the wheels of government to ground his decision-making in fact and reason. It makes Republican leaders look like imbeciles.

Eventually fact and reason does matter, even if it gets missed a lot on Fox News daily.

Both victories were a nice Christmas present for progressives. Change, it would seem, does happen. It just takes patience, persistence, and a little truth on your side.

You're a mean one, Mr. (McConnell/Boehner),
You're a sneaky slimy snake,
Your heart is full of bile
And your hair looks really fake
Mr. McBoeh-ner!

(You legislate like a whiplash lawyer tossing a box of greasy black banana peels into the halls of Congress)

Merry Christmas!

My shiny two.