05/17/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

The Teabags vs. The Douchebags

There's been a lot of talk over the last few days about the pitfalls of teabaggery, but let me, if I may, ruminate on the pitfalls of douchebaggery, and specifically U.S. Senate douchebaggery.

The problem with appointed senators who have never run for office before is their (not surprising) lack of understanding that they are public officials expected to take public positions on public issues like, say, the Employee Free Choice Act. These people often don't seem to care that they hold public office. Instead they behave like they are royalty accountable to nobody at all - that is, they behave like class-A douchebags.

The best example of what I'm talking about comes from appointed Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO):

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet on Wednesday declined once again to take a position on a labor-business battle royale over legislation that could make it easier for workers to organize...

Bennet, who was appointed to the job in January, is one of a few Senate Democrats who have not declared support for the Employee Free Choice Act, which could let workers forgo secret ballots to form a union chapter by collecting signed cards from more than half a workforce.

Bennet is in the process of trying to raise as much cash as possible from business groups and labor unions, and I'm guessing he figures that by staying silent on EFCA, he can keep playing one off against another in an unending shakedown for cash. It's pretty gross, but also pretty standard in the kleptocracy of politics.

That said, the open, public refusal to take a position is still kind of stunning. As I said before, it suggests a fundamental lack of regard for the fact that a senator is supposed to represent the public and therefore actually take public positions on public issues before Congress.

The fact is, it's hard to fight right-wing teabaggery with Democratic douchebaggery like this. Indeed, I fear that if the battle for the hearts and minds of America comes down to a battle between Teabags and Douchebags, the Teabags will win out, because America has shown time and time again it will vote for those who stand for something rather than those who stand for nothing. EFCA is a proxy issue for standing for something.