Monday, January 5, 2009
GOP Messaging Machine Cranks Up To Prepare For Partisan Congressional Session
“We’ve become a nation of whiners ….” — Phil Gramm on the McCain campaign trail in 2008
Watching the weekend political shows was a laugher again, and also hinting that this coming congressional session will be one of the most partisan, petty and politicized in about a decade – if not more so! Sen. Minority Leader, Mitch (the Bitch) McConnell did This Week with George Stephanopoulos, and the posturing and messaging are already in full bore, two weeks before Pres. Elect Barack Obama even gives the Oath!
Some of this stuff from Mitch “the Bitch”” is incredulous, like this gem: “I think everyone knows that half the American public is represented by a Republican senator.” Yes, he actually said that – can you believe it? ‘Everyone’ must be people in foreign countries with limited access to American media – or Americans who don’t have access to the news in any of its media.
Actually, he’s not being as ignorant as he appears to be with that statement. What this is, as we’ve observed over the Rove decade, is a concerted, uniform attempt (you will see this same ignorant soundbite repeated by all GOP folks with a media camera in their face) to “say it loudly enough and say it long enough to where it becomes the truth” – regardless of inaccuracy.
What we (and the Democratic Party, if they finally get a clue) must do is refute every hypocrisy, every inaccuracy and every attempt to divert attention via smokescreen. Such as this response to “half the public is represented by a Republican senator” garbage: First off, the GOP only has 41% of the elected Senators, no matter you slice it. Keep in mind that four years ago, when the GOP had 55% of the Senators and Dems had only 44%, the GOPers interpreted that as “a mandate” from the electorate. Mandate (not the Sen. Larry Craig “man date” variety, but as in power bestowed to act as the defacto representative). Now it’s the GOP with three fewer. Get a clue, “Bitch.”
Even if he wanted to whine about it being population instead of actual elected members, it still fails. If you take the estimated populations of each state, divide each into halves and award them to the senators elected in each, Democrats have roughly a 181,624,500 to 114,295,000 edge even without Sen. Al Franken being counted. That leaves Dems with 60.8% with the two independents who caucus with them, GOPs with 38.2% (and likely no more). Three out of five may be half to “Bitch” McConnell, but that’s pretty hinky ciphering there! That’s not the attention to detail I’d like from someone in charge of my money!
Ultimately though, this is what McConnell and all other Republicans are hoping for: bluffing their way into making themselves look bigger and stronger than they really are. It’s also an attempt to stomp on the gas, spin those wheels in the dust and create a smokescreen on what we’ve been experiencing under this Republican White House these past eight years. They actually expect to walk in as if brand new, looking innocent and clueless, in order to express mock outrage right off the bat. (Don’t look at their dirty hands in their pockets!)
It’s mind-blowing that after all of the past eight years – Wall Street scandals from Enron to AIG, no-bid contracts, the media/punditry/political browbeating of Dems wanting accountability, Rep. Craig Thomas holding a budget committee meeting while locking out the Democratic members of that committee, and the economic collapse and GOP giveaway to the banks – the GOP folks have zero contrition; nothing but hubris and bluster. Note to you GOPers: we don’t have ephemeral memories! Yeah … we remember….
And in their best feigned ‘bipartisanship’, The Mitch suggested, “I think, at least, hearings, and some kind of bipartisan considerations would be helpful.” Yeah, kinda like the GOP dominated senate did, right? Just demand an up-or-down vote, and point out the partisan obstructionism when that doesn’t occur! That’s the ticket!
Another McConnell gem: “Well, do we really want to create 20 percent of the jobs in the public sector? That would be 600,000 new government jobs.” Well, has anyone noticed that contrary to promises, his own President Bush-baby increased the size of government more than his Democratic predecessor, Clinton? Why suddenly question now, “Bitch?”
“We get lectured … all day long about moral values by people who have their own moral shortcomings.” — DNC Chairman, Howard Dean
In fact, it’s ironic as hell that suddenly the $750 billion stimulus package to rebuild America’s infrastructure is an issue! The Mitch apparently forgot about the $700 billion we just gave away to America’s banks to help their balance sheets (and produce absolutely nothing else.) Oh, don’t forget “Bitch”, you voted for that! No whining about needing to see the details then, no concern about where it was going … just voting for it. Hmm.
“What I worry about, George, here is the haste with which this may be done. This is an enormous bill. It could be close to a $1 trillion spending bill. … I don't think that they even seriously can defend … I don't think my friend Dick Durbin was defending doing this without bipartisan consideration.”
Well ya know, “Bitch”, you might want to get in touch with the other Dick – Cheney this time. Ask him about something called “unitary executive powers.” You’ve been living under it for seven years, and never uttered a peep about it – it was all good when it was Bush calling all shots. Well, let it be all good when it’s Obama too!
If it’s so bad having the Obama stimulus package, what is it that McConnell suggested we do instead, which will change the course we’ve been on and hopefully correct the nation’s course? Sayeth McConnell: “We could do a middle-class tax cut immediately…. Republicans, by and large, think tax relief is a great way to get money to people immediately.”
A couple thoughts on that: How is that different than Bush-baby (who was all about the tax cuts)? So, we’re going to follow along that same Bush-y road, eh “Bitch”? One last thought … what exactly will tax relief do for the unemployed, previously middle class? How does that get “money to people immediately”?
And when asked about seating Sen. Burris from Illinois in Obama’s vacant senate seat, McConnell predictably said: “I think there ought to be a special election in Illinois. … The process is so tainted … [it’s] the only way to clear the air and to have a successor chosen in Illinois that everybody can have confidence in.”
Yeah, tell that to all the GOP authorities in charge of selecting successors when their elected officials resign. We had one recently with Houston / Harris County’s Tax Assessor (a GOPer) who waited until he was re-elected before announcing he was resigning. The replacement was appointed by a County Judge (another GOPer) who was – you guessed it – appointed to the position when his predecessor was re-elected and then immediately resigned!
Chutzpah trumps ethics every time Sen. “Bitch,” you ought to know that!
Besides, I thought you were concerned about budgets and where tax money was going, right? Wouldn’t a special election … um … cost a few million dollars? Remember that concern about spending money that wasn’t necessary?
Bottom line, there wasn’t really any specific policy that was a problem for ol’ Mitch the Bitch. It was more about flexing his puny little muscle and (a la Oliver Twist) demanding “more.” When asked if there was going to be a litmus test on his support for specific Dem policies, The Mitch countered: “No, I'm not saying that. I'm saying we want to be a part of the process
“All we're suggesting, here, is that we be a part of the process. … Nine appropriation bills from last year that have already been vetted, been looked at by both Democrats and Republicans, could pass, on a largely bipartisan basis, very quickly … I think if they pursue a fair process, in the Senate at least, where fairness is typically the rule, and give both sides an opportunity to have input, to have it – a true bipartisan stamp – he's likely to get significant support.” (Note the operative phrase “likely to” – not “will get … support.”)
See the patterns yet? They just want to be “part of the process” and have “bipartisan fairness.” What a refreshingly new concept! It’s too bad we couldn’t have had that in the old Republican days, eh?
Repeat after me, “Bitch”: “The Democrats have a mandate … Democrats have a mandate … Democrats have a mandate ….”
“Cry, baby, cry.
Make your mother sigh.
She's old enough to know better,
So cry baby cry.” — Cry Baby Cry, the Beatles