It's the hypocrisy, stupid.

Jul 18 2007 Published by under Uncategorized

The answer: massive, monumental, unashamed, unadulterated hypocrisy. The question: name one reason that Congress has an approval rating that's rapidly heading for negative numbers. It's the flipping hypocrisy. It's huge, its taken over the joint, and its on both sides of the aisle.

I'm ranting, if you haven't guessed already, about last night's antics in the Senate. The "we're going to stay up all night to show how naughty the Republicans are being" stunt. It's not like we haven't seen it before - the Republicans did exactly the same thing in 2003 to show how bad the Democrats were for refusing to put Bush judicial nominees on the bench. Then, the Democrats were the minority party, and were smugly defending the filibuster while the Republicans were calling it a threat to Democracy. Control of Congress flipped last year, so now the Republicans have rediscovered what a little charmer the filibuster can be, while Democrats think it's a threat to the will of the people.

What the hell? Is everyone in the Congress two years old? Grow the hell up.

American soldiers - people who volunteered to put their anatomy on the line in the service of the United States - are dying. They are dying right now, while the fools we elected play procedural games. And the games are being played on both sides, with both sides trying to use the issue for political leverage. The Republicans are showing that they still stand strong with the President. The Democrats are still trying to keep from looking like they don't support the troops, so they're hoping that acting indignant at the Republicans will fool people into believing that they're trying to do something about the war.

It's a damn disgrace, and it makes me want to cry. We were a great nation not long ago, and we are reduced to this?

13 responses so far

  • joltvolta says:

    I feel the frustration, at the sametime, not so sure about the last sentance. "We were a great nation not long ago...?" The issues we experiance today, are nothing new. And the ability of adults to act in such an ignorent manor while functioning in the political spectrum has been the status quo from day one. Or at least it has seems that way.

  • Cyclophile says:

    Damned straight... I don't care the political persuasion... they are ALL a disgrace.

  • Troublesome Frog says:

    Since I find the whole idea of the filibuster ridiculous (why not just amend the Constitution to require 60 votes in the Senate?), I love it when stuff like that happens. If you're going to abuse rules and procedures, you should at least have to stand up, miss out on some sleep, and be denied bathroom breaks while you do it. In fact, you should have to hold a conch shell out at arm's length while standing on one foot while people shoot spitballs at you. Why not go all the way?

  • wolfwalker says:

    Actually there was one difference about the "judicial nominees" fiasco: neither party had ever before used a filibuster to stop a judge nominee from getting an up-or-down vote.
    That aside, however, I share your contempt for the current Congress. In eight months it hasn't passed one bill of any significance, and instead has split its time between truly awful proposals that were almost universally opposed by the American people, and hundreds of different "investigations" which are actually fishing expeditions for anything that the leadership can use as an excuse for impeachment proceedings against the president.
    Then again, I don't know why anyone expected anything else. The level of hatred for President Bush among the current congressional leadership is simply unprecedented -- and I say that as somebody who is familiar with the history of Congress, all the way back to pre-Civil-War days when the enmity between North and South reached such heights that a southern congressman openly assaulted a northern senator and beat him senseless because of something the senator had said in a floor speech.
    The bad thing about democracy is that you get the government you voted for. You voted for this government: raging partisanship run by a dozen septuagenarian socialists who have been in government for so long that the real world no longer exists for them. So that's what you got. A bit late now for buyer's remorse.
    OTOH, the good thing about democracy is that you get the government you vote for. If you want decent, honorable, intelligent people in government, then go out and find them, fund them, work for them, and get them elected. A one hundred percent turnover in the next set of congressional elections would be a good place to start.

  • Troublesome Frog says:

    Actually there was one difference about the "judicial nominees" fiasco: neither party had ever before used a filibuster to stop a judge nominee from getting an up-or-down vote.

    Well, not so much. You might notice that Senator Frist was not so keen on democracy and the vaunted "up or down vote" in that case.
    I can understand where you get this crap (since everybody on TV was repeating the same thing over and over again without regard to what's in the official records), but we really need to nip this in the bud.

  • Opisthokont says:

    Wolfwalker: I challenge you to name these dozen socialists in Congress.
    Remember that you are talking about the only country in the industrialised world that does not have some sort of national health care system, and where many elected officials (some in very high places) are doing their utmost to dismantle the public education system. Talk of socialised medicine is one step below treason, even with the Democrats in power. I am fairly certain that nobody in Congress is willing to consider taking on the label "socialist" (Bernie Sanders being the only exception of which I am aware), and given the current and continued use of the term "liberal" as a pejorative, I doubt that that will change any time soon.

  • wolfwalker says:

    I challenge you to name these dozen socialists in Congress.
    Well, let's see. The names that come to mind include Kennedy, Kerry, Clinton, Obama, Reid, Pelosi, Conyers, Wrangel, Sanders, Murtha, Schumer, Boxer, Feinstein, Leahy...
    Remember that you are talking about the only country in the industrialised world that does not have some sort of national health care system,
    Not for lack of trying by the Dems.
    and where many elected officials (some in very high places) are doing their utmost to dismantle the public education system.
    With good reason: it's a disaster and needs to be rebuilt from the ground up.
    Talk of socialised medicine is one step below treason, even with the Democrats in power.
    The three leading Democrat candidates in the race for their party's presidential nomination all openly support a socialized medical system for the United States.

  • Troublesome Frog says:

    Also, I think I got more or less what I was hoping for with the change of guard in Congress. I don't particularly like my government to be an efficient entity slamming legislation through left and right. When that happens, you end up with a string of policy disasters like the ones we've been seeing for the past several years.
    Sure, they're not pumping out legislation like McDonald's cranking out McNuggets, but is that really a bad thing? As long as they're not cutting blank checks for incompetent people to experiment with more foreign policy fantasies cooked up by conservative think tanks, I'm actually reasonably happy. Yes, there's legislation that I'd like to see passed, but if it's a choice between what we saw during the past several years and just having Congress go home and take a breather for a year or two, I'll go with the latter.

  • Brian X says:

    Kennedy: Limousine liberal, not a socialist.
    Kerry: Kind of an attention whore. Not a socialist.
    Clinton: Calling Hillary Clinton a liberal is going to prove to be the Big Lie of the campaign. She is a dyed-in-the-wool centrist and actually has quite a few liberals ticked off at her for that very reason.
    Obama: More style than substance in my opinion. There's almost nothing to say about him.
    Reid: His politics do not matter. He's an empty suit.
    Pelosi: Center left at best. She's a good leader, but does not exercise her authority nearly enough.
    Conyers, Wrangel: Not really familiar enough with their records to comment.
    Sanders: Well, maybe, but he's from Vermont. If he is, well, Congress needs some balance in that direction. A friend of mine is actually working for him this summer.
    Murtha: Murtha is a veteran. Yeah, a bit ethically challenged, but I think he can speak with authority on the subject of Iraq. Socialist? I haven't heard anything indicating that.
    Schumer: Center left. Further left than Hillary as a matter of fact. But not a socialist.
    Boxer: Empty suit. Politics don't matter.
    Feinstein: Of all the people on this list that you mention as a socialist, this is by far the most laughable. Dianne Feinstein is bought and paid for by the entertainment industry. She is neither liberal nor conservative -- she's out in Rupert Murdoch Corporate Whore territory.
    Leahy: Not familiar enough with him, despite his high profile.
    Maybe one out of 14. Wolfwalker, you're so far off the green I don't think you're even in the country club anymore.

  • QA's Mom says:

    Conyers, Wrangel: Not really familiar enough with their records to comment.
    Don't know Conyers, but have had the pleasure of working with Charlie Rangel (note correct spelling)
    Charlie is clearly left of center (but only in Wolfworker's warped world could he be called a socialist) - but I would call him a pragmatist -- who understands the needs of the people he serves - and isn't afraid to say things that are unpopular.
    He is pro-draft for instance -- why -- because he's tired of the people from poor communities taking the brunt of the war. As he sees it, if there was a universal draft the war would never have begun

  • Brian X says:

    Troublesome frog:
    There's a difference between obstructionism and oversight, and when you get right down to it the current Congress is doing neither one. They're just sluggish.

  • Troublesome Frog says:

    Brian X:
    I have to say that while I appreciate oversight, obstructionism or sluggishness will do. Failing to achieve anything at all still beats achieving a bunch of really stupid things in my book. Whenever I see our current government hard at work at some sweeping piece of legislation or foreign policy, I think of Homer Simpson randomly poking buttons at the nuclear plant trying to stop a meltdown. And I'm one of those crazy "liberal statists" who wants to see the government involved in health care!
    The only really sweeping government activities that would be particularly interesting to me would be meaningful health care reform and a solution to our foreign policy disaster in the Middle East. I don't see any useful health legislation passing through President Bush, so that's out. I don't see any good solution to the Iraq problem at all (under *any* administration--we're in that deep), especially given that President Bush will accept nothing less than carte blanche to keep poking buttons without supervision. Given that, there isn't much that can come out of Congress that I'm chomping at the bit to see.
    Damn. It only took me a few short years to become depressingly cynical. Somebody slap me around and change my mind, please!

  • Troublesome Frog says:

    To underscore the total dysfunction of Congress these days, Matt Taibbi has a good piece in Rolling Stone on the topic. It's full of fascinating anecdotes about just how petty and self-defeating Congress has become.