Friday, July 11, 2008

Homer Simpson Is A Republican, For Now

Image credit: Do I really have to explain this one?

They own the news. They get a pass nearly every time broadcast news looks at them. They've dominated talk radio for decades. It took all that to make the Democratic Party and liberalism labels that some Democratic politicians considered slanderous. Yet all we needed to do was let the Republicans run things for a while to make the Republicans ashamed of their own party affiliation:

You know it’s a bad political climate for Washington Republicans when even the man at the top of their state ticket has chosen to officially deny his affiliation with the party. Dino Rossi filed for governor this week, and under the bizarre rules of our new top-two primary has declared his affiliation as “Prefers G.O.P. Party.”

The G.O.P. Party…? What the hell is that? The “Grand Old Party Party” …?

Dino Rossi quits Republican Party!

Dino Rossi was the Republican candidate for governor of Washington in 2004. He lost be a few hundred votes out of several million cast. Yet he's afraid to be seen as a Republican now. It's easy to see why they might want to avoid the Republican label, though:

Here's yet another sign of just how abysmal the map is for Senate Republicans this year: They are openly saying there are exactly zero safe seats this year -- not even Kansas, a red state that hasn't elected a Democrat to the Senate since 1932.

"We have no safe seats right now," NRSC spokesman Scott Bensing told the Kansas City Star. "In a normal election year, we would not be concerned at all. But those are the cards we're dealt. We're not taking any states for granted."

Top GOPer Concedes That Party Has No Safe Senate Seats

The Republican Party has been in control of the Federal government for most of the last fifteen years. They've controlled either Congress or the Presidency, and sometimes both. Yet in all that time, what have the accomplished?

  • Lost a war that they never should have gotten us in to begin with.

  • Because they were too distracted by the thought of invading a country that wasn't a threat to us, they are losing a war that they should have won.

  • Trashed the economy.

  • Made it harder to attract new talent from the rest of the world, at a time when it's more important than it's been for a century.

  • Failed to improve our security against terrorism.

  • Failed to help one of our great cities when it was hit by a natural disaster.

Leaving the Republicans in charge of the government has been like leaving Homer Simpson in charge of a nuclear reactor. It's worse, in fact - you have to try to make a nuclear reactor do something dangerous, and in contrast to the Republicans he isn't that ambitious.

This all sounds like great news for the Democrats, doesn't it? It does until you consider what the Democrats have done with their turn in the driver's seat in Congress.

Did they stop our involvement in Iraq? Aaaaah!.

Did they impeach the President and Vice President for the most lawless actions any Administration has ever engaged in? Bzzzzzt!.

Did they stand up for our rights? Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!

Did they make the lives of folks in New Orleans any better? Thank you for playing!

Despite having a clear majority in the House and a slim one in the Senate, the Democrats accomplished none of the things we needed them to do. We weren't expecting universal health care or an end to poverty. Just fix the fucking government and try to stop an illegal and unnecessary war. What did we get in return?

An upraised middle finger.

I see a lot of joking around the lefty blogs about how the average Republican voter is dumb as a post, or things along those lines. I know a good many Republicans, and have worked with quite a few. Many are very bright people. I think the reason they vote the way they do comes down to differences in personalities and priorities.

What's more, they weren't the ones who whittled down a great field of Presidential contenders to pick the least among them. I'm not just talking about this election cycle, either. That's been the story of the last three, at least. Who in blazes thought Al Gore or John Kerry were the best choices? In this election, when I wasn't hearing about how divisive Hillary was, it was how boring it was that the other candidates were all still white men. Who the fuck cares about that?

As I've written before, the fact that two of the leading candidates of one of the parties were a black man and a woman is great news. The talent field has effectively doubled for what has to be one of the world's most difficult jobs. That doesn't mean, though, that this particular black man or woman are the best qualified for the job. In fact, while said black man was hiding behind the sofa, it was this white guy who was never considered seriously by most voters, and this white guy who probably wouldn't have been had he run, who led the opposition to FISA.

Yet, once again, Democratic primary voters unerringly zeroed in on the least of the candidates available. It wasn't hard to figure out what Obama is. I was onto him months ago. All you had to do was look at what he'd done, and then assume that the past is prologue. But did the average Democratic voter do that? Not a chance.

If the average Republican voter is as dumb as a post, so is the average Democratic voter.

All of which leads me to this conclusion - we don't need more Democrats in Congress and the White House, we need better people. If even ten Republican Senators had joined the Democrats who voted against cloture, this FISA bill would have died a well-deserved death. There should have been that many among them. Frankly, there should have been enough on both sides to defeat the bill outright. But the other guys have voted so consistently with the Administration that it's difficult to even imagine that happening today. We don't just need better Democrats, we need better Republicans, too.

Most of all, though, we need better voters.

What's more, if the Democrats continue their record of non-achievement, they'll find that their fall happens as quickly as their rise. And frankly, in that event I may be part of the vote that gave gravity an assist.

(h/t to Dana at En Tequila Es Verdad for this lead to the TPM story.)

UPDATE: Added the bit about Dino Rossi. Leaving it out was an oversight.

UPDATE 2: It's not entirely related to this article, but Selise has put up an interesting diary at Daily Kos about the path of the new FISA legislation through the House this session. Well worth the read, I think.


Moses Gunner said...

Pat Buchanan's new book makes some great points but falls apart when he spins he tries to spin his antisemitism in to something he thinks people can digest. He poises him self in a position where you have to agree with him, but then drops a bomb in your lap. Nice tactics, but none the less futile. I suggest reading this book review on his new book.

Cujo359 said...

Interesting review, Jaajoe. I don't think I'll be picking that book up any time soon, though.