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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Humble folks without temptation

I've cross posted my previous post over at my nominal poli blog, A Brown Eyed Handsome Man. No, I don't know why I bother, either, but, as Ferris Bueller's principle and Deadwood's lone newspaperman was once wont to say in an entirely different movie, there it is.

Adding on to this -- I've had an idea, formin' in my brain, for some time now. It's a wildly paranoid concept, but, still, it just won't go away, and yesterday's little stunt involving a bill to impeach Cheney only reinforces this bizarre hypothesis' internal logic.

What if the Clintons have essentially told the Democratic Party to do absolutely nothing that might even slightly rock the national political boat until Hillary wins the Presidency? What if, in other words, Hillary Clinton has decided that the Democratic Party is going to horde all of its political capital like several hundred Henry F. Potters, only to be expended in efforts that help her get into the White House?

What if Hillary and Bill have basically said to the Dems in Congress, look, you do ANYthing that might in any way blow back on Hillary's Presidential bid, or in any way make her look bad, and you can forget about us giving you any fund raising help at all, ever again?

Fund raising is a big club in the Clintons' political golf bag; their Democratic fund raising machine is one of the most efficient and productive ever put together. If the Clintons get behind a political candidate, they can pour millions into the election coffers. If the Clintons refuse to support a candidate, or, worse, decide to support someone else in the primaries... well, you're pretty much dead in the water.

So it seems to me (largely a complete ignoramus as to how politics really works, mind you) that this is, from a practical stand point, a very feasible scenario. But would Hillary and/or Bill really bring the entire political process to a virtual stand still, simply to enhance the chances that the Ultimate Power Couple can once again order new drapes for the Oval Office?

It would certainly explain why the Dems have been so utterly paralytic at, well, EVERYthing, ever since they regained Congressional majorities in 2006. And it would certainly put the utterly baffling and infuriating charade we saw enacted yesterday in reference to Dennis Kucinich's bill to impeach Dick Cheney in some kind of logical context.

(In a nutshell, Kucinich used a Congressional privilege to bring his impeachment bill straight to the floor of the House, after a similar bill had been bottled up by Repubs AND his fellow Democrats in committee for months. The Democratic leadership immediately tried to kill the bill by voting to table it. The Republicans decided to rub Nancy Pelosi's face in it, and under orders from their own leadership, voted against tabling the bill. A few progressive Democrats defied their own leadership to vote with the Republicans, and the motion to table the bill lost handily. So the Democratic leadership immediately then voted to send the bill to committee, where, we presume, it will continue to be sat on. Cindy Sheehan has more on it, if you really want more... I'm so disgusted right now I can barely muster the energy to finish typing this sentence.)

If indeed the Clintons have put their collective foot on the Congressional Democrats' neck, it's a move that may well pay off for them with another Clinton Presidency... but it's also one that brings with it a very high moral price tag. Every day that goes by where Congress could have shut down the Iraq War but didn't, that's another several thousand unnecessary deaths, another few million lives ruined... and that gets added to the already sizable tab Hillary has already run up, simply by voting for the original Authorization of Military Force that unleashed Cheney, Bush, and all the other puppies of war way back in 2002.

You would think that, at some point, Hillary would at the very least want to stop running that tab up, if not start doing something to pay it down. But apparently, human lives, both American and otherwise, have very little value when measured in the Big Scales of national politics.

4 Comments:

At 2:51 PM , Anonymous Always Esteemed Scott said...

But would Hillary and/or Bill really bring the entire political process to a virtual stand still, simply to enhance the chances that the Ultimate Power Couple can once again order new drapes for the Oval Office?

It would certainly explain why the Dems have been so utterly paralytic at, well, EVERYthing, ever since they regained Congressional majorities in 2006.


I suppose it's possible. I've become so deeply, bleakly cynical that I'd just assumed that, like everyone else in political office, the Democrats in Congress have been bought and paid for by *someone*.

And it would certainly put the utterly baffling and infuriating charade we saw enacted yesterday in reference to Dennis Kucinich's bill to impeach Dick Cheney in some kind of logical context.

Yeah. I'm still trying to figure out what, exactly, motivated each side of that charade.

You would think that, at some point, Hillary would at the very least want to stop running that tab up, if not start doing something to pay it down.

Indeed. Particularly since a HUGE majority of Americans clearly wants to bug the fuck out of Iraq at the earliest opportunity.

I am becoming increasingly alarmed at the widening disconnect between what the *people* want (at least according to polls, surveys, etc) and what politicians do.

From what I can tell nearly 3 in 4 Americans hatehatehate George Bush, don't like the direction the country is heading in, and want out of Iraq. It seems patently obvious that the steep decline in Congressional approval ratings (even for Democrats) is a result of the Democrats refusal to get American troops the hell out of Iraq, or otherwise reign in the lunatics running the country.
And yet the annointed front runners for the Democratic nomination for President refuse to commit to stopping this insane war, not to mention coming out against the seemingly inevitable NEXT war (with Iran).
I mean, what the fuck? Aren't politicians supposed to respond to popular opinion?
Isn't that how it's supposed to work?

And that's what is so disturbing to me - THE SYSTEM ISN'T WORKING. It literally doesn't matter what the population wants anymore; it's clear that the things that are important to a vast majority of poeple (pullout from Iraq, universal health care, etc) are pretty much not up for discussion by the political elite that run things now.
Worse, they're not even giving lip service to this stuff. It's like a giant FUCK YOU to the electorate.

How the hell do these people get elected?

 
At 8:31 PM , Blogger The Bunnyman said...

And that's what is so disturbing to me - THE SYSTEM ISN'T WORKING. It literally doesn't matter what the population wants anymore; it's clear that the things that are important to a vast majority of poeple (pullout from Iraq, universal health care, etc) are pretty much not up for discussion by the political elite that run things now.
Worse, they're not even giving lip service to this stuff. It's like a giant FUCK YOU to the electorate.

How the hell do these people get elected?


People largely get elected these days (it seems to me) by running AGAINST things, rather than for them. The Republican majority in both houses of Congress that bedeviled He-Clinton's two terms originated with Newt Gingrich's 'Contract With America', a pact which basically boiled down to, running AGAINST all them goddam commie demmercrats and libruls and fags.

Republicans and conservatives have lately gotten running AGAINST things down to a fine science, but during their long stranglehold on power, they became so flagrantly, blatantly corrupt, venal, and utterly hypocritical to their own oft declared values and ideals that it allowed the Democrats to successfully run against something, too... Republican corruption, immorality, and stupidity.

However, when you get elected for being AGAINST something, you have little to no incentive to actually resolve the problems you were put in office to address. After all, if you SOLVE problems, you will have nothing to run against in the next election... and there's always a next election.

I suspect much of this psychology has gone into the Dem's approach to -- or retreat from -- the issue of ending the war in Iraq. As long as they can continue blaming Republicans for the Iraqi misadventure, they have little reason to bring it to an end, as they can continue to raise money and get votes with it. It will only be when the American public begins to see the war as being something that is equally the fault of both parties that something will actually get done.

Beyond all that, I suspect there are things about the motivations regarding the Iraq War that we simply haven't been told, and those motivations probably apply equally to the majority of those in power in our government, regardless of supposed party affiliation. I can't figure it out myself, but it's obvious that The Powers That Be want chaos in the Middle East right now, and they're getting it.

Nearly all the poli-blogs these days, and all the commenters with a couple of brain cells, are pointing out over and over again that whichever one of the two big parties loses its core constituency to a third party candidate loses this election. The reds are hoping and praying that Dennis Kucinich and Chris Dodd break off and run as Liberal Independents or some damn thing, because they're sure that will mean Rudy (and, probably, VP Huckabee) will be a shoo in.

Similarly, on the left, we are all near-enraptured by the shimmering vision of all the far right wing evangelical Christians bolting the Republican Party to vote for a really rabid Christian conservative nut job. (Somebody like Tom Tancredo, say.)

My own personal wet dream is that BOTH parties fragment; the Repubs lose the crazy Christian voting block to a Tancredo ticket, the Libertarians to an independently running Ron Paul, while the left gets to pick between Hillary/Obama and Kucinich/Dodd. In such an election, literally ANYthing could happen, and I'd like to think that either Kucinich or Paul could actually squeak out a victory.

(Paul's stance on abortion, as well as the fact that he's never going to support anything like universal health care, would see me voting against him, but if he managed to get into the White House anyway, well, I think that would be much better than either Hillary or Rudy.)

In the end none of this will happen, because people idealistic enough to actually vote for the person they think would do the best job are always a small percentage of the electorate... most people will never 'waste their vote' on someone that the MSM hasn't anointed.

Which is yet another thing broken about our system... people tend to vote for the candidates they know the most about, and they learn everything from the MSM. If the MSM pays no attention to a candidate, then the candidate CAN'T win... but the MSM (Main Stream Media, sorry) is basically entirely owned by about half a dozen major corporate players, who have absolutely no desire whatsoever to see the status quo upset in any way at all.

So we get candidates who are basically owned by the Powers That Be, and who will never never never step out of line... lest a man on a grassy knoll draw a bead on them during some motorcade someday.

 
At 11:00 AM , Blogger Opus P. Penguin said...

Umm...I'm having trouble with the idea of putting Clinton" in the same sentence as the word "moral."

I would put nothing past this couple to get back into the White House. It's sick, but I believe it to be true. Furthermore, I'm greatly suspect of anyone who wants the job of President of the United States.

I so, so wish it was different.

 
At 4:20 PM , Anonymous Always Esteemed Scott said...

Newt Gingrich's 'Contract With America', a pact which basically boiled down to, running AGAINST all them goddam commie demmercrats and libruls and fags.

You know what's funny? The Republicans are still running against the commieliberalfags. Despite owning all the goddamn levers of power.
Okay, maybe I won't be laughing when they start sending us all to concentration camps...


After all, if you SOLVE problems, you will have nothing to run against in the next election... and there's always a next election.

Sigh. That is so completely, utterly cynical...and sadly, true.
Since I'm much more versed at this point with Canadian politics, this brings to mind recent provincial election results in Saskatchewan (bear with me now, I promise this has a point - even if it is about Saskatchewan.). Saskatchewan (isn't that the greatest name for a province ever?) has been run for the past 16 years by the New Democratic Party, the most left-leaning party in Canada, and the descendents of the folks that brought us universal health care.
Anyway, the NDP came to power on the heels of a horribly corrupt, incompetent Conservative (but I repeat myself:)) government that had left the province a total and complete mess.
After 16 years, Saskatchewan (say it with me!)has a balanced budget and a growing economy - so naturally, the population decides to vote party responsible for that prosperity out of office. [bangs head against desk].

 

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