Archive for October 2009
Nobody wants to stand up to Rush.
Blunt is running for Senate in Missouri.
Putnam is from Florida – a state well-known for its large (and elderly) Jewish population.
I ran into Senator Lieberman in the Russell Rotunda as he navigated between television appearances.
I may be wrong, but I don’t think so… and I’ll leave it to others to pick apart his record and substantiate my gut feeling here. But it seems to me as if Lieberman was once a reliable progressive. After (or during) the 2000 election debacle, he navigated toward the center. Then came 9/11, and then Iraq… Lieberman enjoyed his status as “statesman” and for a while, he was deluded by a fawning press into thinking that he was a renaissance man of modern politics – adored by everyone, left and right.
Then, in 2003-4 and again in 2006, reality bit him in the ass. And he was completely blindsided. All of the people that wrote nice things about him in the op-ed pages of the Washington Post… Sean Hannity… George Bush and Dick Cheney…. they all adored him! How could it be that the people – the riff-raff – weren’t equally in love?
Well, it must’ve been the new guys on the block – those “bloggers” and the rest of the lunatics on the far-left. They pissed in Good ‘ol Joe’s punch-bowl and ruined everything.
But Joe just knew he was loved. And ultimately, he was right. All it took was a party switch and he won re-election handily in 2006. Of course, his love comes from George Bush and Dick Cheney fans… Friends of Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck… tea-baggers, birthers and assorted extremists… But in the end, Joe Lieberman is in the Senate and Ned Lamont is not.
I don’t think that lesson has been lost on Joe. I think he knows who butters (and buttered) his bread, and he’s changed political stripes to stay in the good graces of his new-found base. I don’t think the Joe Lieberman of 1998 would have in a million years opposed a public option. (Yeah, I know, he was too busy criticizing Bill Clinton, even then. So, like I said, maybe I’m wrong about this).
Anyway, the question on everyone’s minds is whether or not Joe will stand with Democrats and vote for cloture if it is necessary to bring a health care bill with a public option to the floor of the Senate for an up or down vote.
In the video, he tells me he hasn’t decided.
So I ask him if it would matter if support for the public option was running at 60-65% in his state.
He tells me he is always interested in what the people have to say, and then goes on to do a bit of filibustering of his own to end my interview.
For a party that relies so heavily on the “values voter” (an aside: what are the rest of us?) to win elections, it has always been striking to me that the Republican Party tolerates so much debauchery within its ranks. From “Hot-tub Tom” Delay, to the world-famous party-boy John Boehner, to David Vitter to John Ensign, to John Sweeney, to Mark Sanford… not to mention David Dreier, Rick Perry and Lindsey Graham’s “alternate” lifestyles, it just seems to me that a party of principled standard-setters would want to do a better job of self-policing.
I’m just going to go ahead and apologize right now. For many of you, this blog will get to be repetitious and, perhaps, boring.
But here’s the thing: the Republican Party is in a really crazy place right now. Virtually every member is beholden to the lunatic fringe of the right-wing. The real leaders of American conservativism are Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh. There may have been a time when the Buckley’s and Hayek’s added something of value to the political conversation, at least to the extent that they challenged liberal orthodoxies and forced us to sharpen our policy arguments. But now, the country’s most powerful elected Republicans are led by vacuous entertainers, bereft of any serious intellectual heft. Limbaugh, Beck and the second and third tiers (Savage, Levin, Ingraham, Hewitt, O’Reilly, Hannity, etc.) of Republican leadership are meticulous when it comes to ignoring realities they don’t like and creating false realities that serve their agenda: building their audiences.
it is all so transparent. These folks are peddling lies and making a mint. Elected Republicans, sensing electoral peril, look more and more to the Idiocracy that is right-wing talk radio for policy direction.
There are only two viable political parties in this country. And one of them is nuts.
It may get boring, but I’m determined to memorialize the era in the most unproduced and unfiltered means possible. When the history of our time is written, I don’t want to allow future revisionists room for varnish or apologies. The plain fact is that – at the very highest levels of American government – elected Republicans are irresponsible, loony, and dangerous.
Our kids are going to want to know why we couldn’t address global warming, chronic disease, environmental catastrophe and gross inequality. Hopefully this blog will be useful to those looking for explanations.
So yeah, you’re gonna see several videos where the content is the same, only the faces change. Sorry if it gets boring for you.
Without further ado, here is Dan Lungren, (R, CA-3)
This is something I worry about a lot.
McCotter played a minor role in the “birther” videos Brett Vaughn and I created earlier this year. Evidently, he doesn’t have the courage to stand by his statement and is instead claiming that I selectively edited the video to cast him in a bad light.
The only thing I knew to do was to call him a liar. What else do you do when someone is lying to you?
Anyway, I fear that as I ask more Senators and Representatives questions that force accountability, this will be the result. Alternatively, I wouldn’t be surprised if our esteemed elected simply follow the practice of Michelle Bachmann, Virginia Foxx, Kay Bailey Hutchison, John Shaddegg and others (including some Democrats) by exercising their 5th Amendment right to remain silent while I ask them questions…
In a way, it’s ironic. Most people taking the 5th are criminals, no?
Funny how the world works sometimes.
I would have bled in 2006 and 2008 to get Darcy Burner into the House of Representatives. She’s a solid progressive and she strikes me as someone that is just a good person. Burner deserves more plaudits and accolades than that, but this post isn’t about her…
It’s about the guy that beat her twice.
I’ve actually come to like and respect Congressman Dave Reichert. He answers questions directly and seems to be the least insane person in his caucus.
I never thought I’d say this, but here it goes: Thank you David Reichert. Thank you for being a decent and responsible American.
One of the missions of this blog will be to ask the easy questions of our Representatives when their actions/positions are indefensible. Generally speaking, and I’m sure many of you will agree with me, our media has failed in its most basic mission: to hold the powerful accountable.
it isn’t difficult. You observe a powerful person doing wrong. You ask them why they are behaving badly.
Time and again, the corporate media has failed to do this. ironically, it is the easiest part of their job. It’s not Woodward and Bernstein high-stakes investigative reporting. It’s simply refusing to pretend the emperor is clothed.
Anyway, here’s an example of me doing Wolf Blitzer’s job for him: