Thursday, January 04, 2007

On neutering the Republicans

President Bush "wrote" an editorial for the Wall St. Journal today.

Here's the part that made my wife sputter in a high-pitched voice like Beaker going mi-mi-mi
It is also a fact that our tax cuts have fueled robust economic growth and record revenues. Because revenues have grown and we've done a better job of holding the line on domestic spending, we met our goal of cutting the deficit in half three years ahead of schedule. By continuing these policies, we can balance the federal budget by 2012 while funding our priorities and making the tax cuts permanent. In early February, I will submit a budget that does exactly that. The bottom line is tax relief and spending restraint are good for the American worker, good for the American taxpayer, and good for the federal budget. Now is not the time to raise taxes on the American people.
Hardly a single word is true. The reality, of course, is that Bill Clinton and his Treasurer Robert Rubin were able to reverse the years of deficit spending after just four years. They built a trillion-dollar budget surplus that Bush blew through like a crack whore with a stolen credit card. These aren't secrets, guys. You can't lie about them.

Here's the part that made us laugh out loud.
One important message I took away from the election is that people want to end the secretive process by which Washington insiders are able to slip into legislation billions of dollars of pork-barrel projects that have never been reviewed or voted on by Congress. I'm glad Senator Robert Byrd and Congressman Dave Obey--the Democrats who will lead the appropriations process in the new Congress--heard that message, too, and have indicated they will refrain from including additional earmarks in the continuing resolution for this fiscal year.

But we can and should do more. It's time Congress give the president a line-item veto. And today I will announce my own proposal to end this dead-of-the-night process and substantially cut the earmarks passed each year.
The reality, of course, is that earmarking is a bipartisan practice that he could have vetoed at any point in the previous six years. Bush tacitly approved the pork-barrel process, as all politicians do. However, here he only named Democrats after 12 years of this midnight thuggery practiced by Republicans. Therefore, he does plan on vetoing a spending bill, probably as soon as possible. Now that the GOP is out of congressional power, it's important to label the Dems as a tax-and-spend party again, so this is just the opening gun in the meme-wars. As it happens, he's right about Byrd, who should have been tossed out of office years ago for his piggy ways.

Another important part of reality is that a line-item veto was granted, back in 1996, and it was eventually struck down as unconstitutional by a 6-3 Supreme Court majority two years later. There are two ways Bush could get a line-item veto: one, they find a magic formula that will let it pass muster with the men in black; two, they pass a constitutional amendment. The first is possible, the second is not. In any case, there's no reason for this congress to do the president any favors.

Here's the part that made me mad.
Our Founders believed in the wisdom of the American people to choose their leaders and provided for the concept of divided and effective government. The majority party in Congress gets to pass the bills it wants. The minority party, especially where the margins are close, has a strong say in the form bills take. And the Constitution leaves it to the president to use his judgment whether they should be signed into law.
Suck my dick. The minority party was completely shut out of every major decision for 12 fucking years in the House, and six years in the Senate. They were unable to pass any significant amendments in any House Vote in literally years. Traditional practices that only helped the majority party were shamelessly promoted: keeping house votes open for hours, threatening to remove filibusters entirely. Worse, the Democrats were called traitors and cowards and weaklings, whether they voted for or against Bush's initiatives. Now we should play nice towards the minority party? Why, because we're the grown-ups?

I am sick to fucking death of hearing how Democrats should behave, after the self-righteous thundering at Bill Clinton's tiniest peccadillo was muted to dead silence after Bush started a needless war and shattered the protections that have been part of Common Law since the 13th century. You authoritarians, you seekers of a king to rule you, you just want to love a Daddy who is always right, don't you? You don't care what he actually does -- you're just thrilled to hear the voice of command, barking out orders like Tommy Lee Jones looking for Dr. Kimble. You don't notice your own insincerity and hypocrisy when you're lecturing the Democrats, and you certainly don't notice that your emperor is an incurious, incompetent dullard.

Grover Norquist famously compared the Democrats to neutered animals when they were the minority party:
Once the minority of House and Senate are comfortable in their minority status, they will have no problem socializing with the Republicans. Any farmer will tell you that certain animals run around and are unpleasant, but when they've been fixed, then they are happy and sedate. They are contented and cheerful. They don't go around peeing on the furniture and such.
I honestly don't know what to say to the GOP. They have no sense of shame or responsibility over what they, and no one else, are responsible for. Bush is obviously mentally ill, but most of the Republican party has no such excuse for their actions and inactions. The bottom line is, they lost the election, badly. They're losing the war, badly. They've put the country in a terrible financial bind, with trillions in budgetary deficit, a record trade deficit, and a looming recession based on the weak housing market. It's a staggering record of incompetence and chicanery.

Now they can all go fuck themselves while we clean their mess up.


Blogger Ed Park said...

Can you believe that there are still people in this country that think Bush is doing a good job ??
A close friend happens to think so and I'm always in disbelief that anyone could think so.

Friday, 05 January, 2007  
Anonymous wrd said...

I guess you've heard about Dubya's recent Signing Statement (attached to a postal bill) that allows the Feds to have access to private mail. Maybe he'll give himself the line-item veto in a similar fashion. (Signing Statements should be struck down as unconstitutional.)

Friday, 05 January, 2007  
Anonymous Travis said...

Ed -

If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention. Many people will not care about things until they're personally affected, so sound him out when we're in the middle of a recession by the summer.


Yep. This was unconstitutional twice: 1) the signing statements do not create an actionable record, and 2) he cannot assert unconstitutional powers. He's not the fucking king.

People urged that Clinton be impeached for the tiniest fraction of what bush did just yesterday. It drives me insane.

Friday, 05 January, 2007  

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