Monday, May 23, 2005

NUCLEAR ONANISM: Pulling Out For the Team

There's a cold, damp wind blowing through New England this evening, fellow travelers. Hard to imagine that it's really the end of May, with 45 degree temperatures and wind chills much lower. Is it cold in Washington, now that the furnace in the Senate's been turned all the way up?

The more I think of this rather inartful compromise measure on the nuclear option in the Senate the less satisfied I am. For one, it seems to do nothing whatsoever in terms of structurally protecting anybody's right to do anything.

The compromise seems to read, on first blush, that as long as the Democrats don't filibuster, unless it's REALLY IMPORTANT, the Republicans won't dismantle the Democrats' ability to filibuster unless it's REALLY IMPORTANT.


It will be as easy next year for Frist to peddle his sides' ridiculous unconstitutional-Senate-rules argument as it was yesterday. The whole sordid enterprise of stripping the last minority protections from Congress will still need only a nod, a wink, and a gavel from Good President Cheney of the Senate to obliterate the rules without the traditional requisite supermajority.

This seems to be exactly where we were before this atom bomb issue arose. A whole lot of steam, a good bit of pressure and very little light has been generated in all of this Congressional warfare and maybe a last-minute time-out is all this is. A cold shower. To dampen the blood lust.

Which is why many on both sides, but more on the Right, seem so upset. It’s nothing less than an enormous cosmic coitus interruptus for the rabid evangelicals, who were just itching like mad for that old vigorous nuke-yoo-lur ultraviolence. Can you feel the frustration, brothers and sisters? The itching, the swelling? How unhappy they are that the Senate was saved?

I like, I like!

The Troglodyte Right will most definitely be back to resume this battle again, but for now they seem to have backed off. My guess is they're feeling weak all of a sudden, underselfconfident, and wouldn’t be enraging their base by pulling out like this if they thought they could put this thing over on its own merits. So... back to their caves for now.

Hey Lefties, remember this feeling? Like you rolled back the juggernaut, this momentary feeling of strength? Like it? Want more?

I know where you can get it.

Next we begin talking about civil disobedience.

1 comment:

exgrad said...

Unfortunately, the (as you call them) "Troglodyte Right" has really very little to fear.

This is a classic example of how those in power (I refuse to call them "conservatives"... there is nothing conservative about their behavior)are much better at politics than the weak Democrats. Democrats can praise themselves for a "victory" but in reality this is no victory at all. The unacceptable nominees get into power on an "up-down" vote.

(Janice Rogers Brown, for example believes using racial epithets to address your employees is "freedom of speech," that Social Security is a "socialist" program, and that creating laws to make sure that business are safe places to work "infringes on the rights of business")

Next comes Supreme Court nominations. As Bush has stated, he will not change his method of selecting candidates. The Democrats will again threaten a filibuster (which they should), and the whole stupid battle will start over again. Maybe they'll reach another "compromise" and we get stuck with more extremist judges who wish to roll back all the advances of the last century, and again the Democrats will pat themselves on the back again for their ability to work with the Republicans.

It is the triumph of wonkery over actual substance. The press is no better. Other than in editorials and "opinion pieces" the news (including supposedly "liberal" institutions like the New York Times or NPR) rarely mentions any of the content or reasons why these particular nominees might be unacceptable or really anything about their merit. Instead we hear them bending over backward to show "both sides," and all we hear are the catch-phrases as in "simple up-down vote" or the Democrats equally lame response of "these are the rules, follow them" rather than the content of why the rules exist.

As Elilot once wrote, "this is how the world ends..."