"The Wingnut Heart Wants What It Wants" Edition.
The Mouse Circus was quite the train wreck this week, in the train-made-of-dynamite-dropped-from-high-altitude-onto-a-tanker-full-of-incendiary-feces sense of that phrase.
I frankly do not remember ever seeing anyone lie so much, so fast as Rand Paul. He really packs 'em in: like an inmate shoveling down the beans afraid that at any moment someone bigger and tougher come along and take them away.
The Junior Senator from the great state of Kentucky sure blinks a lot when he lies. It's kind of distracting: as is there is some tiny sliver of conscience entombed under all that raw, Randite ambition trying desperately to semaphore for help to the world outside through whatever means are at hand.
Also that glop of alien lichen that lives on his head and tells him what batshit nuts thing to say next seems to oscillate nervously when the facts start making that long, smooth ride to Galt's Gulch too bumpy.
I also learned that Meet the Press is where Rich Lowry now goes once a month to get his poison sacs drained.
No one has yet figured out just how many terajoules of kinetic energy an open hand would need to pack to slap that smirk off Mr. Lowry's face, but it would have to be considerable. After all, Mr. Lowry is by now legitimately famous for two things: running the most influential media halfway house for white supremacist writers in America, and being consistently and completely wrong about everything from Clinton to Bush to waterboarding to Sarah "Little Starbursts" Palin. And yet there he sits, month after month yawp-yawp-yawping his opinions on "Meet the Press" at millions of unsuspecting Americans who may not know what a truly dreadful blight on humanity he really is.
I suppose if I were getting away with all that Mr. Lowry is getting away with (and getting paid for it to boot1) I'd have a smirky rictus rocking my face so hard 24/7 they'd have to sandblast my skull to get rid of it.
A few channels away, the teabagger politburo stranded John of Umbrage in front of a camera with one foot nailed to the floor, leaving him with nothing to do but trudge a tight, hungover circle reading the hilariously nonsensical, Soviet-style denunciations of the Kenyan Usurper which the teabagger politburo had written out for him:
“[P]roviding—providing fairness to the American people, under Obamacare, is—all we’re asking for. My goodness. They give big businesses a waiver. They give all these unions a waiver. And yet they’re forcing the American people to buy a product, buy a product that they do not want and cannot afford.”
It’s hard to know where to start with this. The idea that the administration granted a blanket waiver to “big businesses” is absurd. The reality is that businesses with more than 50 employees now have until 2015 to comply with the employer mandate for health insurance. This affects a relatively small number of businesses, and is separate from the other employer-centered regulations in the Affordable Care Act.
Public opinion is ambivalent on the Speaker’s assertion that Obamacare is a product the “American people do not want”—disapproval is substantial, but few people want the law repealed—and most analyses contradict the claim that insurance under the Affordable Care Act is unaffordable; in many states, premiums are much cheaper than expected.
As for the union waivers decried by Boehner? They don’t exist. Just last month, in fact, the administration rejected a bid to extend subsidies to union members who receive employer-provided health insurance.And speaking of messy drunks who should stay off teevee, someone gave Peggy Noonan a day away from the cameras, so she put that time to good use getting to know Captain Morgan a little better and tweeting out random bits of Noonanalia:
Anyway, it was all pretty much the same, horrible par for the course. Even outside the congenial glow of the teevee studio lights, the ignorant media armies continued their eternal struggle to hold the truth about the Right at bay in our nation's various Dead Tree versions of the Mark Halperin Book of Common Prayer. Here is Dan Balz, paying his "Both Siderist" tithe in The Washington Post:The Democratic mistake was the punitive, crude, pain-bringing shutting down of things that everyone knows don’t have to be shut down.
— Peggy Noonan (@Peggynoonannyc) October 6, 2013
...By now, the life cycle of every GOP crisis --
That is the conclusion of politicians, political strategists and scholars who have been living with a deepening red-blue divide in America that they say has made this era of politics the most polarized in more than a century. However bad it may have seemed in the 1990s, the last time there was a shutdown , or after the contested presidential election in 2000, or a decade ago during a divisive war, the fundamentals are worse today.
Some may rightly blame politicians in Washington for behaving badly, but in reality the clashes in the nation’s capital reflect conflicting attitudes and values held by politically active, rank-and-file Republicans and Democrats across the country. Add to that a faction of conservatives in the House who are determined to disrupt business as usual and the current stalemate in Congress becomes almost unavoidable.
The bonds that once helped produce political consensus have gradually eroded, replaced by competing camps that live in parallel universes, have sharply divergent world views and express more distrust of opponents than they did decades ago. Many activists describe the stakes in apocalyptic terms.
- Fling the country into the middle of a manufactured nation-threatening cataclysm for craven, political reasons;
- Publicly shit the bed so hard trying to extricate themselves from their own clever scheme, the sheer force of it lifts them into orbit;
- Frantically scramble around trying to hang the blame for failing to defuse the bomb they built on the same people who tired to stop them from building the bomb in the first place
-- is such a baseline element of modern American political life that anyone who is actually surprised by any of this, or who continues to drop automatically into a "Both Sides Do It" crouch every time the Penguin figures out some new way the threaten Gotham City, should seriously consider having themselves put into a medically induced coma until the Second Coming.
I'm sure other folks will write all about it tomorrow or the next day with varying degrees of piss and vinegar.
Until then, the Bobblespeak Translations are always good.
UPDATE: Charles Pierce was pretty good today, although I must once again dispel these wild rumors that I am, in fact, Mr. Pierce. Sure his Sunday Morning themes, vocabulary, style choices and leitmotifs often track eerily closet to my own humble efforts circa 2005-until-now, but I can assure you that Mr. Pierce is most definitely not my Kilgore Trout. First, the man is a wizard at the ponies and his sporting news, whereas I prefer taking people's money across a pool table and lost virtually all interest in professional sports after the Bulls tanked and the Cubs managed to avoid a trip to the World Series for the 88th straight year. Second, Mr. Pierce has written for many fine national publications over the years, whereas I have not :-)
But the real absurdity of it all took place over on CBS. I've felt for a while that the people who are most awkward about this whole mess are the previous generation of wingnut Republicans who are now being hauled along for the ride by the various djinns and golems that they set free on the land in 2010. Take, for example, Senator John Cornyn of Texas, a wingnut's wingnut if there ever was one, but not as deep into the izonkosphere as his junior partner, Tailgunner Ted, who has eclipsed Cornyn in the hearts of the creationist faithful in Texas by going further off the deep end than Cornyn ever dreamed of going. Cornyn went along for the ride. Now, he has to defend what Cruz and the rest of the monkeyhouse hath wrought, and he's plainly not up to the job, as former Botany Bay immigration reporter Bob Schieffer demonstrated.
SCHIEFFER: The law has been passed. Why not keep the government running and then everybody can sit down and decide what they want to do about it.He is babbling now, back to the ancient lie of how raising the debt ceiling has something to do with the debt going forward, and not about paying bills already racked up. We are pretty fked as a nation when even the wingnuts can't speak wingnut any more.
CORNYN: Well there should be a negotiation, and this government would still be up and running in full if President...if Harry Reid had allowed Democrats to vote to eliminate the Congressional carve-out which treats them favorably under Obamacare and to treat average Americans the same way the President has decided to treat business with regard to Obamacare penalties.
SCHIEFFER: Senator, isn't there something wrong when you say I won't fund the government unless i can attach my personal wish list to the legislation every time we vote? I'd love to see the government find a cause, uh, cure for cancer, but I don't think you can say I'm not going to pass and pass any funds for the rest of the government until [the National Institutes of Health] finds a cure for cancer. I mean, isn't that just kind of the same thing here?
CORNYN: Well, it should be part of the negotiation. But there's actually more common ground than you might think, because we have actually -- the House has passed a provision to open up NIH to do the cancer research that is necessary...
SCHIEFFER: Yes, but that...
CORNYN: ... and that has been shut down...
SCHIEFFER: Yes, but, I mean...
CORNYN: ... by the Democrats.
SCHIEFFER: ... you can't do that every time you get ready to fund the government, it seems to me, as somebody comes up with some new thing that is their thing that they want done, and you can't fund the government unless you get that. I mean...
CORNYN: Well, I know you can't reach an agreement and get past this impasse if the president won't negotiate and he's not at the table. We've moved from the defund Obamacare effort to eliminating this congressional carve-out, and eliminating the penalty on individual Americans like the president has done for businesses under Obamacare. We would have the government be funded today if Harry Reid and Senate Democrats had agreed to vote for that.
SCHIEFFER: What would you like? What do Republicans want?
CORNYN: Well, I'll tell what you we want is some measures to address the out-of-control debt and spending in the country. And, particularly, looking at $17 trillion in debt, which is hampering our economy, creating uncertainty. It's helping to contribute to slow economic growth and high unemployment. And the president says he want a clean debt ceiling increase. That's not going to happen. And we can't let it happen if we care about the next generation.