Dr. Jekyll is Mr. Hide…
Posted November 11, 2014on:
Good morning Widdershins. Today is Veterans Day — thank someone who has unselfishly served our country.
The race is not always to the swift and neither does the battle always go to the strong. As far as last Tuesday’s election, to butcher a Churchillism, “never was so much truth owed to so many hidden by so few.“
Courtesy of the lowest voter turnout since 1942, an anorexic 37% of the eligible voters delivered the Senate and the largest majority in the House to the Republican Party for the first time since Hoover was something other than a vacuum cleaner. There wasn’t a real alternative since the national Democratic Party seemed to be pulling for the “Rs” or otherwise they are as chronically stupid as we have long believed them to be. A possible new motto suggestion — “Yes, we can be intergalacticly ignorant“.
Unfortunately, politics determines who exercises the power, not who champions the truth. When you have the highest rated cable news channel and virtually all of talk radio demonizing reality in favor of deniability, politics begins to resemble a King of the Hill death match with live ammo. Accession to power is a relatively solitary pursuit — until — until those imbued with power begin to scramble and squirm to perpetuate their myths by promoting toxic policies borne from the filigree of magical thinking.
For example, after whatever you want to call last Tuesday’s election — a wave, tsunami, shellacking, or old-fashioned ass-whuppin’, what major policy enactments surfaced first and foremost upon the minds of the victors — the Keystone XL pipeline and corporate tax breaks. Daresay Canadian shale sludge mobility and further luxuriating corporate largess weren’t top of mind burning issues amongst the thirty-seven percent shuffling or Hover-rounding to the polls.
After a day or two of reflection, the conservative intelligentsia weighed in — here’s their wish list for action:
- Abolishing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Elisabeth Warren’s lurid creation that dares protect people from unfair business practices);
- Abolition of the Independent Payment Advisory Board (the citizen board charged with reducing health care costs);
- Stopping all agency regulation not explicitly passed by Congress (I’m sure Congress would get around to that chore right after confirming a Surgeon General, confirming hundreds of judicial vacancies, and some 50 more votes on repealing the ACA);
- Repeal of the medical device tax ($150 million in lobbying will get you an honorable mention on the to-do list);
- Authorizing the aforementioned Keystone XL pipeline; and
- One last one that is amazing — sticking it to old Harry Reid and sticking it to him good — approval of the nuclear waste repository at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain. This last one — the Yucca Mountain nuclear dumping ground — that is a new all-time low in political payback — make ‘em hurt until they glow.
Perhaps the biggest winner in the election was obstructionism. The Republicans took obstruction right out of the laxative ads and made it into a mantra of governance. Sadly, obstructionism is now the default setting for a party not in the White House — forget the human suffering it causes, forget the opportunities turned fallow, forget public service — use it as long as, and only if, you can perform a Svengali-like reversal of blame. That is what happened last Tuesday courtesy of the Obama coodies and the double-reverse blame ricochet.
There is no better example of this postulate than Mitch McConnell. The Dr. Jekyll of obstructionism has now morphed himself into a Mr. Hide behind claims of wanting Congress to “work and get things done.” I’ve said it on these pages before and I’ll say it again, Mitch McConnell is a brilliant strategic thinker and last Tuesday’s win is owed in no small part to his unsurpassed political ability, but make no mistake, his lust for power at the expense of the truth is not yet satiated.
While some conservative opinion writers warned McConnell not to get into a “governance trap” of getting things done with a Democratic President, McConnell is playing the long game. After a short honeymoon of outmaneuvering the White House on base-appeasing issues like those mentioned earlier, McConnell will ply the President’s veto desk with odious amendment-filled legislation until the Oval Office bulges into a perfect circle. The timetable will conveniently coincide with the onset of the 2016 presidential election cycle where the mantra will be, “Elect a Republican President to go along with a Republican Congress and see how Washington hums.”
How do I know this to be true? Mitch McConnell is a political bird that never molts a feather outside his own nest — he never does anything that doesn’t further his political goals. It’s been true for thirty years and by virtue of his continued success he isn’t about to change. McConnell’s wiliness is one reason he has spent so little one-on-one time with Obama. Presidential advisers are afraid McConnell will take Obama to the cleaners and effortlessly pick his pockets on the way there.
This is why Obama MUST MUST MUST use his executive authority on the immigration issue. Obama must use the issue to send senators like Ted Cruz, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, Mike Lee, Pat Roberts, Mike Crapo, David Vitters, and the looney-tunes House Tea Party caucus into an apoplectic state of condition Vesuvius — lava hot and spewing in every direction.
If the chronically feckless Obama doesn’t send the GOP into a fast decaying orbit where it burns itself up, Hillary’s presidential ambitions will suffer a second time at the hands of a self-promoting Obama. And above all else, that would be an unpardonable shame.
Now remember two things on this fine Tuesday — thank a veteran and take this conversation wherever you’d like.
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