The Widdershins

Remain Calm, Etc: Dream On

Posted on: January 16, 2015

Happy Friday, Widdershins.

We have just survived Week One of Total Republican Congressional Domination.  Newly minted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, flushed with the mojo of his party’s success with the economic recovery that it had little or naught to do with, now simply cannot wait for the Prez to get with the program so that they can get things cleaned up even further.

McConnell states that “step one” is to convince the American public that Washington can work again, and this means fixing the Senate.  He plans to use legislation approving the Keystone Pipeline as the beginning of his Grand Old Plan to get things moving and make us whole again.  Per the Christian Science Monitor,

The Kentuckian says he wants to use a bipartisan bill that approves the Keystone pipeline to prove that the Senate can return to being a chamber of open debate – one in which both parties have an opportunity to offer amendments; where committees, rather than party leadership, craft legislation; and where priorities are hammered out through the regular budgeting process, all while avoiding a government shutdown.

The ultimate goal is to restore the Senate to its “high purpose,” as Senator McConnell put it, where Republicans and Democrats can work through the big – and more likely, the small – issues of the day.

Ah, yes.  The “high purpose” of the Senate, where a band of brethren and sistren spar politely but firmly, yet never forgetting the comity expected of gentle ladies and gentle men.   Am I missing something here?  Can this really be the same Mitch McConnell that brought the work of the Republic to a screeching halt for the past six years?  Indeed it is, but here’s the difference:  He seems to honestly think that all of the Dems have forgotten everything that he did to make their lives miserable, and he has reached way back into his early political career when he was able to build coalitions with some Kentucky Blue Dogs in hopes of serving up a model for success.  Ah, yes.  Back in the day when McConnell was a moderate pro-choice Republican who promised (but welched) union rights he might have stood a shot.

I have no doubt that McConnell could maybe  – just maybe- pull off a veto-proof bill if he had a Senate full of Blue Dogs, but he does not.  Both his message and his tone have veered sharply to the right since the good ol’ days, so Democratic alliances of any stripe promise to be precious and few.  He has therefore graciously permitted debate and amendments, but there is mumbling amongst the Democratic ranks.  Members state that there have already been procedural violations, and so the amendments spin on. To this end,  Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is my new hero.  He attached the following amendment to the Keystone Bill, and is forcing a vote on the entire package:

 “It is the sense of Congress that Congress is in agreement with the opinion of virtually the entire worldwide scientific community that—

(1) climate change is real;

(2) climate change is caused by human activities;

(3) climate change has already caused devastating problems in the United States and around the world;

(4) a brief window of opportunity exists before the United States and the entire planet suffer irreparable harm; and

(5) it is imperative that the United States transform its energy system away from fossil fuels and toward energy efficiency and sustainable energy as rapidly as possible.”

So, if you vote to pass KP, you state unequivocally that climate change is real.  Talk about a shale rock and a hard place, huh?  Kudos, Bernie!  Time to link arms with the Repubs and try for a little harmonious engagement, or maybe just a little harmony.

This is an open thread.  As for myself, I will dream – and dream big – that the 2016 election sets this mess to rights.  It’s only two more years – WTH!


13 Responses to "Remain Calm, Etc: Dream On"

Dream we must because the reality is dismal. Chat, you hit the proverbial nail on the head, McC tries to appear all reasonable and senatey, but the era of comity never had senate debates playing out over Twitter accounts and Facebook posts.

Did you see, it’s official: 2014 was the hottest year EVAH or at least since we started keeping records back in the 1880s. And the sneer that calls itself Ted Cruz is the new head of the Senate Subcommittee on the Environment.

I don’t know who I hate more today…the republican politicians and their ilk, or the NCAA. I guess the repubs, since they affect my life more. I hope the dems and Obama give them a huge steaming dish of payback and block anything they want. And I wish that all of the west coast universities would quit the NCAA and form their own. Sorry for the grumpy comment, am having the week from hell! Love the pretty and very funny logo though!

So I wonder if the “kumbaya” moments will extend into the confirmation process for the prez’s selections for various offices?

@3: I think he can confirm an AG simply because they hate Holder so much. The only other can’t fail nominee would be if he needed a SCOTUS and nominated Hillary Clinton. I believe that she would be approved by acclimation sans debate – basically in a nanosecond.

@3 and 4, he could probably confirm Wayne LaPierre as Secretary of Homeland Security in similar fashion.

@5, Ewww!

So, they would approve Hillary to keep her from running?

@5, Prolix, I did think your comment was funny!

@7, Annie, it isn’t often Wayne LaPierre offers up something funny.

Yep, he’s evil, plain and simple. I wish I could believe in a hell for people like him.

@6: In a New York minute.

@11: did you see the comments on that HuffPo piece? Worried about millennials?

This bill will alienate Millennials? I am no millennial – will be 60 this year. But I have four daughters and I firmly believe that no politician has the right to score points with a very small religious faction using a woman’s right to choose. This is not a political issue. It is a medical issue and best left to families and physicians.


Annie Hall, I thoroughly agree! I am 78 and this issue is still a hot one for me.

They’ll shoot themselves in the foot before it’s all over. (fingers crossed)

I just can’t imagine Congress suddenly functioning again as it should because some of the leadership changed. The make-up of the damned thing hasn’t changed. Same people, same goals, same bribes, same overlords.

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