The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Can they do politics without treating us as cretins? Calling all Medicare morons...

We're reaching the most partisan part of the electoral cycle, I suppose. All parties now find nuance a nuisance: Dem supporters are happy to whoop and holler the mere suggeston that the sun shines out of the ass of any Blue guy (and vice versa). And if you're not mindlessly cheering along, you're not welcome.

To sympathisers with that opinion, I join with the Veep (the only and only time!) in saying, Go fuck yourselves.

My ire has been excited by the spasmodic comic, Al Franken, running an attack on the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (aka the Medicare bill) before an audience of dittoheads (every line an applause line), had the gall to paint the reason for the passage of this odious stockyard-ful of pork as being Tom DeLay's little exercise in vote management that triggered the latest Ethics Committee production.

Last time I looked, there were two houses of Congress. And - it can't be said too many times - DeLay's strongarming would have been a total waste of time without the steadfast support for the bill by Democrat senators.

I've documented the whole dirty process [1] on April 13, April 16 and April 17.

Ted Kennedy organised a filibuster: no fewer than 22 Democratic senators voted to bust that filibuster! And in the lead amongst those brown-tonguing Big Pharma none other than Minority Leader, Mr Ethanol himself, Tom Daschle (strapline: No special interest disappointed!). And eleven Dem senators went so far as to vote for the conference report.

Now, let's be clear: the only kind of pool played in the Capitol is dirty pool. The quid pro quo is the main currency in circulation. And legislators are cheap: a few thousands in contributions can get a few million in government contracts or tax breaks. If there are choirboys who've made a legislative career without selling out like this, I've yet to see the evidence.

And, in this, both parties are the same: any differences are differences of degree. If, assuming a switch in House control, Speaker Nancy Pelosi was able to screw over the GOP as effectively as Tom DeLay screwed over the Dems in his time, no one would more delighted than the lady herself.

Subject matter will differ: no votes on homo-marriage amendments or similar nonsenses (though I'd be surprised in the Dem leadership hadn't got ready its own list of measures to put GOP members on the spot in the same way). But the game is exactly the same whichever party controls either house.

(The textbook is Robert Caro's Master of the Senate. The details may have changed since Lyndon Johnson was Senate Majority Leader; but the tactical goals and the (lack of) morality surely haven't.)

Will swing voters buy this Mount McKinley sized pile of Dems are different bullshit?

Or will they conclude that their choice on November 2 lies between the extremely corrupt and the utterly corrupt?

I'm really afraid to research this one...

  1. I assume it was dirty: I give the Dem senators the credit not to suppose they would soil their hands with such a measure without a big payoff in some shape or form.

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