everyone was still arguing about Ben Nelson's kickback in the original Senate HCR bill, my thinking was that the Dems would take a beating during the HCR debate, but that once it was over, they would move into "incumbency protection" mode in which they work on things that are more broadly popular and the Republicans would have a difficult time opposing too strongly (financial reform, energy reform, maybe immigration, etc). It's weird, but that seems to be what they're doing and, even weirder, it may actually be working. The Dems don't look nearly as feckless in NV, NC, PA, or OH. There still seems to be strong anti-incumbent sentiment out there, but maybe the Democrats can use the American public's famously short attention span to their benefit for once. If the Democrats hang on to both houses on Congress after 2010, I think that has to be seen as a smashing success.
There you go with your white male bashing again! Just kidding. I often wonder what the future old white men (myself included) will think about things in 20 years or so. Will the imprint of our liberal youths last or will we become jaded after seeing the government compromise itself to the least common denominator again and again?
The tea-partyers were important to the Republicans because they provided energy and enthusiasm. If same-old, same-old Repubs are on the ballot in November, that certainly takes some wind out of the sails of the Tea Party folks. The Republicans stirred up this hornets' nest and now they can't deliver the preferred candidates. I wonder if that takes some of the momentum out of the Republican plans for November. Then again, if the Tea Partyers couldn't even turn out the votes for the primary, you have to wonder if they ever were much of a threat.
For my money, I thought the media always made way too much out of the Tea Party. They accepted all of these assertions of Independence, not previously politically aware, voted for Democrats in the past, had a clear vision of what they wanted from a candidate at WAAAY too much face value. These people always struck me as particularly ticked-off Republicans and not much more than that.
climate change may be impossible to fix if we wait
Climate change is going to be impossible to fix whether we wait or not. What's good about the effort is the energy diversification that will come out of it. Just as long as there isn't too much ethanol hooey in there, I think it'll be an acceptable bill. Then again, America is nothing if not a great money-making scheme for ADM and Monsanto.
I can't understand Ben Nelson's logic on voting against this. How can it possibly help to be against fixes to a bill that was widely considered to be a mess. A mess, mind you, in large part because of how Nelson inserted himself into the process at the end. It seems Nelson's only route for plausible deniability would be to vote for Reconciliation and to claim that the negotiating process between he and Reid last December went awry somehow. Now, what's he going to run on? "I was in favor of Health Care Reform until it actually mattered, dammit!". Doesn't sound like a winning strategy to me.
It's funny, I really began to follow politics in the late 1990s right in the midst of the Republican efforts to bring down a sitting US President over a bj. That episode, as much as anything, made me a Democrat. Since then it's just been a process of accepting more of the Democratic arguments and tolerating the parts of the Democratic agenda that I'm more tepid about.
Jokes notwithstanding, I tend to agree with you on this. The only caveat I'd make to the general rule that crazy crosses party lines is that the Republicans (for the moment) seem to have the angrier folks on their side. Part of it is their own scorched-earth rhetoric, part of it is the nature of conservative libertarianism. The Democrats seem to have either completely alienated or placated the angry left. I can't imagine that they've been placated, so I'll go with alienated.
A few years back, when Bush had started and thoroughly f'd up two wars and was beginning to rattle sabers with Iran, there was never the slightest risk of a general uprising by the Left in this country. Fast-forward to 2010 and a middling, basically conservative piece of legislation dealing with Health Insurance (of all things) ignites folks on the Right to anger, protest, and several symbolic acts of pseudo-violence. That is a quantitative difference. I'm not saying it's a universal truth, but that's where we are at the moment.
I'm with Buckeye Blogger. Remember that poor girl in Pittsburgh who had the backwards "B" carved into her face right before the election in 2008? I hear the assailant was a black man who also happened to be an Obama supporter. This happens all the time on both sides.
toward explaining those bizarre content-free Tea Party (TM) promotional events sponsored by all the major teevee newsertainment outlets.
You can just picture it, a high-pitched French accent on the other end of a black phone saying "Any follow-up questions and we cut your propane lines, is that understood?".
Twenty-four hours later, there's a middle-aged guy from Tennessee on the teevee saying things like "This has been the most radical administration in American history and if we don't stop it now, I'm telling you, there are going to be more Kenyans in the U.S. federal government than there are in the Kenyan government."
Larry King - "Fascinating. A fascinating bubbling up of discontent among average everyday voters at disgust in Washington. People who have never voted before! People who describe themselves as Independents! And several hundred of them will be gathering in Arkansas to listen to Sarah Palin give her thoughts on the socioeconomic implications of this entirely spontaneous movement!"
Several hours later, the high-pitched voice on the black phone again "Excellent! We will be granting you one more interview. The same rules apply as before. Except this time, you must wear women's underwear during the interview."
I believe the religion of Modern Crazy Embittered Paranoid Conservative does not have Social Justice as one of its core beliefs. Beck, being its doughy, pre-pubescent priestess in chief, is just expressing his religious views on this matter.
The Denver Post ran a piece on Sunday saying (if I remember correctly) that the last two Democrats to win in the caucus went on to lose in the primary. There probably is some truth to the "activists only" meme. My wife went to the caucus last week and there were six people there from our precinct. When we used to go to the caucus in Minnesota, there would be closer to a hundred.