Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Livin the dream
Casino cash: $21657
The End of the Reign of the Morons
For a few months, anyway. The whole health care for congressional staffers thing is beyond stupid.
In the end, it appears, they cannot, or will not, govern even themselves.
A day that was supposed to bring Washington to the edge of resolving the fiscal showdown instead seemed to bring chaos and retrenching. And a bitter fight that had begun over stripping money from the president's signature health care law had essentially descended in the House into one over whether lawmakers and their staff members would pay the full cost of their health insurance premiums, unlike most workers at American companies, and how to restrict the administration from using flexibility to extend the debt limit beyond a fixed deadline.
That is the state to which the whole thing has devolved. The denizens of the monkeyhouse are bringing the world economy to the brink of chaos in order to fk their own staffs over on health insurance. Or at least that's what they say. In reality, what this is about is a rump faction of one of our two major political parties that doesn't think we should have a federal government at all, that wants to roll back its functions to a state half-past the Articles of Confederation, and that is doing so while believing itself to be some unholy combination of the Founding Fathers and the X-Men. They have cast themselves in their own action adventure movie, and the rest of us serve pretty much the same function as New York City does in The Avengers. We're the set decoration that gets demolished as Our Heroes fight evil. These are pathetic, worthless children, playing dress-up, and smashing things because they like the sound of things breaking.
By Tuesday afternoon, House Republican leaders were back with a new proposal to fund the government through Dec. 15, extend the debt ceiling into February and deprive not only lawmakers but all their staff members of employer assistance to buy their health care. By extending that provision to staff members, Republican leaders hoped to appeal to its far-right flank, but it angered more moderate Republicans and was not enough for the conservative hard core. Complicating the speaker's task, Heritage Action, the conservative Heritage Foundation's political arm, which wields great influence with the most conservative elements of the Republican Party, opposed the plan. "I think there's always hope there can be a final package I can vote on, but this is not the one," said Representative Ted Yoho, Republican of Florida, as he and two other Tea Party conservatives left the speaker's office.
The power rests with Ted Yoho because the castrato Speaker Of The House, Boehner of Ohio, cares more about his job than he does about his country. The power rests with Ted Yoho because the American political system has tolerated carefully cultivated ignorance andcarefully tailored bigotry for far too long. Ted Yoho has been coming for years. Ted Yoho was made inevitable by the NCPAC campaigns of the late 1970's and by the elevation of Ronald Reagan to the presidency in 1980 and, subsequently, to an artificially exalted place in our history after he left office. The Republican party revelled in all the forces that are now tearing it apart. The Democratic party was criminally negligent and abdicated its profound responsibility to fight against those forces; indeed, it spent the better part of the 1980's and 1990's trying to surf the wave itself. The Democratic Leadership Council, and Blue Dog Democrats generally, bear a heavy burden of responsibility for failing to demonstrate to the American people in election after election how extreme the Republicans were becoming.
A great portion of the courtier press that now expresses horror at what is going on now went gleefully along for the ride as it became inevitable. Any members of that courtier press who relished the pursuit of Bill Clinton's penis, or conducted the absurd campaign of untruth that was waged against Al Gore between 1999 and 2000 lost the right years ago credibly to denounce conservative extremism and Republican vandalism. That means you, Roger Simon of Politico, who was so shocked the other day to discover that racism may have afflicted the process of government since the president's election, but who once claimed to right to make candidates like Gore "jump through hoops" for the pure hella-fun of it. That means you, Chris Matthews, who chased the presidential dick for two years, all the way through an impeachment process that was a constitutional absurdity, but who now discovers that the campaign of destruction never truly stopped. That means you, Andrew Sullivan, with your current existential torment over How It Came To This. (Pro tip: The Bell Curve? Betsy McCaughey on health-care? Fifth-column liberals? You helped.) This means you, David Brooks, sucking your thumb on book leave while the monster that you got rich feeding grows into its full power. This means all of you who went along for the ride on torture, and on Iraq, and who hid under the bed after 9/11. This is how the power came to rest with Ted Yoho, who is a fool and a know-nothing. This is how historical inevitability is created. This is how its momentum becomes unstoppable. This is how the wreckage piles up.
"Government is the problem," said Saint Reagan in his first inaugural. And everybody, all of you sorry bastards, cheered, and made completely predictable the moment in which the power of the government would come to reside in...
Ted fking Yoho.
A guy who should be a minor annoyance at zoning board meetings in Florida is suddenly capable of helping to bring down the financial stability of the world. A guy who should be railing at his local drive-time talk-jock is giving quotes to The New York Times about the essential dismantling of the institutions of self-government.
Ted fking Yoho.
It's his world now. We just live in it.