Tuesday, November 25, 2008

GOP Triumphant As Democrats Disintegrate Into Conflict-- In the Fevered Dreams Of Republican Propagandists


Bye-bye hacks and cronies, hello people who actually know what they’re doing.
-Paul Krugman, NY Times

I've been waiting all week to use that one-liner which so succinctly sums up the end of the Bush Regime and the dawning of a new Obama era. Propaganda agents for proto-Soviets and proto-fascists may see it differently-- differently because they really do hate everything America stands for. Everyone has a stake in Obama's team succeeding except for the agents of reaction and they intend to fight it tooth and claw. Their (well) paid political hacks, Jon Kyl, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Jim Bunning, Eric Cantor, even fake moderate Susan Collins have already announced their intentions to do all they can to sabotage and obstruct the new president's agenda. Saxby Chambliss is actually running for re-election based on it! And he's being supported with massive infusions of cash from extreme right wing funders and from the savage-- if ludicrous-- partisans from the fringes: Palin, Romney, Giuliani, Huckabee...

The worst of the shady, anti-American, neo-nazi front groups, the National Republican Trust PAC spent more money attacking Jim Martin (and Obama) last week than every other organization involved in the Georgia Senate race combined.

Meanwhile an article by Martin Kady in today's Politico, hailed as poppycock by Democrats and as a long lost missing book from the Buy Bull by Republicans, claims that the real action in Washington is not watching the disintegration of the Republican Party but being aghast at a supposed civil war inside the Democratic Party. Oh, it's so dire:
Unless Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) can whip their caucuses into unity, numerous fault lines will be revealed: Southern Democrats vs. Northern liberals on labor law; California greens vs. Rust Belt Democrats on global warming; socialized medicine adherents vs. go-slow health care reformers; anti-war liberals vs. cautious centrists on national security. And don’t forget the anti-bailout crowd vs. the powerful Michigan Democrats in both chambers when it comes to money for Detroit.

But, yes there are more than a few nominal Democrats from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party-- your Bayhs and Landrieux and Barrows and Marshalls and such scum. But enough to team up with the GOP and derail Obama's program? I don't think so. Cady's full of shit:
Opponents call it “card check” and say it oversimplifies the unionizing process and takes away the secret ballot. Advocates call it the Employee Free Choice Act and say it will open up new doors for labor protections. Southern Democrats, meanwhile, might call it a trap.

This legislation-- which would make it much easier for shops to unionize-- is the big payback for Big Labor. [Not to mention a step in the right direction towards human rights and solving the country's economic problems.] The measure already passed the House this year and should easily pass the House next year. But the 100-member Senate needs 60 votes to break a filibuster, and the pro-business and pro-labor factions on both sides believe the Senate is stuck at 59.

The legislation is a tough call for new Southern Democratic senators such as Kay Hagan of North Carolina and Mark Warner of Virginia, along with moderate Southerners such as Blanche L. Lincoln of Arkansas and Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana, all of whom hail from less union-friendly Southern states.

The critical question is whether Reid and labor advocates can convince these moderates to back the cloture motion to stop a filibuster, then let them vote against the final bill, which requires only a simple majority to pass.

“We don’t know if we have 60 yet. We’re at 59 [for cloture] right now,” said Josh Goldstein, a spokesman for American Rights at Work, a pro-labor group. “The issue has become front and center, and the worse the economy gets, the more support we get. [Business groups are] trying to make this a volatile issue for senators.”

This is an ultimately extremely deceptive analysis by someone who is either really ignorant or just trying to stir up trouble. As we saw yesterday, only two Democrats voted no (arch-reactionaries Dan Boren of Oklahoma and Gene Taylor of Mississippi), while 13 Republicans crossed the aisle to vote in favor of it with 228 Democrats. Two; that's worth a two page story in Politico-- especially as they are two of the least consequential and most marginalized members of Congress. Meanwhile on the Senate side, June 26, 2007, when the GOP filibustered the Employee Free Choice Act every single Democrat opposed them-- yes, even Ben Nelson and Mary Landrieu. Why would Kady insinuate that Landrieu and Blanche Lincoln would vote against it? Maybe his editors should ask him. His whole story sounds like it was spun by Karl Rove. Meanwhile, if any Republicans want to put their money where their dreams are, I'll cover bets that Kay Hagan and Mark Warner vote for EFCA without too much arm-twisting.

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