Wednesday, January 06, 2016

The Republicans May Mourn The Loss But Steve Israel Is A Name To Be Quickly And Unceremoniously Forgotten


Unless this is the first time you've come to DWT you can probably guess that yesterday was a very special day for me: Steve Israel announcing he is retiring from Congress. The details haven't come out yet but there is little doubt he isn't retiring to spend more time as a failed author of inconsequential books. (My friend David and I are working on a sit-com that features a corrupt congressman from Long Island named Steve Tel-Aviv and perhaps he has some acting abilities... I bear him to personal animus. I've even become friends with Mark Foley after he... retired.)

I shudder at the thought of recapping Israel's odious career. I just can't make myself do it. I just spent a year getting chemotherapy and I don't have the fortitude it would take to go through every horrible twist and turn in the corrupt life of this incompetent ne'er-do-well, a Blue Dog from a distinctly non-Blue Dog part of the country, working overtime to turn the Democratic Party into the Republican-Lite Party. I guess that's what I disliked the most, although the way he mistreated progressive candidates used to drive me as crazy as the way Chuck Schumer does now. This is a guy who swindled his synagogue and then swindled the taxpayers when he got caught.

There are so many potentially prosecutable cases involving Israel that it is impossible for anyone who knows him not to suspect that his sudden retirement wasn't part of an informal plea deal to keep him out of prison. Could be anything from Gary Melius being shot in the head at Oheka Castle to the financial improprieties that have dogged him for his whole life. Oh, yeah and then there was one of the ex-wives who used to get drunk and scream she would tell the world how he was embezzling money from the DCCC. I always wondered how that was possible and never got to the bottom of it.

Anyway, I felt like I was in an alternative universe today when I read Nancy Pelosi's statement of appreciation for Israel's service. I've added some brief notes in italics:

"America's working families have always had a champion in Steve Israel."

Unless she meant American families who worked in Wall Street banks, that is just not true. Israel, by the way was the recipient of of $4,351,866 in direct legalistic bribes from the Finance Sector and he had already gobbled up $291,300 from them this cycle.

"In his service in Congress, Steve has brought clarity and leadership to the work of reigniting the American Dream for the middle class families who are the backbone of our democracy. He has always considered it a privilege to represent the people of Long Island, and he is deeply devoted to his constituents. Congressman Israel's deep understanding of the concerns and aspirations of the American people have been invaluable to the Congress and to our country."

This is so silly on every level-- from "clarity" and "leadership" to the idea of deep devotion to anyone other than his own personal interests. It sounds like a funeral oration and you always have to say something nice at a funeral, I guess.

"After Steve's excellent leadership as Chairman of the DCCC,"

My housekeeper came running downstairs when she heard my screaming after I read that. Unless she's talking about him painting the walls of the building a different and improved color, Israel's "leadership" at the DCCC has benefited 1- the Republicans who have retained and captured seats in Democratic districts soley due to Israel's incompetence as chairman; 2- corrupt and reactionary Blue Dogs and New Dems who he favored over progressives at every turn; and 3- a bevy of staffers so incapable of doing a credible job that most of them wouldn't have lasted two days in private industry and many would have been escorted out of their offices and into paddy wagons.

"I asked him to take the helm of a newly-formed Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, so that our Caucus could continue to benefit from his exceptional communications expertise. Under Chairman Israel's leadership, the DPCC has helped strengthen and hone our message, enabling us to win key legislative victories for the American people."

Is it possible she was being humorous and just having some fun? It boggles the mind if she wasn't.

"Steve is a tremendous resource in articulating Democrats' work on behalf of hard-working families. He will be a critical resource for our Caucus in the remainder of his term and into the future. His work for the middle class, for veterans, for the people of New York has been exceptional."

Exceptionally bad, except for the House Republicans... He was one of the worst Members of Congress in recent memory and raising him up into leadership positions was a catastrophic decision Pelosi made. Israel and Chris Van Hollen, his equally inept predecessor, took her out of the Speaker's chair and handed it over to John Boehner. And now we have Paul Ryan, who Israel refused to allow the DCCC to challenge even though Obama won his district 51-48%.

Has anyone asked Pelosi who will take over as chair of the make-believe Democratic Policy and Communications Committee now that Israel is packing his bags and preparing for a life as the new Judith Krantz? Kyrsten Sinema? Sean Patrick Maloney? Henry Cuellar? Collin Peterson? I've written over 200 posts about Steve Israel. I hope this is one of the last if not the last. If you'd like to help us celebrate Israel's announcement, please consider a contribution to any of the great progressive candidates he's done his best to undermine and sabotage.

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At 9:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re post, below, on GOP playing it voters as fools, maybe Ms Pelosi is considering changing parties?
She certainly has ALL the prerequisites in terms of voter abuse.

John Puma

At 11:58 AM, Blogger TeddyPartridge said...

Your celebratory post was the one I came to find this morning upon seeing the news about Congressman Tel Aviv: thank you for putting the blame where it belongs, though, on my former Congresscritter and the former (thanks to Steve Israel!) Speaker of the House....

At 5:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I waited all day yesterday to read your comments on Israel's announcement. I guess it took a lot of your energy to prepare the comments in an appropriate manner to really give Steve a great sendoff. I was wondering if something was wrong that you did not post this right after the news of his retirement.


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