Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Not as Dumb as They Look

Yes, we all laughed at John Boehner yelling "Hell, no!" on the House floor after Obama's win.  And then there was the fiasco after the 2012 republican loss wherein they all stood in a circle and jerked off to the tune of, "We have to figure out how to say the same thing, but make it sound different."  You know that tune.  Just like Tim Scott's voting record, the republicans have gotten away with blocking and stalling any Democratic program that might succeed.

But wait.  Last week heralded a new day for bipartisanship, as Congress passed the bill that would "permanently" fix the threat of doctors refusing to accept Medicare due to lower rates of reimbursement.  Jon Stewart mocked the national moment of joy expressed at Congress at last getting together to do their job.

I am wondering, on the other hand, what we gave up in order to get those fools to agree.  Because what has been happening in Congress lately is a series of compromises that make the republicans look like real leaders while our Democratic goals and programs are being eroded.

Take the Human Trafficking Victims' Fund that just passed the Senate with 99 votes.  In March, this bill got bollixed up because the creeps in the republican party tied it to an anti-abortion amendment.  Fortunately somebody woke up and read the bill, and the media attention killed that sleazy plan.  Or so we thought.

These days, it seems that everybody wants to stop human trafficking, although it seems to me that this has become a term that can mean anything to anybody, and I doubt that the republican supporters are really planning on helping Mexicans who have been abused by coyotes after paying their way into the country.  But whatever we think it is, fighting human trafficking is so hot that a bill was even passed into law and signed by Governor Haley in South Carolina on April 2 of this year.

In the Senate, the compromise over which everyone is taking bows, involves splitting funds in a way that in no way no how can money for "health services" be spent on abortions.  Never let it be said that a Democrat would be unwilling to compromise when it comes to a woman's right to have an abortion.  Been abused?  Raped?  Coerced?  Have some "health services" sans abortion.

And then there is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which could be subtitled "a million ways to die at the hands of the republican congress."  The plan seems to be that the more Senator Elizabeth Warren works to increase protections from big banks and their hi-jinx, the more creative become the wordsmiths in the republican party, assisted of course by Wall Street, ALEC, and all those other helpful denizens of the one percent.  So as Warren calls for more regulation and demands for accountability, the House has passed a bill which would require additional advisory boards (including what they call "small business") and to offset the cost of these boards, has PUT CAPS ON FUTURE FUNDING OF THE CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION BUREAU.

So thanks, Ronald Reagan, your plan to strangle government continues to thrive.

All I am saying is, this new era of "bipartisan politics" that has dawned in Washington is Democrats being roped in and hornswoggled.  If you want to know what is really going on, follow the comments of those who are opposing all these great moments in unity:  Bernie Sanders, Maxine Waters, Elizabeth Warren.  Now is the time to find the truth-tellers on the left, and not those who are either so naive or so concerned with being re-elected that they will compromise away the things we have fought for, like financial reform and women's rights.  When you see a 99-0 vote, ask yourself what we've lost, because the chances are pretty darned good that we have.

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