How nasty, divisive, and uber-partisan is the current condition of Washington politics? Interactions between Republicans and Democrats on the Hill have always seemed artificially cordial, with the saccharine salutations such as "my good friend from the great state of _______ . . ." or "the Gentle lady from the other party disagrees with me . . . "
Now that the Teabaggers and their spokesmen in the NeoCon media have declared their redneck revolution against President Obama and demanded our elected leaders pick a side, even the pretense of civility in Congress has disappeared. Congressmen feel comfortable calling out "you LIE!" at the President during a televised speech, or "Baby Killer!" at a fellow member during his allotted speaking time on the House floor. It will only get worse as we inch closer to the November elections. You thought the "debate" over health care reform was brutal? Wait 'till this summer as we roll toward the elections, which promise to deliver weeks of raw, bloody entertainment, like watching a marathon of WWE Wrestlemania smackdowns. This is what happens when the Glenn Becks of the psychotic right-wing media are allowed to frame the debate.
What does this mean for the average citizen? The aftermath of the brutal health care reform battles, rendered so ugly by the NeoCon screamers and their rabid tea-bagging minions have left our Congressional representatives nervous, exhausted, and risk-averse. The minimal (yet welcome) relief we will experience with much-diluted health care reform could be the only beneficial legislative action we see from this Congress. So we all lose because the tiny, vocal, insane minority has spooked our elected leaders, which is not difficult. Fear of losing their seats in November has seemingly paralyzed them.
Case in point, Democratic convert Sen. Arlen Spector is imploring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens to remain on the bench for another term because Spector fears the Senate may not be able to confirm a replacement, given the current hostile tenor of that body. "I hope to begin a little earlier, that Justice Stevens does not retire this year," Specter said on "Fox News Sunday. "I think the gridlock in the Senate might well produce a filibuster which would tie up the Senate about a Supreme Court nominee. I think if a year passes, there's a much better chance we could come to a consensus."
Who would've imagined that President Obama would answer the NeoCon cry of "drill, baby, drill" and support offshore oil drilling (a move even Raisin Brain couldn't force), and the Teabaggers would still remain unsatisfied because his executive order doesn't endanger enough of our beaches and coastal areas? At this point Obama could ban all abortions, legalize bald eagle hunting, and grant the right to shoot immigrants on sight and these freaks would still claim he didn't go far enough.
Given the sorry state of political discourse, we shouldn't expect any resolution of the admittedly terrible "don't ask -- don't tell" military policy, or closing of GITMO, or ratification of a new nuclear arms reduction treaty with Russia, or a revision of "no child left behind" education laws to give more power to the states to determine school progress, or jobs bills, or tax reform ... the list is endless. Thanks to the eight year reign of the Bush Crime Family, the nation is in serious trouble. And the Teabaggers -- flush with the illusion of newfound power -- are poised to try to prevent all reform and recovery.
Thanks, Fox "News." Thanks, RushHannityBeckCoulterMalkinO'Reilly et al. Thanks, Teabaggers. Is this really how you want to play the game? So that everybody loses? Ironically, the average Teabagger would benefit most from Democratic reforms: better job opportunities; more obtainable, cheaper health insurance; improved school systems; better infrastructure; fewer wars; lower taxes.
But, they instead will don their silly costumes and gather at rallies to scream about birth certificates, death panels, and gun rights and support the very politicians who will vote against their best interest because to agree with Democrats or Obama is anathema to them. After all, he's, um, (whisper) a colored man, don't cha' know.
According to The Hill, "David Axelrod, a senior adviser to President Barack Obama, has said it is bewildering that a movement opposed to taxes is upset with his administration. 'Any time that you have severe economic conditions, there is always an element of disaffection that can mutate into something that's unhealthy,' Axelrod said in an April 2009 CBS News interview. 'The thing that bewilders me is this President just cut taxes for 95 percent of the American people. So I think the tea bags should be directed elsewhere.'"
Good luck with that, David. The Teabaggers have moved from freaky fringe element to mainstream acceptance, thanks to the legitimacy granted them by Fox "News" and similar opposition media organizations. Like it or not, they have the spotlight and Washington is intently watching and following their every, unbalanced battle-cry.
The Framers would gag.
From the Mike Malloy ShowMike can be heard and seen nightly from 9pm-12am ET at Mike Malloy Show