Breaking A Rule

When I switched all my political stuff over to Post Tenebras Lux, I swore I wouldn’t put political stuff here any more. And I haven’t. But tonight I’m going to (sorta) break my own promise. Oh, I won’t bore or annoy anyone with a lengthy, detailed screed about some obscure policy decision in congress, don’t worry. That’s why I say I’m only “sorta” going to break my “no politics” promise. I just have to let out one barbaric yawp tonight at today’s GOP. They have become so reactionary that they’re now regularly offering candidates up for office who’ve publicly advocated everything from repealing the 14th amendment (written in the wake of, and to correct some of the injustices of, slavery. Slavery, for God’s sake!) to secession from the Union, to outright armed insurrection against the US government (no, I’m not kidding; audio here): [audio:|titles=Sharron Angle Advocates Armed Insurrection]

Meanwhile, these same almost unbelievably reactionary Republicans (the ones in the Senate, at any rate) are filibustering literally everything the Democratic-controlled congress brings to the floor of the Senate. Far more than any previous congress, by more than double. In other words, it literally takes sixty votes in today’s Senate to pass anything. And the Democrats don’t have sixty votes. Even when they briefly did, three or four of them were the likes of Ben Nelson, Blanche Lincoln, the execrable Joe Lieberman, etc. The GOP strategy seems to be: if we slow down and gum up everything, perhaps people will get so disgusted with the Democrats inability to get things done that they’ll return us to the majority in congress this fall. Meanwhile, unemployment remains high, needed administration positions remain vacant because nominations are filibustered, even bills which should be completely uncontroversial, like a proposal to extend health care benefits to the first-responders of 9/11, many of whom are now suffering with serious conditions as a result of toxins they were exposed to at ground zero, was defeated by Republicans. This last one caused New York Democrat Anthony Weiner, in whose district many of the affected heros of 9/11 actually live, to righteously explode on the floor of the House of Representatives (see it if you haven’t already).

I understand politics is a contact sport. I understand the atmosphere is corrosively partisan right now. But the GOP is being so unprecedented in their obstructionism that I’ve begun to feel more or less exactly about today’s GOP as Elvis Costello did about Thatcher and the Tories in 1985: