The Impotent Political Party

What now? As if "now" was different than 6 months ago. Here's the dirty little secret the Village Bloggers won't tell you - there were never 60 votes for "health care reform." This ridiculous dance that began when Max Baucus did not deliver his crappy proposal on time was just part of the process to try and kill any health insurance bill. The 11 Dimensional Chess players got played - by Ben Nelson, Joe Lieberman, Olympia Snowe, and the rest. Remember the absurd "Gang of Six?" We were always where we are "now." They pretended otherwise in order to run out the clock.

In the end, the question was always about reconciliation and what could pass under reconciliation. Or do you REALLY think if you capitulated on "everything," they would not dream up new objections?

And now we have the results of the Post-Partisan Unity Schtick. The Theory of Change. It lies smoldering in a rubble of ruins. The Village Wonks will tell you this means that "the country is ungovernable." What it REALLY means is that it is ungovernable by wimpy, timid, "post partisan" Democrats who will not exert their power. It's not just an Impotent President. It is an Impotent Democratic Party.

Speaking for me only

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    Impotent? Not at all (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by BobTinKY on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 06:54:12 AM EST
    when you got the White House, a solid majority in the House and a veto proof Senate you are not impotent.

    What we got is what the Democratic Party believes is good for the country.  That it is not good for the country only goes to show how useless the Democratic Party has become.  They did not bring us to this point becuase they can't pass meaningful HCR, they got us here because they won't.

    Could be (none / 0) (#3)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 06:58:46 AM EST
    One way ti disprove your thesis - pass health reform by reconciliation.

    Lifeboat Democrats (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by beowulf on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 10:24:49 AM EST
    Its the middle of December and the healthcare bill isn't anywhere near Obama's desk for signing.   In fact, healthcare has tied up the Senate for so long, the cap and trade bill isn't even going to make it to the floor.  Of course  a carbon tax (revenue-neutral or otherwise) could have been passed via reconciliation as well.  

    By way of comparison,  Clinton's '93 reconciliation bill that raised taxes and '97 reconciliation bill that created the S-CHIP program were both signed in August as Congress was headed out for summer recess.  

    This "the country is ungovernable" argument is just an excuse to disguise what's really going on.  As Thomas Frank pointed out a few months ago:

    Back in 1932, the future Illinois Sen. Paul Douglas advised progressives not to expect too much from the Democratic Party. It was, he wrote, "maintained by the business interests" as a kind of "lifeboat." Whenever the GOP ship sprung a leak--whenever Republicans were no longer willing or able to do business's bidding--the interests simply piled into the other party and made their escape.

    Quelle Surprise (none / 0) (#1)
    by Boo Radly on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 06:44:55 AM EST

    People only think they want the process (none / 0) (#4)
    by Anne on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 08:20:14 AM EST
    to be civil and everyone to play nice, until they realize that the other side isn't interested in "nice," just getting their way, and the people who are supposed to be playing for us are so clueless that they bargain away element after element in their futile attempts to be bipartisan.  

    So, now that it's a close race between which is worse, the health care "reform" bill or a sharp stick in the eye, you will have to pardon me if I don't see the point of reconciliation; it's the equivalent of a football player chest-thumping and happy-dancing for making one good play in the last two minutes when his team is losing by multiple touchdowns.

    The sad thing is that I think we're going to end up with the sharp stick in the eye no matter what happens - and that is a damning failure of leadership; sadder still is I think this is a template, not an aberration, and I don't expect Democrats to learn from their failures.

    you must be thrilled with Lieberman (5.00 / 0) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 08:22:35 AM EST
    in that you oppose any bill this Congress might pass on the issue.

    Of course, I disagree with you on that but from your point of view, Lieberman is doing good things, if inadvertently.


    Thrilled with Lieberman? (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by Anne on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 10:03:30 AM EST
    No, I'm really not, and I have to say there's a part of me that is a little insulted that you would suggest that I am.  I know why you're saying it, but my opposition to this reform effort is not dishonest and lacking integrity; I'm not opposing it to get my face in front of a camera or twenty, or get the invites to the talking head shows, or bargain my unreliable position for some political advantage.  

    What makes me really angry is the lost opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of real people, the lack of courage to be willing to do it now, the mealy-mouthed whining about the cost of health care and the continued rah-rah about spending money on war.  You know and I know that there are quite a number of "Democrats" who are in that camp - Lieberman is just one, and may be the worst of the lot.

    And my anger at the lost opportunity and all the rest of the failures - of leadership and courage - will not permit me to be thrilled that Lieberman is once again opposing some element of reform.  

    I guess that would make me a lousy politician, huh?


    Your being insulted is not clear to me (none / 0) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 11:07:35 AM EST
    Hell, in a way, Lieberman is forwarding MY argument for reconciliation as well.

    I'm just averse, to the point where my (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Anne on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 11:20:01 AM EST
    skin crawls, to aligning myself with Joe Lieberman in any way, and hate the thought that anyone would associate me with him, ever.

    Probably irrational, but it is what it is.