Wednesday, January 30, 2013

No both sides don't do it!

While Republicans think of ways they can legally steal Presidential elections and Congressional majorities using the gerrymander and rigging the electoral college, Democrats continue to play an entirely different kind of game. I'm not sure what game exactly, but it's different. Republicans are playing rugby and Democrats are playing badminton I guess. Now, badminton is a fun, honorable, gentlemen's pursuit. But ultimately, badminton players get the shit beat out of them by rugby players.

Take for example, South Carolina and Massachusetts. The Senator from South Carolina, a red state, steps down from office and the Republican governor of that red state appoints a Tea Party ideologue who will, given the incumbency and name recognition advantages of the office, cruise to re-election when his special term is up.

In Massachusetts, a blue state, the senior Senator is confirmed to become the next Secretary of State. The blue state governor of that very blue state does NOT, of course, replace that senator with a well known Congressman who plans to run in the next election for that vacated seat. Now, this Congressmen needs all the help he can get, because he will most likely be facing a well funded, well-liked Republican candidate who has demonstrated electoral success before. No, the Democratic governor of that very blue state instead requires that all appointments would, to be considered, need to refuse to run for the special election to fill that seat. And he makes a temporary appointment to a former chief-of-staff who agrees not to run.

Now, please, tell me again how "both sides do it". Please tell me that. God how I wish "both sides did it". Well, actually I wished we lived in this magical political bubble where all politicians acted in a consistently noble and honorable manner. Really, I do! It would be wonderful! But what did James Madison say? "If all men were angels, no government would be necessary" - Federalist #51. Yeah, men aren't angels. Nor should we expect them to behave as such, politicians or otherwise. So since we can't expect the Republicans to act like angels, can we at least expect Democrats to act-in-kind? I can't tell you how annoying it is to hear my fellow Democrats whine about Republican behavior. By God, we should be doing the same fucking things! I mean, the media will accuse us of the same dirty games anyway! It's always a "both-sides do it" story. So why shouldn't we be doing it? Why must we consistently put ourselves behind the 8-ball in terms of electoral and procedural effectiveness?

As Democrats, we like to say we put good governance above all else. That we are devoted to civil equality. To improving economic opportunity. To protecting the poor and the weak and the downtrodden. That we are vanguards of environmental justice. And so on. But a lot of the time, it's bullshit. In fact, we're more vested in the protection of our own facades of justice and nobility. It's why we Democrats elevate process over policies and, quite frankly, its pathetic. It's why Harry Reid brags about his bipartisan efforts to preserve the filibuster. Do you know what the filibuster has prevented through the years?  A healthcare plan with a public option. Cap and trade legislation on carbon dioxide emissions. If you were really interested in the stewardship of our environment, and the protection of our national health, you would take the electoral and procedural steps necessary to achieve those aims. But we're just not as vested in those aims as we claim to be. We'd rather lose nobly. And I say nuts to that.

I mean, Jesus Deval Patrick, do we have to go through this crap again? You couldn't appoint Ed Markey to the seat? Do you really think the appointment of a Democrat to a Democratic seat in a Democratic state is really so unseemly? Do you think Nikki Haley is worried about that shit? Do you think the next Washington Post headline will read, "Deval Patrick corrects 100 years of journalistic mischaracterization! Turns out both sides don't do it!"  Because I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you. But, ya know, I'm sure you'll win an extra seven votes or so for acting so nobly this time. And if it costs us a Senate seat, so be it I suppose. Priorities, right?

1 comment:

  1. Yeah it was stupid, and I'm not sure why he did it. I know that the media portrays a false equivalence, but Democrats/liberals are at least as much to blame for this as anyone. Remember when the Democrats refused to take Super Pac money because they thought it was wrong? Well, it is wrong and awful, but you can't unilaterally disarm--it's a prisoner's dilemma, so don't take the sucker's payoff. But Democrats seem to do it again and again. In sum, thanks for nothing Deval Patrick.