The One Thirteen

The One Thirteen

Broken Mirrors and Walking Under Ladders

 

© Bryan Zepp Jamieson

January 5, 2013

 

The 113th Congress has already set one new standard that will be hard to improve upon. In just two days, it managed to make itself even more loathed and ridiculed than the 112th, arguably the least popular and most ineffective Congress in the history of the United States.

They began with the sheer petty snittery that is the trademark of the trash right. Led by the estimable Michelle Bachmann, they held what I’m sure will be the first of dozens of utterly pointless votes to repeal Obamacare. The 112th had 33 such votes, firmly making themselves look like a pack of obsessive morons who have endless tantrums if they don’t get their way.

Normally, such an occurrence wouldn’t get much press play, and people who did hear about it would just shake their heads in disgust and reflect that the House is in session and many a village is missing its idiot as a result.

But it came right on the heels of the utterly self-inflicted “fiscal cliff” debate which stirred the type of utterly tired and derisive public responses normally reserved for Donald Trump or Ted Nugent. There’s the old saying that there’s no such thing as bad publicity, but in fact there is: when people are reduced to responding by asking, “What the fuck is WRONG with those clowns?” that is not good publicity.

The action also delayed a vow to address the matter of getting funds to the victims of Hurricane Sandy. The situation was already an intolerable disgrace. Sixty-six days had passed since Sandy struck, and Congress had failed to appropriate the relief funds needed. The Speaker, Boehner, had promised Congress would act on it as soon as the ‘fiscal cliff’ vote was concluded, but then reneged, apparently because he was in a snit over rebellion by one of his lieutenants, and abruptly adjourned and walked off the floor, leaving members in both parties in stunned disbelief.

This caused two high-profile eruptions from Republicans the following morning. Peter King expressed his shame and disgust and said he was thinking about leaving the party. (He folded and became Boehner’s little lap dog again later that afternoon). Far more damaging was a tirade from the ever voluable Chris Christie, who went on at length about how disgusted and angry he was with the Republicans in Congress in a video that rapidly went viral on the Internet. Unlike King, Christie isn’t a coward who climbs down from his stands a half hour later. He stayed mad, and it gave the outgoing Congress a huge black eye.

Boehner and the 113th had an opportunity to redeem themselves. But first, they had to take care of the Obamacare nonsense from the whirly-eyed and insane Bachmann. Nothing like an opening vote that tells the world that you intend to be doctrinaire, ineffectual, and stupid.

Then they got around to Sandy. The big issue with the teabaggers was that the bill, which had about $60 billion in spending, was marbled up with pork. This pork, it turned out, amounted to about $450 million, or two thirds of one percent of the spending.

Even more ridiculous was the fact that most of it was pork added by Republicans.

So they voted on a portion of the spending, a paltry $9 billion for federal flood insurance claims. No pork there.

And STILL some 64 Republicans voted against the bill. They wanted concurrent cuts to Social Security or Medicare or some other “entitlement” program that Americans picked to take care of themselves.

As a result, the 113th, just two days old, is one of the most hated Congresses in American history.

The madmen of the far right control the GOP enough that they ensure the GOP won’t be able to bring anything to the floor that doesn’t have a laundry list of their insane demands attached. Even if the GOP brings such crap to the floor and passes it, the Senate will strike it down.

The Teabaggers have already vowed to not allow a raise in the debt ceiling unless there are big cuts to Social Security and Medicare. This “grass roots” organization utterly hates anything that benefits working people, whether it’s pensions or medical care.

Legislation by extortion is becoming increasingly unpopular with the American people. Especially when the extorters are telling them that they know more about what “the people” want than the people themselves do.

The Teabaggers, a corrupt and fascist lot to begin with, are showing signs of increasing disarray outside of Congress. Dick Morris, the toe sucking shitball who nearly sank Clinton and then went on to further glory as an overpaid bullshit artist for Faux News, is under question about the money his SuperPAC raised and how much of that money went into Morris’s pockets. Dick Armey had some kind of big violent falling-out with Freedom Works which involved lurid tales of an armed monkey accompanying the former Congressman and equally lurid tales of board struggles and plank walking.

But there’s no way to recall or impeach Congressmen, so America is stuck with this small group of despicable, corrupt, doctrinaire and vicious neo-fascists until voters in their districts finally realize they are doing serious damage to the country and kick their asses out.

That won’t happen for two years, at least.

So expect the same sort of worthless shit from this worthless shit Congress that we had in the last Congress, only piled higher and deeper.

Good luck, America.

 

Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.
H. L. Mencken

Not dead, in jail or a slave? Thank a liberal!
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