Thursday, September 9, 2010



I was thinking of that great politician Dave Obey today. He is about to retire after 42 years at the same job.

Back in 2008 I recall Obey having a fit; nay almost a full fledged tantrum.

Normally it was the tirades on the House Floor that I recall; Dave was always hammering the repubs like Weiner and Grayson have done lately.

Couldn’t help but love the guy for that!!!

And when Representative Obey was sitting in the Speaker’s Chair, nobody fucked around on that sacred Floor. Grandma Pelosi knew old Dave would keep order for an important vote. Hahahaaha

You gotta be a real tough bastard to survive Wisconsin politics; 21 terms he won in his Wisconsin district.

But the tirade I recall was following some address before some dem group. He was angry at being attacked for ‘moderation’. 

He was attempting to tell the ‘far left’ (whatever the hell that means) that politics aint easy and that he had been standing up for the average citizen, the powerless and the worker for nigh onto 40 years.

The different constituencies, the varied interests, the geographical differences…many variables make it difficult to pass legislation.

But, as I have underlined many times before, I believe that the House of Representatives has done its job. As early as February of this year, 290 pieces of legislation passed by the House lay dormant in the Senate:

The list of stalled bills includes both major and minor legislation: healthcare reform; climate change; food safety; financial aid for the U.S. Postal Service; a job security act for wounded veterans; a Civil War battlefield preservation act; vision care for children; the naming of a federal courthouse in Iowa after former Rep. Jim Leach (R-Iowa); a National Historic Park named for President Jimmy Carter; a bill to improve absentee ballot voting; a bill to improve cybersecurity; and the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
Hammill said Pelosi’s office also compiled a second list in December of 90 pieces of legislation that have passed the House, more than 60 of them with at least 50 Republican votes.
“There’s a perception that the House is really partisan these days, but the actual numbers show otherwise,” Hammill said.
Now the number of unattended legislation is over 400. 400 bills just languishing in the Senate due to repubs. The bastards act in locked step along with a few dems depending on the particular bill.

This inability for the Senate to act is underlined by the fact that repubs spend all their time blocking anything that the WH wants to do:

The delaying tactics have proved so successful, despite the Democrats' substantial Senate majority, that fewer than half of Obama's nominees have been confirmed and 102 out of 854 judgeships are vacant.
Forty-seven of those vacancies have been labeled emergencies by the judiciary because of heavy caseloads.
Even some Republican senators have complained. Sen. Lamar Alexander took to the Senate floor in July to plead with his own leaders for a vote on an appeals court judge supported by Alexander and fellow Tennessee Republican Sen. Bob Corker.

I was thinking of this in the context of the current White House Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel.

Every president is deemed to have several personalities.

Well, every president except for w; since he had none.

The press or our Jungian Subconscious must present several versions of the current monarch.

I mean King Arthur was the pure ruler, the great uniter, the fierce warrior; the humbled cuckold and even the baby killer in that fine tradition of Herod.

The Sun King was adored and Richelieu despised; at least Dumas tells us so.

The White House Chief of Staff many times takes on the ugliest face of his President.

I recall Cheney as that son of a bitch who talked Jerry Ford into becoming the all time vetoer of legislation presented to him from Congress.

My theory does not presuppose that Cheney was not and is not a rotten evildoer of the first magnitude. But Jerry Ford was a repub who would stick it to the dems every fricken time he had a choice in the matter when he was in the House.

While Jerry ran around the country spouting a new era in government following the felonies of the Nixon Administration, Cheney was the perfect foil.

At any rate, Rahm is the current son of a bitch in the eyes of the Media and the entire country when you think about it.

All repubs hate him because he is successful as is his party for the second time in 16 years.  Although repubs also hold some love for him because they can link him and the President with Chicago.

In repub politics after all, Chicago is Chinatown.

Most on the ‘left’ despise him because they feel he is too moderate and too compromising. We, on the ‘left’, question his loyalty.
Recently Mr. Emanuel was attacked for mouthing off about fucking unions and such.

Every single day is a day on the campaign trail. From the day after November elections to the day before the next November elections; campaigns go on and on and on.

The Senate cannot work like it did in the 60’s under LBJ. It cannot move on legislation like the House. It cannot even fulfill its duties under our Constitution to confirm or not confirm judicial and administrative nominees.  Even when one party controls 57 seats and has cooperation from the two independent seats.

When a huge piece of legislation like the health care bill is signed into law, the WH gets good press for about two weeks. The left either attacks the faults in the law or remains silent.
No wonder Rahm would rather head up Chicago politics.

I am not really defending Rahm as such, I just find that his current office stinks.

The next COS, whether it’s this Dilicon guy or somebody else, will find himself wearing the evil Obama mask.

Just a thought but maybe Obama should go with a woman for the next two years for that position.

Not that Grandma Pelosi has been free of ruthless personal attacks on a daily basis.

But in the end, someone has to wear the mask of evil for Obama.


Amike said...

Love the picture, love Obey. I think I saw him live on the floor of the House once but I may be misremembering. I love the way he gets's Midwest mad--there is wit in the mad as well as seriousness in the mad, and Obey's rants were never just rants.

I think we'd get more of that if people actually sat in the house while the house was in session, and if the cameras allowed in the house were allowed to focus on the faces of members (or on their empty chairs. Some members can rise to the occasion even if they're playing to an empty house...others not so much.


Well we do have C-SPAN and it is a tribute to it that we have live sessions being transmitted through space into any home that desires to receive it.

Watching Weiner or Grayson is a real tre

Amike said...

I wish that C-Span was authorized to pan the hall wherever the director wanted it to...but Congress doesn't allow it. I'd have loved to watch the face of the guy Weiner was chewing out, and also the reactions of the others in the hall. :-)

anna am said...

good to be reading you here, mr day. good to see you're keeping on keeping on.

now let's see if i can post this. i've been having trouble.

cmaukonen said...

Well aMike, I remember at one time either C-Span or some other outlet did do a wide angle and show everyone that when some senator was engaging in diarrhea of the mouth, the chamber was empty.


Sounds like a good novel:


TheraP said...

You've got a large audience still. :-)


Hi Anna, Hi TheraP!!!

Well we are working on expanding the audience for sure.

But my closest friends are here!!!

It is a good day!!!

Alan said...

@ CM - yes, they did it once and that's why they can't do it now.

DD, I recall some lefties getting in a true snit when Obey said what I thought was truly justified. What many on our side seemingly fail to realize, even after all these cycles, is that politics is never "one and done" - rather, it's a long game.

And that game, as a fact of life*, is about moving forward, taking what ground we can, consolidating, and moving forward again. As I've said umpty-bazillion times already, salients are easily reduced, broad-front advances much less so.

* As in, without regard to anyone's feelings on the matter. I'm not wild about Newark, NJ. But it exists anyway. Thus endeth the lesson - for now.

Anonymous said...

Alan: When dark and sinister forces are at work or just plain incompetence is present; the politician will blame things on the other 'side' or on the system.

Under Bush it just seemed to me at the time that the repubs won every fricken battle and there were less repubs in the Senate than the number of dems we have now.

But I feel that if you stand back and look at the entire picture you see that regardless of the problems in the Senate, huge pieces of legislation ended up on our President's desk for signature.

And I think that the dems have a hell of a chance to pass a number of bills already passed in the House by some sort of bundling
process come November and December.

But we shall see.