There’s a new kind of flip-flop in Washington. The power flip flop. One day the Republicans are flying high with their man on Pennsylvania Ave and good footing in both houses. The next, Democrats are on top with a majority in the houses and their man in the Oval office. Then an election spins out of control and into the headlines in Massachusetts and suddenly the top dogs are scrambling to keep their footing again. Up and down and in and out, Republicans and Democrats all vying and campaigning to win their seats and stay in power.
Which, for me, begs the question, are the politicians in Washington too busy being representatives of their parties to be representatives of the people?
Consider. In Massachusetts there was a mad scramble of last minute campaigning by the Democratic party to try to save Ted Kennedy’s seat from the hands of an upstart Republican. Bill Clinton and Barack Obama both put in appearances to this end, though in vain. Why? To get a Democrat back into the house. The desires of the people of Massachusetts seemed irrelevant (note: this is the second time in this paragraph that I have spelled that state correctly on the first try without the assistance of spell check), for when the desires of the people seemed to challenge the power of the party, the party flexed its muscles against them.
Last I checked the purposes and desires of our founding fathers, the goal of representative government was to represent the people of the nation, not some power hungry political party. The shift has been subtle, but its effects can no longer be ignored. No wonder the people of this country, and particularly young people, are disillusioned, cynical and frustrated about the government. They feel like they have no voice in the goings on of our country, and it is beginning to seem that this perception is not far off.
What a radical day it would be if a Democrat or Republican began to run for office in a particular state or district and then dropped out on the grounds of “I cannot accurately represent the needs and desires of this constituency; my opponent will do a better job of that for these particular people than I” instead of scrambling, biting and clawing to win a seat for their party, regardless of the good of the people.
Obama ran under the banner of “change” and said he would be a new day for the American government, would encourage bipartisanship, would consider all interests, and even a few weeks ago derided the “permanent campaigning” of Washington politics. A funny thing from the mouth of a man who scant days before had himself been campaigning for Coakley. He has not brought change to Wasington. He is a democrat, representing the democratic party, and trying to work with republicans representing the republican party.
All America wants to know is when someone will show up in Washington who wants to represent people instead of a party.
Sarah Palin addressed the throngs of the Tea Party Saturday Evening in Nashville. Her address was sweet music to the audience. Barack Obama was skewered thoroughly. Come, Share the Experience with us, moment by moment…
8:04 pm – She steps to the podium, like a Queen treading before her troops.
There are 2 massive blocks of ice-esque substance behind her… An Alaska theme? A Narnia theme?!
8:05 – The hair is down tonight. I miss the up-do.
*wishes happy birthday to Ronaldus Magnus*
“America is ready for another revolution!”
8:06 – Her first usage of the phrase ‘common sense conservative’
1st Scott Brown reference! I wonder if the GOP had actually just put the infamous Brown Truck on the ballot if it could have defeated Coakley all by itself. Would have been GM’s first win in some time…
8:07 – She’s very energetic this evening. She makes me feel so old – and I’m 24.
8:09 – Speaking of Brown over Coakley – ‘If there’s hope in Massachusettes, there’s hope everywhere.’
‘Common Sense Conservative’ usage countdown – 2
8:10 – ‘Contested primaries aren’t civil wars’
You know what WAS a civil war? The Civil War!
8:11 – ‘Don’t allow any one leader to define you…’
This becomes an interesting theme. The prognosticators are all saying this speech IS her effort at becoming said leader. Later she juxtaposes the subject of her future with a restatement that the movement shouldn’t have a leader.
8:12 – ‘You Teapartiers are bigger than Obama and his teleprompter.
Urban areas stink!’
‘Common Sense Conservative’ usage count – 3 (she switched the 2 adjectives around that time)
8:14 – ‘Obama is afraid to call war, ‘war’, suicide bombings become ‘manmade disasters’.
8:17 – Here’s the best line of the evening – “We need a commander in chief – not a professor of law, standing at the lectern”
8:18 – Obama is writing letters to dangerous dictators. Machmoud, someone’s talking to you…
8:19 – Obama hates Japan!
*accidentally says ‘Alaska’ when she meant ‘America’*
8:20 – She loses her place momentarily… Think the ‘Alaska, America’ reference got her rattled…
Ok… she’s got it back now… found her place…
8:21 – *makes a talking face with her left hand, Barack Obama’s Washington is Sarah Palin’s hand…* This is truly human drama…
8:22 – ‘Obama should man up and stop picking on George Bush…’
Quotes Barry Goldwater! She’s been compared to Barry!
8:23 – ‘The government is taking over.’
She keeps quoting people. She includes more quotes in her addresses than any political figure I’ve ever heard of…
8:24 – Populism! Wall Street wants to eat you alive!
8:26 – Making fun of Joe Biden’s tough guy image and inability to oversee things!
“How’s that hopey, changey stuff working out for you?!”
Is this wise syntax considering… everything…
8:29 – Obama gave a Democrat party man a government contract to somehow stimulate some portion of the economy.
“Is that hope? Nope.”
8:30 – ‘Washington thinks we are all stupid!’
8:32 – ‘We are freedom lovers, and we are ticked off!’
On dealing with multiple governmental challenges at once – “If you can’t ride 2 horses at once, you shouldn’t be in the circus.”
8:33 – ‘I threw oil barons in jail!’
You know who else should be in jail… the guy in the audience who showed up to this speech in a blue baseball cap…
8:34 – Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy reset button, bequeathed to Vladimir Putin, should be used on B Obama’s health care bill.
8:36 – ‘We need to seize the oil from the sod, and stop giving money to sheiks.’
Also, from John Thune of SoDak – ‘If you’re ever the victim of a shotgun shooting, band-aids are not going to help.’
8:38 – ‘John McCain is an American hero.’
Common Sense Conservative’ Count – 4
8:40 – I anticipate we’re ramping up for a conclusion here. It’s coming rapid fire now…
You are all patriots!
You are all kind!
You are all good!
Shining city on a hill!
Our best days our yet to come!
8:45 – God bless the tea party & God bless America!
In the past few days, Republicans have been feeling an extra ounce of chutzpa with a surprise election victory in liberalisms’ heartland of Massachusetts. In the wake of this shocker, the prospects of Obama-care’s success have receded like so much tide when pulled by the moon (that’s how that works, yes?). Anyway, President Obama has decided to respond in the most serious and potent way he knows. And so, tonight, he is giving a speech to congress. Come join me as we learn how things really is (yes, that was on purpose)…
8:02 PM – Michelle Obama is cloaked all in purple. I’m reminded of Dwight Schrutes’ beet farm.
8:06 – “Madam Speaker, the President of the United States.”
Here he comes – striding & glad-handing like the days of yore.
8:07 – Harry Reid lurking behind the President. I imagine he’s treasuring every moment he has in the capitol these days… come November he’s expected to receive the boot from Nevadans. Call it ‘receiving the Daschle’ if you will.
8:10 – *Prez begins his ‘thank you’s*
8:12 – ‘Times are tough.’
8:13 – ‘George Bush handed me a harrowing, ugly & bludgeoned economy.
I have mostly fixed it.’
8:14 – ‘I have done so many things!’
8:15 – ‘Children write me letters asking me why they have to move…
They need change.
They are angry.
Wall Street stinks.’
8:16 – ‘Let me tell you about these letters…’
8:17 – *Reprising FDR*
‘Government should be decent. Let me teach you how to be decent people.’
8:18 – ‘ Boy, those banks are sure ripping everyone off.
8:19 – ‘Man, I hated that bank bailout… we needed it, but I sure hated it…
Did you remember that it was George Bush’s idea???!
Let me tell you – I have invented a new fee for those banks!
*first split screen shot showing partying Dems doing standing O while Republicans sit and stare at Pelosi’s blingy necklace*
8:20 – ‘I have cut taxes. For parents. For children. For college students. For cartoon characters. For cougars!…’
Obama – “I thought I’d get some applause on that one.”
8:22 – ‘We have created / saved / pulled from the clutches of greed 2 million jobs.’
‘The stimulus bill was awesome and everyone loved it.
Economists all say so. It would have been a disaster without it.’
*Break for extended story time*
8:24 – ‘I have saved the economy. Now we need to pass a new jobs bill.’
8:25 – *The Republicans just gave their first faux cheer after Obama explained that businesses drive the economy. He looked as though he was hoping people would be impressed he’d come to that conclusion.*
8:26 – ‘Let us take from the rich and give to the poor.’
Wall Street is King John? He IS Robin Hood!
8:27 – ‘WE NEED FASTER TRAINS! I have decided to build really, fast, trains.’
8:28 – ‘We will pay people for being green (pilgrim).
This will help us save. See?’
8:30 – ‘George Bush destroyed an entire decade!’
8:31 – I am not a part of Washington. Washington is out to get you. I am for the people. I am just the President. I am not part of Washington…
We need to be more like China.
We are better than China.’
8:34 – ‘Let me tell you about some other things I’ve done… I invested in some sort of solar power that will probably cure cancer…
I have invested in newfangled batteries…’
8:35 – *He wants to drill for oil offshore!!! Wow. Where is this coming from?!*
‘My cap and trade bill will do great things!’
*Ohhh no… we’re back to that again?!…*
‘I know no one likes it.
People who disagree with ’overwhelming evidence’ for climate change obviously didn’t go to Harvard like I did.’
*GOP lawmakers start giggling*
*Obama snarls in their general direction*
8:37 – ‘I will double our exports in 5 years!’
Are you going to knit hats and sell them at a swap meet in Brussels?!?
8:39 – ‘I have given children the ability to read.’
*camera shows Secretary of Education… I’ve never seen that guy!*
8:41 – ‘Time to take college loans out of the private sector and give the responsibility to those who really know what they’re doing – the government.’
This is not socialism. This is the government giving you everything you need. There’s a difference. Really.
8:42 – He’s cleaving to his health insurance reform bill!
‘I know no one like my health care bill. Let me tell you a story from a letter I got…’
8:46 – ‘The more I spend, the more the deficit goes down… see?
I went to Harvard.’
8:49 – ‘Remember when Bill Clinton filled the land with wealth, prosperity, and pride?.
Remember when George Bush destroyed everything and made kind, tender grandmothers who bake cookies cry?!’
8:51 – *Prez proposes spending government freeze for next 3 years.*
8:55 – Super awkward moment: Obama tells Dems not to worry, spending freeze won’t take effect until next year…
Republicans burst out laughing…
Obama, clearly miffed… raises his finger like a bespectacled schoolmarm and lectures to them:
“That’s how budgeting works”
This makes Republicans laugh even harder.
8:57 – ‘I don’t work with lobyists.’
*Republicans laugh yet again*
8:58 – Obama lectures Supreme Court, sitting write smack in front of him, for striking down John McCain’s campaign finance reform bill as unconstitutional.
Supreme Court looks ticked and somewhat spooked. Sorta felt like Obama was pulling a Vito Corleone for a moment and the Supremes might want to worry about sleeping with the fishes sometime soon…
8:59 – “I’m not naive”
9:00 – “We can’t wage a perpetual campaign”
9:01 – Everyone else is motivated by politics. I am the embodiment of the will of people.
9:03 – “I’m not interested in litigating the past”
You certainly can sir. Choosing a dog is a difficult, difficult decision…
9:20 ‘We don’t quit, I don’t quit.’
AND SO IT ENDS!
Not only did President Obama not turn to the center as many had prophesied he would do… had to do tonight. Instead, he rooted his feet squarely into his idealogical ground and told us all (Massachusetts especially) that we were wrong and he was right. After a year of so, very, many, words and Blame It On Bush… methinks the veneer is beginning to wear mighty thin.
To make a law, a bill must be passed by both the House and Senate and signed by the President. This is what we all learned from the School House Rock song, right? Well, it’s a little more complicated than that. Both chambers want their say in a bill. If the House writes and passes a bill, the senate usually isn’t willing to just rubber stamp it into law. The senators want their own concerns addressed. So after the house passes a bill, the senate will usually write an entirely separate bill. Now we have a problem: no single bill has been passed by both chambers, so despite the fact both have passed a bill, nothing can yet be presented to the president. Here comes the fun part. Both bills are sent to a conference committee which creates a third bill. Now both houses vote on this, and then the president can sign it into law.
The Democratic “health care” “reform” bill is at the proper stage for conference committee. One bill has passed the House, and a second has passed the Senate. But Democrats can’t do this, because a committee bill would have to pass the Senate again. As of tonight, that’s not going to happen. The Republicans have picked up seat number 41 with the election of Scott Brown. This allows them to filibuster, or to essentially prolong debate on the bill indefinitely. Not only that, the fact that Brown was elected by Massachusetts is quite probably going to shake either Nelson or Bayh or Webb into the no camp. Remember: Obama’s been telling the Dems for months that the only way they can save their careers is to vote yes on Obamacare. Clinton has prolcaimed that the major Democratic defeat in 94 was caused, not by the same manner of voter disgust over Hillarycare as we see over Obamacare, but rather, by Congress’s inability to pass a bill. If that were true, we’d have a Senator Elect Coakley tonight instead.
If the Senate can’t be counted on to pass another bill, the only option Democrats have is to have the House pass the Senate bill which had already been passed verbatim. Through a process called reconciliation, which is immune to the filibuster but can only address strictly budgetary issues, the senate can pass modifications to the taxes planned to pay for this, but otherwise, the House has to accept everything the Senate gave them, or the bill is dead.
Is this going to happen? House leadership says yes. The average house Democrat, by all accounts, is much less optimistic. When the bill passed the house, it passed by 5 votes. One of those was the lone Republican, Joseph Cao, whom no one expects to vote for it again. Now if even two more Democrats flip, that means the bill will fail by one vote (because every vote which flips from yes to no subtracts one from the yes column and adds one to the no column, bringing the columns nearer by two).
Now, about twenty or so Democrats voted against the first bill, for various reasons. The House contains a coalition of “Blue Dogs,” or conservative Democrats. But these have been derided over the past three years as being all bark and no bite. It’s been argued that Pelosi is allowing these two dozen or so to vote no such that their largely conservative constituencies won’t vote them out, but if she needs the votes, she can get them. Nonetheless, if these representatives were allowed to vote no to save their jobs earlier, and now seeing Massachusetts have even more reason to fear for their jobs, one would have to be a pretty serious ideological liberal to flip one’s vote now.
So, for what it’s worth, I think this bill is dead. And I’m hoping to see one of the market-driven reform bills that have been written by the Republicans replace it after the Republicans either retake the house this November, or at least make the gains necessary to prevent the Dems from suppressing it like they have suppressed a half dozen palatable alternatives already.
About two hours after the election was called, I read that Barney Frank, who is no Blue Dog, has stated that the Democrats are not going to be able to continue as if the Massachusetts election hadn’t happened, and will have to try to pass a revised version of the current bill through the Senate. If the House leadership can’t get Frank on board with the pass-the-Senate-bill-verbatim strategy, it’s not going to happen. The day after the election was called, we have Obama himself making similar, if cryptic statements. Democratic leadership has awoken to the fact they overstepped with Obamacare, and do not intend to destroy their party with what everyone would now see as cheap antics. There is still talk of a compromise which would be diluted so that it can get the approval of Senate moderates, but such, if even possible, would require foundational and revolutionary changes such that it wouldn’t even be the same bill, I think I’m justified in reiterating, this bill is dead.
The national political scene was thrown squarely upon its crown last eve, when upstart GOPer Scott Brown won a senate seat in the most liberal state in the country formerly held for half a century by Ted Kennedy we learned that Massachusetts Senator-Elect Scott Brown has two extremely cute daughters. Rarely does a newly elected national figure / giant killer use his first moments on the public stage to make the comment that his daughters are “available”. Scratch that – just the tall one?
Since Mr. Brown notified the nation that his daughter is someone we ought to consider a relationship with, how could we turn away from analyzing the prospect? It would be frankly irresponsible. So. Let us ponder whether or nay you should invest your heart in pursuing Miss Ayla Brown.
The first thing to consider here is that she is tall and athletic. She is so gifted in the field (court, whatever…) of basketball, that for Boston College. This seems super nice at first, but… keep in mind that it could potentially prove dangerous. Imagine for a moment that you”re out with the young lady, and she teases you. Just imagine. Now, that”s all good, because she could say you looked like a refrigerator and it wouldn”t diminish your affection for her. However, she might attempt to punctuate this jibe with a playful jab to your shoulder (we”re told athletic girls do this at times). She doesn”t mean to be bellicose, but because she is so strong, she will knock you down. On the ground. The floor. What have you. According to the babynamesocean.com, the name “Ayla” is Hebrew for “mighty Oak Tree”. Think on that.
One additional caution on that – tall athletes are rumored to be strong and unhappy. They are unhappy because they are in shape – thus requiring them to spend endless (and, we”re told) painful hours in buildings allegedly termed gymnasiums and work out facilities (?). This can apparently lead to sudden bouts of extreme moodiness and general rancor.
Moving on, not only is Ayla Brown a pretty young woman – she is also apparently a talented singer. It seems that she on a fairly well known talent program… something about worshiping golden calves and Ryan Seacrest?!
In addition to her TV fame, she starred in a presentation of Andrew Lloyd Webber”s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. This is impressive! There is a singing, dancing camel in that show! Buuutt… there could be red flags here as well…
Do you know who the most famous dude ever cast as Joseph in aforementioned stage affair was? Donny Osmond. And do you know what Donny Osmond”s publicist once advised him to do? Make people think he was having problems with substance abuse so people would think he was more “with it”! Clearly, this connection establishes that Ayla”s publicist may someday tell her to do the same. Food for thought there.
Lots of great qualities, a pretty sweet Hebrew name, but some terrifying possibilities – such is the story of this week”s most famous single, Republican daughter – Miss Ayla Brown.
The good news is that you probably don”t need to spend a great amount of time philosophizing over whether you should attempt to win her heart as the chances of such a victory are akin to those of Keith Olberman offering a warm, bearhug-ish embrace to James Dobson.
Then again, there really was no chance that a little known, pickup truck driving state senator was going to beat the Democrat machine & storied Kennedy legacy to win a Massachusetts senate seat either. Hmmmm.
Follow Ayla on twitter here, on Facebook here, and visit her official website here.
Update: The Boston Herald reports that, according to Miss Brown, Ayla”s dad asked Governor Mitt Romney if he “had any more sons he could sell me to”. That is the funniest thing I have heard all week.
TWG Podcast Update – The voters of Taxachusetts just did something profound. They replaced the late Ted Kennedy as their senator in Washington with truck driver Scott Brown. TWG examines the consequences of this seeming lunacy on Obamacare and the big man himself (hope guy). What ARE the Dems going to do now? Continue reading Massachusetts Did What?!→