Don’t look for sanity inside Beltway this year

To elevate a comment exchange to post status, back here Bart said:

The GOP may be a joke but it looks like they will have the last laugh come November when the American voters, who are a lot more intelligent than most give them credit for, sends a message that they don’t appreciate being Punk’d by a bunch of lying Democrats. Democrats, who by the way, are no picnic at the beach either.

The sword cuts both ways when it comes to deceit, dishonesty, and downright thievery by politicians.

I agree completely with you, Bart, about the Dems being no bargain. But no one should make the mistake of thinking a swing to the Republicans, particularly the Republicans of 2010, is in any way better.

Yes, the GOP will be more successful in November than Democrats, winning control of one or more of the two chambers of Congress.

And next time we have a Republican president, two years after he is elected, the Democrats will be more successful in the mid-term elections than Republicans.

And so on. It means nothing. The sad thing is that Republicans will foolishly believe that they won this year because of something they DID, and will give the credit to their mad rush to the extremes. So we’ll get more of that garbage.

Occasionally, something different from that happens. For instance, in 2006 a number of moderate Democrats won office, thanks in part to a campaign run by Rahm Emanuel. It drove the loony left even loonier, they hated it so. But it was better for the country. Unfortunately, those moderates — in both parties — make up such a tiny minority still that they have little impact upon the partisan insanity inside the Beltway.

My point is that these midterm shifts don’t have to be swings back and forth to the wacky fringes. They can pull us to the middle, toward sanity. It just doesn’t look at all like that’s going to happen this year.

This year — wow. This year, we see Sarah Palin not only NOT swept to history’s dustbin, as would happen in a country in which the voters were as sensible as Bart asserts (after all, she was a HUGE part of why the GOP lost the White House in 2008), but has such a secure brand (we Mad Men use words like “brand” a lot) that she is able to play kingmaker. Or queen maker, as the case may be. Although, reassuringly, it didn’t work out so well in Georgia last week.

If the voters choosing the GOP were so sensible, a sensible guy like Henry McMaster wouldn’t have fallen so easily to the likes of Nikki Haley. Nor would he have resorted to his own desperate attempts to prove that he, too, was suffering from Obama Derangement Syndrome.

No, the Republicans winning the House this year will not be a good thing, any more than it was a good thing when Nancy Pelosi became Speaker. Same diff.

21 thoughts on “Don’t look for sanity inside Beltway this year

  1. yarrrr

    I think it’s more obvious now(than in 2006 or 1994) that the shift to the other party is not because the other party is well liked…

  2. Herb Brasher

    Hmmm, “inside the beltway.” Interesting how that has become a common expression; used to be that only D.C.ers would know that. But one normally hears it from Fox News adherents, to which group I don’t think Brad belongs.

  3. Juan Caruso

    Let’s make it 3-way agreement, Brad and Bart. Our two-party political system leaves much to be desired.

    Perhaps the quickest and most certain way voters can effect hope and change is to not dwell on Republicans and Democrats, but to concentrate more simply on lawyers and non-lawyers when choosing candidates. Here is why:

    The extent of influences available to and exercised by members of the legal profession surpass those of any other profession except perhaps organized crime in its heyday.

    While law grads comprise only 2-3% of the U.S. workforce, their collegial network extends to the highest levels of every important economic activity, including government.

    The entire judiciary is staffed, and headed by lawyers; 60% of U.S. Senators are lawyers; the House has 36% to 40%, and currently the president, vice-president, Majority and Minority Leaders of both the Senate and House are all lawyers.

    Chairman of key congressional investigating and ethics committees (the actual wielders of congressional power-politics)and at least half of their members are lawyers. The Hobbs Act definition of extortion: “the obtaining of property from another, with his consent, induced by wrongful use of actual or threatened force, violence, or fear, or under color of official right.” – 18 U.S.C. § 1951.

    Property belonging taken under “official right” from a congressman by an ethics investigation might include unspent campaign funds and his seat, for starters.

    Moreover, the wishes of voters often take a back seat to unelected lobbyist who provide travel and educational influences to congress. The vast majority of lobbyists just happen to be law grads. They are members of the lawyer network.

    The average voter, blind to the facts described above, sees nothing upsetting about the power lawyers exert on each other and non-lawyer elected politicians who won’t go along with them. Wasn’t the investigation of Tom Delay, for instance, just ended?

    No profession, including barbers, could maintain a network this powerful and remain free of deep corruption very long.

  4. Doug Ross

    “Inside the beltway” could also be applied to those people who think the general voting public cares about Nikki Haley’s emails and tax returns. Or maybe that’s called “Inside the Capital City Club”.

    The majority of us out here in the real world care about just a few things: jobs, education, environment, traffic, sports, and entertainment.

  5. bud

    Brad, you need to defend the snarky comment about Nancy Pelosi. I think she’s done a fine job under the circumstances. The House was certainly poised to pass a much more comprehensive health care plan than was possible given the senate’s intransigence. The House likewise was very sensible on issues like TARP, the stimulus package and the war stuff. So why pick on poor Nancy? If she had her way we’d be in much better shape right now.

    So rather than throw out some disparaging comment like you’d hear from Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity why not present a case that the country would be better of with someone different from Nancy Pelosi. I think you’re better than Limbaugh or Hannity so here’s your chance to demonstrate as much.

  6. Brad

    Well, I’ve used it for a lot of years. A quick search shows the phrase turning up 52 times on my old blog (some of those are repetitive; Google does that) … but only 3 times on this one! So maybe I’m using it less now…

    Anyway, my meaning in using it in this sense is to refer to the particularly poisonous atmosphere that permeates politics in our nation’s capital, and which is propagated by the parties, affiliated interest groups and the D.C. MSM — a way of doing politics that saturates the 24/7 cable TV “news” to the point that, even far from the Beltway itself, most Americans find it impossible to speak or think of politics any other way. It has the same effect intended by Orwell’s Newspeak — changing the vocabulary to put our ability to think in a hyperpartisan rut.

    So while it’s a geographical reference in the denotative sense, it connotes something that spreads daily across the land.

  7. Kathryn Fenner

    Not a member of the Cap City Club, but do care that the leading gub. candidate appears to be a hypocrite of a high order.

  8. Karen McLeod

    Burl, The video you found is really scary. Is this type of person needs medication, not a stressful gov. job.

  9. Bart

    While Palin has the support of her devout followers, she does not have the support of conservatives and the “sensible” voters who recognize she is a personality with a theme that resonates well but not well enough to entrust her with the presidency. Again, her poll numbers are not good at all when it comes to the thought of actually voting for her to be our president.

    The candidate Burl mentioned is no more of a flake than the erstwhile and vulgar Pete Stark from California. The man is a walking garbage can mouth and is about as unhinged as a broken rusty gate. Along with the very unfunny Al Franken, there are just as many complete idiots on the Democrat side as there are on the Republican side. And, anyone who thinks Al Franken is a good senator should think about it for a moment, if it is possible the words thinking and Al Franken can be used in the same sentence or thought. This is a guy from the same state that had Jesse Ventura as governor. And to think, Linda McMahon is being ridiculed because of her affiliation with pro wrestling. Hell, that should make her the one candidate with the proper credentials.

    Playing to the public, giving them smoke and mirrors, feigned outrage and anger, and keeping the dedicated fans entertained is what politics and wrestling are all about. Both fake as hell when it comes to honesty.

    The recent dinner in honor of Rangel would be a joke if Democrats were not so serious about throwing it for the crook. I can’t recall the last time Republicans threw a party for one of their felons, can you? But, of course, just ask Maxine Waters. Her problems are because of racist Republicans and its all Bush’s fault. Yeah, thats the ticket, its Bush’s fault. Works every time. Problem is, the more Democrats blame Bush, the more his popularity rises. And, Obama helped the cause along when he recently jumped the shark and called Bush by name in one of his blame Bush moments.

    Damn bunch of crybabies. They wanted control of America. They got control of America. And, what did they do? Nothing except complain about not being able to muster a 60 vote majority in the Senate when they had 60 Democrats sitting and a couple of Republicans who traditionally vote with the Democrat bloc. Yeah, blame the “Party of No” when you cannot get a majority while holding a 20 seat advantage.

    All they had to do was simply vote on anything they wanted to introduce and pass it. It was that easy. But, they still couldn’t do it and when they couldn’t, all they could do is blame Republicans. Clueless, incompetent, and, apparently, absolute cowards, otherwise, we would have the healthcare plan introduced the first time. Not being able to get it out of committee as written by Democrats? Absolute BS!!!

    bud gives no Republican or conservative a break. As a balance, I refuse to give a Democrat a break and I am not a Republican. When the sensible people take over, if ever, then this country and our state may have a fighting chance. Until then, the inmates will continue to run the asylum.

    The two candidates we have running for governor are not the sharpest knives in the drawer and we will get one of two possibilities. Another four years of Sanford or four years of a political legacy candidate who is no brighter than his opponent. His only appeal is that he is not Sanford and thats about it.

    Haley – what can I say? Just don’t go to a convention with her.

  10. Bart

    @Burl – I will never look at “basil” the same way, ever again. One of my favorite herbs reputation forever damaged by name association with an escaped inmate.

  11. Bart

    @ Kathryn. Loved Fawlty Towers. John Cleese is an actual comedic genius. Some of Monty Python’s skits were too funny for words. One I especially liked was the knight with no arms or legs in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. “C’mon and fight, its only a flesh wound”. Or, the Trojan Rabbit, the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch, the list goes on and on.

    Think the guy who come up with “Terror Babies” watched the movie and come up with the name? Or, maybe he thought the movie was fact. Said the “Knights Who Said Ni”.

  12. Bart

    @Kathryn – glad you reminded me of John Cleese. My reference to the “Knights Who Said Ni” reminds me of Democrats who are afraid of “Republicans Who Say No”. The imagery is fantastic. Horseless Democrats pretending to ride along on a holy mission, scared off by vicious guard rabbits (images of Jimmy Carter in his boat), hiding their agenda in “Trojan Rabbits”. A remake of the movie with some prominent Democrats in the lead roles would be appropriate.

  13. Burl Burlingame

    The wife and I, in the early ’80s, stayed in the Torquay hotel that supposedly inspired “Fawlty Towers.” The lady in charge was quite disapproving of the show.

  14. Kathryn Fenner

    Ah, but Bart–always look on the bright side of life [whistle]

    and a farcical aquatic ceremony, or being the son of a president, is no basis for choosing the supreme leader.

  15. Barry

    Doug Ross says: “Inside the beltway” could also be applied to those people who think the general voting public cares about Nikki Haley’s emails and tax returns. Or maybe that’s called “Inside the Capital City Club”.

    It’s always funny to see a candidate (Haly in this case) harp on an issue, then later not live up to their own pet issue- and then see their supporters forgive the candidate for being hypocritical.

  16. Doug Ross


    Is the transparency issue about tax returns and emails or is it about voting being recorded? Are you opposed to that?

  17. Barry

    If your pet issue is going to be “transparency”, you can’t pick and choose. Ms. Haley has made the issue her call to arms.

    Now she’s picking and choosing. I wonder why?

    I have a company supplied computer with approx 3400 emails on it right now. I have no problem with anyone that wants to examine each and every email. That’s transparency.

    Recording every vote as a voice vote is fine with me. Certainly not opposed to it. However, calling for it wouldn’t be a major part of my political life.

Comments are closed.