And as Americans and others weighed the impact of the freshly elected Democratic majority, the party’s leaders sought to send reassuring signals that they planned change but no abrupt policy lurches.Even I did not expect the election-fattened Donkle to waddle onstage and actually tell its ardent supporters, including the self-fabled netroots, to kindly get fucked. But there it is.
The top Senate Democrat, Harry Reid of Nevada, said that while his fellow lawmakers would re-examine a tax structure that they say unfairly favors the wealthiest, they did not plan to do so for at least six months to a year.
Howard Dean, the Democratic national chairman, even cautioned against expecting the tax cuts that many Democrats say they want for the middle class. The Democrats support a budget-balancing approach, he said, asserting that the federal budget deficit has been understated by $100 billion.
Mr. Reid also said the monitoring of some Americans’ phone calls might be a necessary part of the fight against terrorism, “We must do it within the confines of the Constitution,” he said, presumably pointing to new efforts to restrict the government’s controversial surveillance programs.
It’s a particularly fitting irony that the Senate, whose surprise turning was the sparkler on the Democratic cake, will now be in the hands of a crytofascist land speculator who makes it the first order of business to play the enemies-within card and then takes the table with a daring opposition to “fixed timetables for withdrawal.” (Remember, eager Dems, if it isn’t fixed, it isn’t really a timetable.)
Let’s all agree that it will be great fun to hear what our new peers of the realm have to say about the drug war.
The Times article is a good reminder that although they’re more ostentatious about it, the Republicans aren’t the only ones wearing the crazy suit. Howard Dean takes an opportunity in the national media to muse that Iraqi Kurdistan, stripped of the American protectorate, will face a Turkish blitzkrieg of some sort or other, an Ottoman resurgence if you will, like a batty nonagenarian misremembering the dangerous “sick old man of Europe.” It would be, he says, the worst thing that could happen, the sort of statement that’s sure to give rise to some excellent gallows humor in Baghdad. Somewhere the Arab Woody Allen is shrugging his shoulders, holding his palms up to the air, and saying, “Worse? How could it be worse!?”
As for “middle-class tax cuts,” it’s a lovely sentiment that the Democrats want to balance budgets, but I see no indication that they intend to move in anything but the direction of more spending and the diminishing returns of seeking “new sources of revenue.” We do, after all, have a military that costs half a trillion dollars a year at least, and clearly that’s not working out precisely as planned. If they really wanted to make a splash, they could disband the Ministry for the Security of the Fatherland, but then, as the Demotronic bloggers endlessly remind us, it was the Donkle who proposed the ministry in the first place, before the nasty conservatives stole their idea. It is, instead, the Democratic proposal “to immediately enact all the proposals of the 9/11 commission.” That, you’ll recall, was the blue-ribbon panel who chatted up government officials for a while before running into Tom Sawyer and taking up the whitewash. Because federales inspecting every box and orifice entering America is a fitting complement to those civil liberties we keep hearing the Dems are better on.
It is true that at this late stage of the American empire, all that’s left to us is to laugh. My most fervent hope is that the venal gang of Asses will hold onto the wheel even as we drive toward the cliff. A little late-empire decadence will soften the fall nicely, and the decadence, at very least, is more likely under a Vegas crook than a Tennessee healer.