Everybody better get down to the store quick before all of the popcorn is sold out. I know I’ve got mine and am ready to settle into my comfy chair for a big bowl while I watch the weight of hypocrisy, a stinging electoral defeat, corruption, finger pointing and failure suffocate the formerly arrogant “permanent majority” that has become the republican party.
There are many holes in the sinking GOP ship, and it’s every vermin for themselves as they struggle to not be the next one thrown under the bus (how’s that for a record number of metaphors in just over a paragraph?). And today brings a virtual cornucopia of juicy sniping and whining as the 109th Congress slinks into memory as the laziest most worthless most embarrassing one in at least 70 years, if not ever.
And if this is any indication of what the next few years will be like as the republicans struggle to figure out if “clap harder” is really the answer to all of their, um, problems, well then I’ll happily grab a front row seat. First up is a front page article in today’s WaPo titled GOP Laments Mixed Results As Control of Congress Ends which starts with two wonderful words – “Demoralized Republicans”:
Demoralized Republicans adjourned the 109th Congress at 5 a.m. yesterday with a near-empty Capitol, closing the door on a dozen years of nearly unbroken GOP control by spending more time in the final days lamenting their failures -- to rein in government, tame the deficit and temper their own lust for power -- than reliving their successes.
And, oh boy – are the accusations flying. While most of it is directed at those whose political careers are over like DeLay and Frist, the failures were varied and crossed a wide range of areas. First, Sen. Judd Gregg (NH):
"You know, the American people took the reins of government away from the Republican Party . . . in this last election. They did so, I think, in large part because they were tired of our hypocrisy,"
Then, Rep. Zach Wamp (TN):
"Our leadership and some of our members grew arrogant in their own power, and with arrogance comes corruption,"
"If Tom DeLay said it one time, he said it 15 times: 'The most important thing we can do for the American people is keep our Republican majority.' That was just wrong, and it had to catch up to us in the end."
Even hypocrite and king of the sell outs Sen. McCain took some heat:
"We came to change Washington, and Washington changed us,"
The article swings wildly from these types of self indictments to some “successes” which are truly a sad reflection of what would pass for a “success” (emphasis and commentary mine):
Republican Congresses fundamentally changed the welfare system (creating the biggest culture war in generations), cut taxes time and again (on the wealthy and their corporate cronies at the expense of the middle class), expanded the powers of the government to combat terrorism (by shredding the Constitution and Bill of Rights, further eroding our freedoms in the name of fear) in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and added a prescription drug benefit to Medicare ( which is currently screwing our seniors but reaping windfalls for the pharmaceutical companies).
Next target, Cat Killer, MD himself. Rep. Jerry Lewis (CA) got in a swing:
Congress' failure to pass nine of 11 appropriations bills "should be placed squarely at the feet of the departing [Senate] majority leader."
Then, Sen. Gregg once again – talking about how Fristie did manage to slip in some last minute pork into the insanely irresponsible stopgap bill passed recently:
"This is being done by the Republican leadership to the Republican membership.
"You just have to ask yourself how we, as a party, got to this point, where we have a leadership which is going to ram down the throats of our party the biggest budgetbuster in the history of the Congress under Republican leadership,"
Not to be outdone, and as pointed out by mcjoan earlier today Sen. Gordon Smith (OR) wondered aloud ON THE SENATE FLOOR whether Bush’s Iraq policy was criminal:
I, for one, am at the end of my rope when it comes to supporting a policy that has our soldiers patrolling the same streets in the same way being blown up by the same bombs day after day. That is absurd. It may even be criminal. I cannot support that any more. I believe we need to figure out not just how to leave Iraq but how to fight the War on Terror and to do it right.
Oh, SNAP!!! No he did...n’t!!!
And what is any good implosion without the obligatory foaming at the mouth totally insane loony with his sights set on the Presidency getting a dig in against Mr. 19% himself and Secretary of State Rice at the same time regarding the ISG report? Enter Senator Brownback:
I’m not — I’m not jumping ship. I just think it’s time that we really put pressure on the situation. And we’ve been very patient with this, and we’ve invested a lot. I do think as well it’s time for us to put diplomatic pressure to the point where you just park the Vice President and Secretary of State in the region. It’s shuttle diplomacy going back and forth between the countries that will receive us, really pushing on them to stop funding things into Iraq and start working with us, because they don’t need a civil war in that region either, and to really have them start coming to the table instead of just sitting back and even hurting the situation inside of Iraq.
Wow. Just wow. It’s almost a shame that each of these poor schmucks supported each and every failed policy of this administration as part of the rubber stamp republican Congress for the past six years. Every bit of the Iraq disaster. Every failed tax cut and giveaway to their lobbyist and corporate cronies. Every cut to social and veterans programs or benefits. Every legislative, domestic and foreign policy failure of the past six years is their own doing.
This week, they are waking up to realize the stench they left. And they are doing everything they can to disassociate from this disaster of their own doing.
It will be fun to watch. But we must not let them disassociate themselves with it. This is their mess. It must be cleaned up.
But it is their responsibility, as much as they don’t want to think about it anymore. We must never let them forget it.