Stupid headline/news meme of the day...

>> Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Any news story that contains a variation of the phrase, "Democrats are in danger of losing their majority in the Senate."

Allow me to explain something that the average reader of my blog already knows, on the off-chance that some pundit or reporter will see it and bang his or her head against a brick wall in thrall to a Eureka! moment: a majority consists of 51% or more of a given population doing the same thing. Related bonus concept: to "control" something means, per Dictionary.com:

to exercise restraint or direction over; dominate; command.


...used as a noun, possessing or exercising "control" means:

the act or power of controlling; regulation; domination or command: Who's in control here?


What is blatantly obvious to anybody with half their synapses functioning and who has also paid any attention at all to the health care reform process in the Senate is that Democrats neither "exercise restraint or direction over; dominate; command" nor are engaged in "the act or power of controlling; regulation; domination or command." The Democrats can re-take the three two newly-contested seats and the party will still be kissing Joe Lieberman's ass. If they even get that far, considering that they've had enough trouble mustering "restraint or direction" over the fifty-eight registered Democrats in the Senate.

Now, I have to make a confession: I have a Washingtonian-faction-condemning streak in my makeup that's about a mile, mile-and-a-half wide. I think it's really sort of awful that politicians of either party are expected to go up and represent their party as opposed to their nation and region. I've been registered as an Independent voter since I was eighteen and I've rarely considered making a change even if, in practice, I've frequently found myself voting straight-line party tickets for the Democrats. And I'm still not ashamed that I voted for Ralph Nader in 2000, though if I'd possessed the precognition to see what Bush would become in 2002 and Nader would turn into in 2004, I certainly would have voted for Gore even if he hadn't, in his turn, pulled the stick from his ass and developed into the cool dude he began to turn into in 2001. I'd be happy with a no-party or multi-party system, and I think the two-party system we've stuck ourselves with in the United States is an abomination. So if I'm unhappy with the Democrats' failure to pass the healthcare bill I would've wanted, I'm not unsympathetic to individual Democrats voting for their constituencies--I just wish those constituencies weren't the medical and insurance industries.

But every time I read or hear a nose-counting article in the press or blogosphere or wherever, it blows my mind a little. "Well," some idiot says, "the Democrats will need to [blahblahblah] to get the sixty votes they need...," and it stuns me that (a) a majority is no longer 51% thanks to antiquated obstructionist formalisms like the filibuster and (b) that anyone is talking like the Democrats could seriously get 50 Senators* to vote for anything important anyway. And then there are the people who consistently refer to the Democrats as already having a "filibuster-proof majority" who appear to be counting Joe Lieberman as a Democrat because "he's an independent who caucuses with the Democrats," which is a little like trying to claim George Custer was a Lakota Sioux because he spent a couple of Summer days hanging out with them in 1876.

I mean, here's what "independent who caucuses with the Democrats" means: it means that Senator Lieberman is a conservative who lost the 2006 Democrat primary, was rejected by 67% of Connecticut's Democrats in the Connecticut's 2006 Senate race, who endorsed and campaigned for the Republican Presidential nominee in 2008, who spoke at the Republican National Convention in 2008, and who was even briefly considered as a possible Republican Vice-Presidential nominee; however, because Democrats evidently have trouble with numbers bigger than twenty (twenty-one if they're boy Democrats), the Democrats decided they needed Lieberman for some obscure purpose (my hypothesis is it involves a ritual from the Necronomicon) and let him keep his chairmanship of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

The insistence in some sectors that because there are sixty Senators in the Senate Democratic Caucus even though two of the sixty are actually independents, one of whom is a Republican-in-all-but-name and although the actual fifty-eight Democrats find it nearly-impossible to reach a consensus about anything, the Democrats therefore have sixty votes for whatever, has gone from being a kind of political fiction to being a mind-numbing divorce from reality, complete with violent disagreements about child custody and how to part the record collection.

Let me just come out and say it: the Democrats are in absolutely no danger of losing a majority of anything in 2010 because they haven't got one in the first place.

I've often referred to Will Rogers' famous statement that he belonged to no organized political party--he was a Democrat. I'm not a Democrat, but they clearly still aren't any more cohesive a unit eighty years later. The only reason I can't just say "so fuck 'em" is that those idiots appear to be the only thing standing between us and an anti-intellectual narcissistic cryptotheocracy.

Great.

You didn't see Lefors out there, didja? Good. For a minute I thought we were in trouble.



*Presumably Vice-President Biden would vote with our fifty imaginary Democrats.

3 comments:

vince Wednesday, January 6, 2010 at 12:49:00 PM EST  

"anti-intellectual narcissistic cryptotheocracy"

I am so finding a way to use that phrase in normal conversation!

David Wednesday, January 6, 2010 at 1:34:00 PM EST  

It's easier for the press to speak to the idiotic masses of the nation in simple terms: Democrat and Republican. Start factioning off the parties, and people get confused.

Remember, part of this moronic nation thinks that everything that went wrong the last 8 years is Bush's fault, and that anything going wrong now is Obama's fault. It's just easier that way.

The media doesn't like to have to explain things very well. That's okay, America doesn't really understand much either.

Eric Wednesday, January 6, 2010 at 1:41:00 PM EST  

I'd initially heard the news this morning as "three resigning Democrats"--it happens that only two of them are Senators, the third's a Governor, and I think I've corrected that in the post.

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