Sunday, August 5, 2012

Plodding mule or Dressage horse?

Dressage horses are impressive to watch. They are of course useless in the real world, merely a consumer of resources with no function. Harry Truman liked to compare himself to a Missouri mule plodding along and getting the job done. Obama is in a similar position to what 'Give 'em Hell' Harry found himself in 64 years ago. The Republicans had swept the Congress in 1946 and immediately set about destroying the New Deal, mostly by inaction. The economic damage was so acute that they were swept from office in 1948. They didn't get full control again until 1994 when they set about to destroy America again.

Willard Romney is a Dressage horse, expensive, prancing and useless. If you're worried about (or hoping for) him defeating Obama you can forget about it. The numbers are clear, Obama has a lock on so many states that Romney can't win. And the numbers continue to improve for Obama daily. Just as Obama pulled ahead after McCain showed himself to be unprepared to deal with the collapsing economy, he is simply showing up Romney as well.

It would be easy to say the Republicans rigged things to make Obama win by running such a dolt, but who would they run instead? Even what passes for a reasonable human being in the Republican Party is either not too bright, or a sociopath that can't pass a background check. Anybody else can't get past the tea baggers in the primary. The billionaires can easily stampede the tea baggers and they want a dancing horse that they can train to do whatever they want done.

An October surprise isn't likely, any sort of crisis would simply drive more people to Obama as Mittens can be counted on to open his mouth and reveal how stupid he is. You wouldn't think Reagan could have gotten past Jimmy Carter on that basis, but Reagan in 1980 was still passing for living in this world. And frankly Carter wasn't a very good President by the standards of the time. Reagan, Bush and Bush have elevated Carter's stature considerably.

The real challenge for Democrats is taking back Congress, and it's not going to be easy, but it can be done. Harry Reid has come around to the idea of ending the filibuster. The risk of doing that has always been that there are enough Blue Dog Democrats that there is a risk they could switch parties throwing the Senate to the Republicans (and then with no filibuster). That isn't so likely if the Republicans are defeated this time. It's never a good idea to jump ship to one that is sinking.


Dave said...

There's a very good reason not to do away with the filibuster. Without it the Senate could act just as hastily and brashly as the House does. The Senate has served to slow down ill-conceived legislation and that's been a useful function.

I think what we need is make the filibuster difficult again. How about if actual human beings were required to stand up an speak in the Senate chambers 24/7? They'd have to risk making jackasses of themselves in front of live cameras.

This idea of "bringing back real filibusters" isn't new. We don't have it because it would be too hard for politicians and the electorate hasn't charged them a high enough price for their inaction on the matter.

Of course we could toss the Republicans out of office on their collective buttocks but that would require ordinary working people to vote for their best interests. That is a tall order indeed.

prairie2 said...

By any reading the Constitution prohibits the 60 vote Filibuster, but it also allows the Senate to make its own rules. The more insidious rule is the single vote hold they allow Senators to do on appointments. This isn't 1790 when it took weeks for news to travel across the country. The "slow down" is just coded language for rule by the elites.