Marc Platt's Politics: I'm a Lefty
Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky) stood on the U.S. Senate floor on Wednesday March 6, 2013 and proceeded to protest John Brennan's confirmation hearing with an old school "Talking Filibuster." It was shades of "Mr. Smith Goes To Washington."
Senator Paul was really protesting President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder's flimsy assertion that the government has the right to kill American citizens on American soil with drones if there was an imminent threat. Paul repeatedly used the term "Non Combatants" in his rant. I 100% agree with Rand Paul on this issue.
By asserting the government's view that we could even POSSIBLY have these drones trolling American skies is a horrifying possibility.
To use the Brennan confirmation as a format is another matter. I don't like the ocassion, but I wholly agree with the sentiment. The cable news outlets were immediately spinning Paul's filibuster for whatever their agendas are. MSNBC had a correspondent say the Paul was "shoring up his base for 2016" Presidential bid. Who knows, who caresd. Maxine Waters (D-Ca) called it disgraceful to hold up this nomination. I disagree. The senate's job is to "Advise and Consent." If Paul or ANY senator has questions, they have the right to obstruct until they get those answers.
I have NOT agreed with Rand Paul on anything in his two years in the senate, but on this day he was making sense to me.
He and his father former Texas Rep. Ron Paul have tries to fight their Libertarian good fight for years. A lot of their ideas are dopey to me, but they know their shit about due process. They do have expertise in some areas and should be listened to. They have earned that right. We don't have to agree, but we should probably hear them out.
I am certainly not a fan of the Tea Party, but in it's essence there are principles that they adhere to. I admire that.
What I don't admire is obstruction to blow things up in Washington. This is not the time and this certainly is NOT the place right now to stop progress.
Barack Obama is not perfect and I vehementally disagree with him on the overuse of drones. Maybe Rand Paul can get his ear on issues where there could be some open discussion. Maybe these people in our government can turn a cormer very soon and actually listen to each other's ideas and get the job done.
Jeb Bush was a popular governor in Florida. He left office in 2006, which means in 2016, he will have not held public office in 10 years. That is a long time.
I always thought he was the SMARTEST of the Bush clan. He may well be, but that is not saying much in light of some recent devepments.
Jeb-ster is now saying that Immigration with a path to citizenship is NOT something he would support. Last summer he said the opposite. He is postioning himself to the right of Marco Rubio, who is currently writing legislation with Democrats to reform immigration WITH a path to ciizenship.
Don't these guys EVER learn? Mitt Romney showed the GOP that the path to the White House does not lead through the Tea Party. The right wingnuts do not offer any White House hopefuls ANY chance for general election success if the candidates have to start spouting right wing policies during the primaries. The American people do not buy those views and values in a general election. There are far too many minorities out of work to make those unpopular views fruitful to a candidate in a general election.
Jeb Bush should have stood his ground and stayed with that more moderate and progressive view.
Bush is married to a Latina and calls his own children "My Little Brown Ones." I am just guessing, but America may take issue with that in 2016, humor aside.
The Bush family has had a history of gaffes that have hurt their "legacy." Papa Bush with his "read My Lips, No New Taxes" pledge in 1992. "W" had the great "Mission Accomplished" declaration in 2003 a full nine years before the Iraq war finally DID end. Now Jeb has flopped (for now) on his once hopeful and progressive immigration stance.
Jeb Bush is not a player at this point. Rubio and Governor Christie are the guys to fear. I will be curious to see if Christie offsets his NON INVITATION to CPAC this year with news of his own. He should go on ALL the cable news shows that day. It would eat into the Stellar Losers (Romney, Gingrich & Palin) who were invited.
"I lost my election because of my campaign, not because of what anyone else did...I see my mistakes and I see my flaws, and I did better this time than I did the time before."
Mitt Romney (March 2013)
Just think where we COULD be. President Romney would probably have armed guards surrounding our borders. Bread lines, Unemployment at 12%-to-20% and
Mitt and his Buddies paying 4% tax rates in a few years.
The Senate would still be BLUE, the House RED with a tinge of "Crazy Herbal Tea-Party." What makes anyone think that we would not be experiencing the same gridlock in Washington?
I really do not need to recount the entire Romney episode to you faithful politicos, but I should point out that nearly half the country bought into his "message." This is very scary to me. To me Mitt Romney's message was "White Rich Guy Who REALLY wanted to be the boss of everyone." Ann Romney DID say at one point in the campaign "It's OUR turn."
Romney would have been an interesting Democrat. I would have loved to actually watch him deal with sane politicians and not the wackos far to the right. How would he maneuvered trhrough a field in 2008 of Obama and Hillary Clinton? What could he have possibly have flip flopped on to get states like Iowa to vote for him against THOSE opponents?
How would President Romney deal with Speaker Boehner? Would they cut and slash to the point that there is no Medicare or Social Security. Would Harry Reed want to strangle the would be conservative Romney for caving to the Tea Party Wingnuts like Boehner has had to do?
Obama has had to walk a fine line since day one. Nothing comes easy in that town. It's business as usual and everyone is postering for the midterm elections, which will happen next year.
This sequester business (Automatic Spending Cuts) sucks. Obama was basically forced by the GOP to suggest this form of spending cuts, hoping that cooler (that's a laugh) heads would prevail. The Republicans want these cuts to happen, KNOWING that they will enact legislation to keep the government running when that comes up. The House Republicans also know that President Obama cannot afford to have most of these cuts happen randomly.
The public is getting played by Obama and the congress. They are making it out to be the end of the world and blaming each other. BUSINESS AS USUAL.
That is why we live in alternate political universes. The universe we are told is full of bi-partisan TEAM BUILDING. The real universe is the self-serving LEGACY BUILDING one where everyone positions themselves for personal glory.
I choose the 'LEGACY BUILDING" universe.
Because in order to build a legacy, these clowns have to do right by the people they serve.
If Obama wants his head carved out on Mt. Rushmore, he had better keep the cogressional cannibals from serving his head on a platter with a really bad recession just because they can.
"We The People" are counting on you to do the right thing for all of us.
There are a lot of hungry, financially-challenged, work tired, law-abiding, voting, at the end-of-our-rope people out here waiting for you to put aside your own personal best interests for once. Please do your job. Please listen to us when we call, email and tweet you and express our desires in all that polling you pay such close attention to.
You are there to represent "We The People," as the president kept saying at the innauguration on January 21st.
Well..."We The People" have been trying to tell you that repealing Roe V Wade is a bad idea, repealing the 1965 Voting Rights Act...Not good. Opposing inevitable immigration Reform...No bueno.
"We The People" have been making these messages loud and clear since that first Tuesday in November in 2008. "We The People" were sick to death of George W Bush and his puppetmaster Dick Cheney. We wanted a change we can believe in. We voted for the skinny black dude Barack Obama. He was cool, he was good with "We The People" and not so good with peeps inside the beltway. Obama is terrible at hanging out with Washington insiders. None of you like him at all.
President Obama is no saint. He DID shoot Bin Laden in the face and dump him in the ocean. He has errupted more than a few times at the do nothing congress (mostly House Republicans) for being as Bobby Jindal has said "The Party of Stupid."
Look...The Dems are not anything to write home about. Plenty of Democrats have an "A" Rating with the NRA.
We really have to do something SOON about election reform and SUPER PACs and lobby money deciding how it will go for "We The People."
Please do something about all these self-made crisis's like "Fiscal Cliffs," "Debt Ceiling Dealines," "Sequesters" and unnecessary weapons of war on our city streets.
"We The People"
I want to give kudos to Chris Matthews and his staff at Hardball (MSNBC) for making a profound correlation between Texas Freshman Senator (TX) Ted Cruz and the "Old Commie Hunter" Joseph McCarthy in their similar tactics and sudden impact on the scene.
It is so early into Cruz's senate career, but he has already used his debate skills and legal background to piss a lot of folks off in Washington D.C., including John McCain by using innuendo to impune the reputation of former Senator Chuck Hagel. McCain had raked Hagel over the coals two weeks before during Hagel's confirmation hearing for Secretary of Defense.
In this final Senate Armed Forces Committee hearing (Hagel was NOT present), Cruz reached back in the McCarthy playbook to use innuendo to try and link Hagel to North Korea without any evidence. Cruz used a roundabout debate tactic of "What If." Cruz insinuated that Hagel may have taken $200,000 from the North Koreans for a paid speaking engagement or possible corruption without any proof. He used "What If" basically to impune Hagel's reputation.
It looked to this observer that Cruz was stepping into McCain's schoolyard and McCain had to chastise the freshman. Cruz is VERY well-educated (Princeton undergrad, Harvard Law). He is a champion debater and seems to have brought that into the senate only weeks into his tenure.
He is hanging with the "Obstructionist" wing of the GOP. He voted against the Violence Against Women Act, along with 21 other Senate Republicans, which was passed into law overwhelmingly by the Senate body that day.
So he obviously doesn't pay attention to polls. Let's see how he shakes out with other legislation. So far he has voted with the Tea Party wing of the GOP on every vote.
McCarthy allegedly lied about his war record and had all kinds of tax issues and was accused of taking bribes from Pepsicola. OY. Those were the days...The Commie Witchunt idea wasn't even his idea. Edmund Walsh, a Catholic priest, came up with the idea, suggesting McCarthy begin a campaign against communist subversives working in the Democratic administration. McCarthy was soliciting advice at the time from his closest inner circle on HOW TO RETAIN his senate seat in what would have been a close senate race without an issue to ride on. McCarthy's first few years in the U.S. Senate were not too impressive.
Ted Cruz comes to the U.S. Senate firing on all cylindars, making the old guard Republicans uneasy and some of the younger guys like Marco ("I'm Thirsty") Rubio (also Cuban) sitting there trying to decide to become a moderate or a rabble rouser. Cruz may force Rubio's hand.
Important Note: Ted Cruz, 42 was born in Alberta Canada. He is NOT eligible to run for U.S. President. Rubio is American-born. I see this as a VERY significant fact. Cruz could make a lot of trouble for a lot of people in Washington and not give a crap. He has nowhere else to go. If Texas keeps sending him back, he could be there a long time.
McCarthy was drummed out of the senate and died in 1957 from advanced alcoholism at the age of 49 years old.
Ted Cruz is just getting going. If he uses his superpowers for good and not evil, who knows. If it all catches up to him being a one-man-army...Could be a long hard road...We shall see.