Back to 1910: This Congress is Eerily Similar to Those from the Past

Fifty years ago, the Chad Mitchell Trio sang these lyrics:

We’re the bright young men
Who wanna go back to 1910
We’re Barry’s boys
We’re the kids with a cause
Yes a government like grandmama’s
We’re Barry’s boys
We’re the new kind of youth at your Alma Mater
Back to silver standard and solid Goldwater
Back to when the poor were poor and rich were rich
And you felt so damn secure just knowing which were which

I was reminded of this 1964 folk era ditty when I was reading a great editorial by Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post the other day. I was acquainted with Gene a million years ago when he was editing the Style section of the Post and I was a theatre flack in town. I’m not sure that editing the arts was his bailiwick, but he’s one of my very favorite columnists. Not just me: he won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary a few years back.

But, I digress. This particular editorial he takes the Republicans in Congress to task for moronically assuming that they can tell the American people they are there to protect the middle class and then, the first chance they get to actually do something meaningful, the House passes utterly and completely unsustainable legislation regarding rape and abortion. Yet another example of extremists in the party controlling the agenda. These bills won’t pass the Senate — and even if they did because everyone in the Senate was drugged and in a stupor and had their minds controlled by a cartoon super villain — the President would never sign such a thing.

So what is the point?

As Robinson points out:

People, we are in an economic recovery whose fruits are not reaching the middle class. We have a crucial need to address U.S. infrastructure and competitiveness. We face myriad challenges abroad, including Islamic terrorism and global warming.

If a renewal of the culture wars is your answer, Republicans, you totally misheard the question.

Yes. Yes they have. But, then again, haven’t they been mishearing the question for at least a half-century?

Back to silver standard and solid Goldwater…. *sigh*

House Republicans Show Themselves To Be Dangerously Incompetent, Again – Business Insider

In fact, this is the least stunning event ever. The bill would have raised the debt ceiling. It would have changed Obamacare, Republicans\’ white whale, in only the most trivial ways. The powerful conservative pressure group Heritage Action opposed it. Of course Speaker John Boehner couldn\’t get the votes.

The only stunning thing is that anyone still looks at House Republicans and says: “You know what would be great? Giving these people more power over public policy.”

via House Republicans Show Themselves To Be Dangerously Incompetent, Again – Business Insider.

A decent article by Barro on the clusterfuck that is Washington these days. [H/T to Andrew Sullivan BTW for this.]

I’m not nearly as bullish on Chris Christie as Barro seems to be, but most of his other ruminations are sound.

It is just an embarrassment to be an American just now, I find.

I lived in D.C. when the Gingrich Congress shut down the government. That was ridiculous, but this is just mentally ill. How did we get here? … Well, I have an answer, but it would require a bunch of lazy Americans to get up off their asses and get to the voting booth and standing up to corporate bullshit. But … since that ain’t gonna happen, I guess I’ll just have to keep tilting at windmills on my own.

Former Senators: We Were Wrong On DOMA

No shit.

Former Senators Bill Bradley, Tom Daschle, Christopher Dodd and Alan Simpson — all of whom voted for the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996 — told the Supreme Court Friday that “the original justifications for DOMA can no longer be credited today,” concluding that “our constitutional commitment to equality does not tolerate such discrimination.”

via Former Senators Bradley, Daschle, Dodd And Simpson: We Were Wrong On DOMA.|Buzzfeed

My Continuing Tirade Against The Powers That Be

Updating Reaganomics –

TODAY’S Republicans are very good at tending the fire of Ronald Reagan’s memory but not nearly as good at learning from his successes. They slavishly adhere to the economic program that Reagan developed to meet the challenges of the late 1970s and early 1980s, ignoring the fact that he largely overcame those challenges, and now we have new ones. It’s because Republicans have not moved on from that time that Senators Marco Rubio and Rand Paul, in their responses to the State of the Union address last week, offered so few new ideas.

This cut is from Ramesh Ponnuru’s op-ed in the Times. It’s a great piece and it’s so similar to the cover story on the Times Magazine that I posted yesterday on the marketing blog in my rant against old white guys  and the inability for the status quo to shift on its own.

This is an ongoing concern of mine: how the right wing is not listening to younger people. By extension it’s about senior management of all political stripes not listening to younger people and stifling new ideas because they are uncomfortable with them. You know, things like marriage equality. And social media.

H/T Andrew Sullivan