Reid Hot Poker

by digby

Jane Hamsher does the definitive rundown on the unbelievably amateurish Burris mess, so I won't go into it any further. It's not like it wasn't patently obvious from the moment Blago announced the appointment that fighting it would be a complete waste of time and not useful in any way to the furtherance of the agenda or the needs of the American people. And it's not like it wasn't obvious from the beginning that the Democrats were running around like shrieking five year olds on the playground with absolutely no idea what they were doing.

Now, we've got Reid on record saying that Ted Stevens shouldn't go to jail, which is very collegial, I'm sure, but doesn't look very consistent with his noble stand against the "taint" of Blagojevich and DiFi is whining "I won't be ignoooored, Barack" to the press over Panetta. This has been about the most inauspicious beginning of any congress I've seen, a total embarrassment to the Senate Democrats, who've managed to make the House look like the more restrained, deliberative body.

Jack Cafferty said today, "there does not seem to be a whole lot of public support coming from the president-elect's own party in advance of his taking the highest office in the land." Well, who would have guessed?

I am going to succumb to the temptation to say "I told you so" here about a very unpleasant moment in the primaries when I wrote a post that people couldn't comprehend in the moment (and made many of them nearly insane with anger toward me.) Now that the smoke has cleared and the primary opponents are preparing to work together in the same administration perhaps it's easier to see that I was pointing out that the behavior of certain Democrats was indicative of beltway pathology and not a defense of one of the candidates.

Here's what I said:

I know, it's great fun to think about Rahm and Teddy telling Bill to STFU. But everybody ought to take a deep breath and remind themselves that this is also exactly the kind of thing Democrats do to their sitting presidents, whether named Clinton or, I dare say, Obama. They run to the press with the news that they scolded them so they can make sure everyone knows they are the ones running things.(I know everybody's forgotten how that used to be because the Republicans don't constantly air dirty laundry in public for their own aggrandizement. They usually work these things out among themselves for the good of the party.)

If the Democrats win the presidency, expect many more of these little dramas. The inflated egos of powerful Democratic Senators and Congressmen require that they consistently step forward to knee-cap their president whenever possible lest anyone get the idea that he (or she) is actually in charge. They're just practicing with Bubba, kind of a reminiscence of the good old days.

Oh, and don't worry about congressional prerogatives. They'll rediscover them with a vengeance when there's a Democratic president. They'll investigate his or her every move, calling for special prosecutors and generally behaving like asses, at the smallest provocation by the press if it gives them a chance to pontificate grandly on Tim Russert about their own superiority. They don't have the guts to do it when the Republicans are institutionalizing torture or lying the nation into an illegal invasion of another country, because well, Republicans are mean. But they'll find plenty of things about which to get righteously indignant with the executive when its a Democrat. They'll be in hyperventilating, bipartisan bliss with their Republican cohorts, elbowing each other to be first to the microphone denouncing the latest shocking presidential failure to dot "i"s and cross "t"s.

The villagers love to get out the pitchforks ---- against Democrats. They aren't scared of them. It's good fun.

I did fail to mention one of the most important factors. The issues over which they will confront the new president will invariably be either about personal, trivial matters or because of their own eccentric, egomaniacal obsessions. Never fear, they will go along with anything he might do that will screw liberals, usurp the constitution or help Republicans. That's what's known as "bipartisanship."