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Friday, June 18, 2010

The Road To Madness

by digby

I get dinged a lot for suggesting that even though the Democrats are feckless and often down right corrupt, putting these batshit crazy Republicans in power would be a disaster of epic proportions. I'm told there's not a dime's worth of difference between them, that only by electing right wing nut jobs will the Dems learn that they need to be more progressive, etc, etc.

But I say this not because I have some filial feeling toward Democrats or because I wish to protect them in some way. It's because as bad as they are, they do not do this. From Jamison Foser:

Now, Republican Rep. Darrell Issa wants to make clear that if you liked the Republican investigations of the White House cat, the armed assault on vegetable gardens Dan Burton waged in a delusional attempt to disprove Vince Foster's suicide, the endless distractions and wasted money of partisan investigations of non-scandals, you'll love what the GOP has in store for Barack Obama if they win control of Congress:

Rep. Darrell Issa, the conservative firebrand whose specialty is lobbing corruption allegations at the Obama White House, is making plans to hire dozens of subpoena-wielding investigators if Republicans win the House this fall.

The California Republican’s daily denunciations draw cheers from partisans and bookings from cable TV producers. He even bought his own earphone for live shots. But his bombastic style and attention-seeking investigations draw eye rolls from other quarters. Now, he’s making clear he won’t be so easy to shrug off if he becomes chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in 2011.


Issa has told Republican leadership that if he becomes chairman, he wants to roughly double his staff from 40 to between 70 and 80. And he is not subtle about what that means for President Barack Obama.

At a recent speech to Pennsylvania Republicans here, he boasted about what would happen if the GOP wins 39 seats, and he gets the power to subpoena.

“That will make all the difference in the world,” he told 400 applauding party members during a dinner at the chocolate-themed Hershey Lodge. “I won’t use it to have corporate America live in fear that we’re going to subpoena everything. I will use it to get the very information that today the White House is either shredding or not producing.”

In other words, Issa wants to be to the Obama administration what Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.) was to the Clinton administration — a subpoena machine in search of White House scandals.

If you think it doesn't matter if the entire government comes to a standstill, that whatever work gets done, gets done in total darkness because the puerile press corps is lapping up this tabloid bs by the barrel full, then you'll think it's a good idea for the Republicans to take control of the congress this fall and "teach the Democrats a lesson." Unfortunately, the actual humans who live in this world will be taught a lesson as well, most of whom don't deserve it.

I know the Democratic Party sucks. (It always has to one degree or another, by the way. Check out Roosevelt's policies on race. It's not like he didn't know they were bad --- it was his deal with the devil to keep the old confederacy in the coalition.) Sadly, that's true of every political party ever created. However, it is the only institutional governance vehicle we have for liberalism of any kind and it is the only viable tool our system provides to fight back the increasingly manipulative, nihilistic and fascistic conservatives.

Over time we must change the status quo and force them to be more responsive to their constituents and there are ways outside and inside the system to make that happen. But empowering the Republicans at the very height of their teabag madness isn't one of them --- the risk of it all going terribly, terribly wrong in ways we haven't contemplated in a time of crisis like this is far too great.

I know it's hard to believe that there could be anything worse than denying unemployment insurance while coddling corporate criminals, but there is. These are people who really like the idea of invading other countries to solve non-existent problems and are actually electing people who think armed insurrection is a good idea and that we should invade Iran in order to bring on the Rapture. Seriously, it really can get worse.