Thursday, January 29, 2009

Barry, Object Lesson. Object Lesson, Barry.

Okay, Mr. Bipartisanpants. You made a big deal about wanting to reach across the aisle and work with legislators from both parties to solve this giant economic disaster that both Democratic and Republican lawmakers contributed to, and that both Democratic and Republican voters are suffering from. That's great and noble and a wonderful example for our nations children and, apparently, fairly short-sighted.

You agreed to strip funding for Medicaid family planning from the package because it got John Boehner's purity-drenched undies in an uncomfortable knot (in fact, it gave him such a whopping case of the vapors that he totally accidentally said the program would cost 100 million dollars rather than actually saving 70 million dollars over the next ten years and providing comprehensive healthcare to thousands of women who can't afford it otherwise). You did this because both sides have to compromise and sacrifice certain things in the spirit of cooperation, right? And because poor women are so used to taking it in the teeth anyway, the Medicaid family planning was the easiest symbolic sacrifice to make in order to win Republican support for a stimulus plan that was guaranteed to pass the House anyway due to the Democratic majority, right? Right?
The vote was 244-188, with Republicans unanimous in opposition despite President Barack Obama's pleas for bipartisan support.

Oh. Well, that was totally worth it, then. It was also totally worth it to commit $275B to tax cuts and only $90B to infrastructure projects. Because it's far more important to give individuals $500 tax breaks that will most likely go either straight to a credit card bill or to China, via Wal-Mart, than to fix bridges that will, say, allow millions of people to drive over the Mississippi River for the next forty years without winding up sandwiched between cement and dirty water.

Yes, you signed the Ledbetter Act, and that's both way awesome and way overdue. That makes me happy, and I'm still happy you won. But for fuck's sake, stop giving away shit when--remember this?--you won, and when you already have the votes you need lined up, and when you know the other side will sit on their hands no matter how much woman- and minority- and gay-repressing stuff you cede to them in the name of "bipartisanship." They know they're losing the war, but they'll happily posture all day to wring every last concession out of you they can. You think you're being cooperative. They think you're being a pussy and are ready to jump all over that six ways to Sunday.

Bush never quite got the "fool me once" saying down. You need to make it your mantra.

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