The headlines in corporate media put the focus for our political dysfunction right where it belongs, on Democrats, with a razor thin margin in the Senate and two implacable Senate “mavericks” raking in corporate generosity with both hands not voting with the other 49 to make a simple majority for “reconciliation” (and both are also filibuster supporters), are being humiliated, almost dead of self-inflicted wounds.
The New York Times, our journal of record, ran an alarming doom story Friday under a headline something like “Democrats in disarray, humiliating defeat for Biden Agenda” because an arbitrary deadline for a House vote on an overdue human resources and climate catastrophe prevention bill passed without a vote. This happened because of massive pressure, from lobbyists and mainly two obstructionist Senate “centrists” Sinema and Manchin, with their threat to vote with the 50-0 Republicans, to pass the smaller bipartisan bill first. It happened, according to mass media, because, unlike the disciplined, even lockstep, Republicans, Democrats are not united in supporting desperately needed legislation that 70% of Americans favor.
The problem, according to corporate media, apparently has nothing to do with the lack of even a single “reasonable, traditional, moderate” Republican of principle, like the highly principled Mitt Romney, for example, having any problem with their party holding a nuclear device to our collective head, traitorously threatening (50-0) to destroy the US economy and let the nation plunge into financial disaster to block anything the Socialist, Chinese Communist-controlled Democrat (sic) party is struggling to impose on this once great nation.
“Raise the debt limit, like you dumb Democrats voted to do three times under Trump? To pay for a national debt increased by almost $8 TRILLION (25% of our total debt), under our leadership? FUCK YOU, LOL!” You can hear Mitch McConnell chuckling that mirthless laugh and drawling on about how much more defaulting on our debts and tanking America’s credit rating is going to hurt the Democrats and their beloved Replacement Voters, those mindless brown and yellow and red voters with their “entitlement mentality”, semi-Americans who are not obscenely comfortable, who will be the first to cry when the economy hits bottom again.
The problem also, of course, if you go by the NY Times and the rest of corporate media, has nothing to do with one of our two major parties being literally hostage to the incoherent, illegal demands of an enraged madman. His childish refusal to admit defeat, attempt to thwart the peaceful transition of power, his ban on allowing non-alternative facts into any discussion, his reflexive ability to create ever bigger, more infuriating lies and his proven ability to deliver on his ugliest personal threats (delivering on policy proved to be a lot harder than blowing up agencies he controlled, cowing the ‘disloyal’ with threats of primary challenges, or publicly berating and firing anyone who crossed him) is the soul of the now thoroughly autocratic Republican party, the party of bosses. This GOP is the culmination of literally six decades of hard, organized, well-funded extreme right wing work to overcome liberal democracy and “majoritarian tyranny”.
Charles Koch and his well-born ilk have mobilized a collective trillion dollar fortune (largely inherited, except in the case of Koch, who parlayed a measly $100,000,000 inherited business into a vast fortune) to spend a tax deductible fortune to defeat all government regulation, all democratic initiative, all government effectiveness. The Koch-network learned as it went, engineering a brilliant, if dark, secretive and unethical, plan to influence public opinion to deregulate, privatize and ensure that America’s wealthiest keep an ever greater share of national treasure as the earth itself is destroyed by unregulated, extractive business practices.
It kicked into high gear when a half black man (only in a racist country is a biracial person automatically considered a member of a despised race) was elected president with promises of Hope and Change. Birtherism begat the Koch-network funded, totally spontaneous national Tea Party which begat a wave of enraged Koch-powered obstructionists announcing an intention not to allow a Democratic president to exercise his powers to the extent they could prevent it. The legislative workaround of Executive Action, common under Dubya Bush and Cheney, was, in the hands of this illegitimate black puppet TYRANNY.
Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) has presented a clear, horrific picture of exactly how this network succeeded in regulatory and judicial capture, spending hundreds of millions directly in order to guarantee that protecting the rights of corporations and the wealthiest are given top priority by our Supreme Court. I will try to summarize his presentation on The Scheme (delivered in the Senate in discreet parts over the course of several months) in a future post. For now, they are numbered, 1-7, and you can see the first one HERE.
Biden’s response to the accusation that Democrats are in distressing disarray, while the Republican party is marching forward with purpose and unity, was pretty good. Here it is: