Monday, November 05, 2007

More Loose Ends

Readers of this space know all too well that I periodically have to pause to catch up on all the material I've missed out on commenting on because my day job is at least a job and a half, and keeping up with all the blogfodder these days would be a full-time job in and of itself. When that day job completely takes over my life, the repressed blogging urge creates the creative equivalent of the quarterless guy in the old Alaska Airlines commercial dancing around outside the pay toilet on his Skyhigh Airlines flight because nobody can give him change for a dollar.

***If Senator Lindsey Grahamnesty (RINO-SC) has proven anything over the course of the last couple of years, it's that he isn't lacking in the audacity department. He's got a re-election bid looming a year from now, and - shazam! - the same man who helped stab the President in the back over breaking judicial confirmation filibusters and twice tried to force "comprehensive" border erasure legislation on a nation that manifestly did not want it, denouncing his own supporters as racists in a speech to a racist pro-illegal immigration organization (La Raza) for good measure, is running banner ads at NRO claiming to represent "South Carolina's conservative values."

If I'm lyin', Brother Deacon is dyin'. I, by secondary contrast, am dehydrating myself shedding tears of mirth. The man really does need to learn how to read a map.

***When last we looked in on the Michael Mukasey-for-attorney-general hearings, his nomination was going down in flames over one of the Democrats' pet peeves - water-boarding as "torture" - just as I predicted it would before they started. Thus, the opting for the "less partisan" former federal judge over the ideal candidate in former Solicotor-General Ted Olson (may he now run and try to keep John Warner's Virginia Senate seat from going "blue") was producing precisely what the Bushies were cravenly trying to avoid: a "big fight" over the conduct of the war against Islamic Jihadism.

Well, a funny thing happened last Friday - an astonishing turn of events, as a matter of fact. New York Senator Chucky Schumer found, under all that corruption, hauteur, insufferability, and five-o'clock shadow, a deeply buried resevoir of shame:

The nomination fight over attorney general nominee Michael B. Mukasey effectively came to an end yesterday, as two key Senate Democrats parted from their colleagues and announced their support for the former judge despite his controversial statements on torture.

The orchestrated announcements by Sens. Charles E. Schumer (NY) and Dianne Feinstein (CA) virtually guarantee that Mukasey will be approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, to be followed by his likely confirmation in the full Senate later in the month.

The developments mark an important political victory for President Bush, who mounted a spirited and aggressive defense of Mukasey in recent days. They also underscore the pitfalls facing Democrats as the party struggles to stake out an independent policy on national security issues during a presidential campaign season....

Schumer - a Democratic stalwart who had recommended Mukasey to the White House as a consensus candidate - said Mukasey told him in a private meeting yesterday that he would enforce any anti-waterboarding law passed by Congress. Current law explicitly bans the practice within the Defense Department but not elsewhere.

Hey, I said Chucky found some shame, not that he had become a born-again profile in courage. He couldn't take the heat for caving to the White House by himself, so he wheedled DiFi into taking point so he could hide behind her saddlebags. But it's still stunning that Schumer, having been Mukasey's biggest Dem promoter for A-G (and before that, the SCOTUS) when he didn't think Bush would tap him, couldn't pull the obligatory about-face and brazen it out once the President had called his bluff. I'm guessing it didn't poll very well, although I can't believe that anybody outside the small fraternity of political junkies like thee and me was paying much attention to this latest "big fight".

It isn't over yet, of course. Any senator can put a week's hold on Mukasey before a final floor vote, and you can never rule out a Donk filibuster if they can't hold a majority together to block his confirmation. Since Mukasey didn't really give waverers like Chucky and DiFi any fig leaves worthy of the nickname, that possibility cannot be ruled out.

Or they may just throw in the towel and move on to the next "big fight," like a baseball team on an alarmingly lengthening losing streak.

***Three weeks ago the Democrats were trying to BS their Hillaryization of the SCHIP program into a middle class-ensaring downpayment on health care nationalization past a skeptical public and into law. Two and a half weeks ago, President Bush did the unthinkable by calling their socialist Trojan Horse precisely what it is, discarding "the New Tone" in favor of a "What the hell" partisan fiestiness, and vetoing it. Two weeks ago House Democrats reached new lows of vile slander and vitiative demogoguery that only served to alientate enough fence-sitting RINOs to ensure that Bush's veto would not be overridden.

Evidently that narrow margin of defeat was too much for Crazy Nancy and her asylum to live with, so they tried again last week. Only thing is, rather than turning a more conciliatory face to the "moderates" they needed to cross the aisle and put their SCHIP scam over the top, the Donk leadership got even more nasty, vicious, and thuggish. They made no pretense of including any Republican in the process this time, deliberately shutting them out. Moreover, they immediately began running attack ads in the districts of, not conservative Republican members, but the very RINOs whose votes they needed.

The Admiral calls that "playing a little hardball". I call it treating the minority like sheep. A reputation that has been well-earned in the past, but typically as the by-product of co-optation as opposed to blunt, crass intimidation. Rather than stroke "moderates"' egos or stoke their inbred fears, the Democrats skipped right over blackmail and went for emasulating extortion.

Thus bolstering their own reputation for brain-dead idiocy. Given that this "Bleep you, you mother-bleepers, you're going to give us your votes if we have to beat them out of you!!!!!" strategy cost the Dems votes the first time around, one would have thought that doubling down on the same jackbooted, bellicose tactic would be recognized by even the most minimally lucid mind as being unpardonably stupid. Instead the renowned liberal rage flowed out of control like a raging cataract, overwhelming any flickering sparks of common sense and washing away the numbers a small majority couldn't possibly muster on its own.

I guess the analogy of this Dem majority to its GOP counterpart of twelve years ago is, indeed, an apt one. Small majorities are incapable by themselves of rendering an opposition president "irrelevant." They can't steamroll the other side by sheer brute force. They have to plot, scheme, and maneuver their way around, over, and past their foes.

The Democrat Party used to be able to do that; or at least Bill Clinton did, and they made a good show of following along in his portly wake. Nearly seven years of Bushophobic insanity has rendered them incapable of the slightest degree of subtlety. Even on an issue that is right in their proverbial wheelhouse, a fat, belt-high breaking ball right over the middle of the plate, they couldn't fool a skeptical public into believing that GOPers were consigning millions of children to their deaths, and couldn't bully even a dozen Rockefeller 'Pubbies into quaking, supine submission.

I always wondered what would become of the Democrat spin apparatus when Mr. Bill was no longer around to pilot it. I figured the wheels would come off, and they quickly did. But when Donks whined, whinnied, and shrieked their way back to control of Congress a year ago with all the grace of a sledghammer to the groin, I concluded that subtlety was out, and obnoxious, overbearing left-wing candor was in.

I don't think I was wrong. What has made this year a crashing disappointment for the wingnuts of the left and the party they think they've "bought & paid for" is that there appears to be no hand, no matter how favorable, that they can't overplay. They've taken a GOP that was reeling in complete disarray and, at bare minimum, unified them in sheer righteous indignation alone - and within sniffing distance of the tattered banner of a lame-duck president who hasn't polled higher than BO or mange since his second term began.

Hell, the Left has even managed to turn him into a partisan on the occasional alternate Tuesday. I didn't think that was humanly possible.

You might even say Dems helped Dubya rediscover his relevancy.

If it's a just universe, they'll render themselves and their majority obsolete.