I usually try to avoid posts that start off like "Republicans are Bastards!" because I know this can piss off otherwise sensible people. Like Ron Brownstein, who writes this crap in his new book: "The Second Civil War: How Extreme Partizanship Has Paralyzed Washington And Polarized America":
Offering both sweeping analysis and intimate detail drawn from exclusive interviews with top officials and strategists in both parties, The Second Civil War captures the currents that have carried America to today's dangerous impasse, from little-understood changes in congressional rules that made it easier for parties to enforce discipline and discourage compromise to the rise of special-interest pressure groups to a vastly changed media environment that has become much more vicious and much less serious.
...little-understood rule changes, special-interest pressure groups? From such a normally smart guy, this is brazen dishonesty. To not state immediately that the rule changes were created by the Republican dominated Congress, and that the special-interest were, until the last 3 years, all Republican dominated, is deceitful, and is meant to picture some bi-partisan D.C. where Dems & Repubs sing Kumbaya while drinking cognac and smoking Cohibas with David Broder.
But that's not important right now. Because Republicans are bastards. As my friend Brad Friedman reported last week:
Today the House GOP members managed to block Congressman Rush Holt’s emergency voting bill with a 239 – 178 vote; a 2/3 majority was required for passage. It is unknown at this time what the next move will be. Maybe an all-out ban on DREs? The bill would get nowhere but it would bring the Election Integrity Community back together.
So? Blocking Democratic sponsored legislation has become reflex to the Republicans of today.
Rep. Rush Holt (D-I'd change my name), who sponsored the voting bill, explains at VoteTrustUS:
Rep. Rush Holt (pictured at right) today strongly criticized House members for blocking legislation – the Emergency Assistance for Secure Elections Act of 2008 (H.R. 5036) – that would encourage states to conduct verifiable elections by converting to a paper ballot voting system, offering emergency paper ballots, and conducting hand-counted audits. Two weeks ago, the same legislation passed the House Administration Committee with bipartisan, unanimous support, including from some of those who voted to block the bill’s passage today.
“This bill would represent a real step forward in our effort to protect the accuracy, integrity and security of the November elections,” Holt said. “The bill that the House leadership scheduled for a vote today is the same one that passed two weeks ago without the objection of a single Committee member. There is no reason why this should be a partisan issue but the Republicans evidently have chosen to make it so. The White House issued a statement opposing the bill and 176 of 203 Republicans voted that way”
. . . Holt noted that the main objection to the bill was, according to Republicans, its cost.
So there you have it. GWBush says "No" and suddenly moderate Republicans vote against their own best interests. WTF are they afraid of, what power can this lame duck still wield?
As I started off this post, I pointed out that I don't like to make blanket statements. So I won't say Republicans are bastards. I'm sure some were born legitimately, not all were spawned by Satan.
But I can say safely that there is an essential difference today between Republicans and Democrats that didn't exist when I was a kid watching the Army-McCarthy hearings in the '50s: Republicans vote for Party first, Nation second. Party above national interests. Party above even self-interest. Party first.
Know what? They are bastards.