09
Sep
15

The #IranDeal and the Great Republican Hissy-fit

With Senator Maria Cantwell becoming the 42nd Senate Democrat to come out in favor of the nuclear deal agreed to between Iran and the P5+1, President Obama not only has a veto-proof majority in the Senate and House, but also a bloc which can filibuster the bill of disapproval from even coming to a vote. In chess this is known as “checkmate”. The GOP has no moves left.

Except, of course, this is the GOP.

“Checkmate,” says Pres. Obama.

“Checkmate?” asks some elephantine GOPer. “Look, over there!” And then he proceeds to turn over the game board.

This is essentially what the GOP House has decided to do. The vote of disapproval was slated to be considered on September 11. That vote has now been put on hold due to a revolt among the hard right Teabaggers in the GOP House caucus, who for some reason don’t want to be forced to vote for a measure which Pres. Obama will swat away as he did famously to that fly years ago. So, as always, they’re revolting:

House Re­pub­lic­an lead­ers have post­poned a pro­ced­ur­al vote ad­van­cing a res­ol­u­tion dis­ap­prov­ing of the Ir­an deal fol­low­ing a testy Wed­nes­day morn­ing con­fer­ence meet­ing and a po­ten­tial re­volt from their own rank and file.

Some mem­bers were threat­en­ing to vote against a rule, ori­gin­ally set for a vote Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon, that would al­low the res­ol­u­tion of dis­ap­prov­al to come to the floor later this week. They want lead­er­ship to first bring up a res­ol­u­tion from Rep. Peter Roskam that states the Ir­an res­ol­u­tion can­not be voted on un­til the White House trans­mits to Con­gress the con­tents of bi­lat­er­al agree­ments between Ir­an and the In­ter­na­tion­al Atom­ic En­ergy Agency.

“We’re go­ing to have an­oth­er con­fer­ence later on today,” Re­pub­lic­an Con­fer­ence Chair­wo­man Cathy Mc­Mor­ris Rodgers said, ex­it­ing a meet­ing of top GOP lead­ers. “We’re go­ing to present a new strategy.”

And what is this “new strategy”?

Al­though noth­ing will be fi­nal­ized un­til after Re­pub­lic­ans meet at 4 p.m., House GOP lead­ers are con­sid­er­ing a three-pronged ap­proach to settle the con­cerns of their rest­less mem­bers. In ad­di­tion to Roskam’s meas­ure, or something like it, that as­serts the ad­min­is­tra­tion hasn’t sent Con­gress all the in­form­a­tion, lead­ers also want to vote on a meas­ure ban­ning the ad­min­is­tra­tion from lift­ing sanc­tions and change the planned vote on a res­ol­u­tion of dis­ap­prov­al in­to an up-or-down vote on ap­prov­al. It’s not clear any of this would make any sub­stant­ive dif­fer­ence, as Sen­ate Re­pub­lic­an lead­ers have said they will not bring any of it to their cham­ber’s floor and Demo­crats have shown no in­dic­a­tion of back­ing away from the ad­min­is­tra­tion, mean­ing Obama still has the votes to sus­tain a veto (al­though if a res­ol­u­tion of ap­prov­al fails the House, Obama would not even have to veto any­thing).

Let this last sentence sink in. “It’s not clear any of this would make any sub­stant­ive dif­fer­ence, as Sen­ate Re­pub­lic­an lead­ers have said they will not bring any of it to their cham­ber’s floor and Demo­crats have shown no in­dic­a­tion of back­ing away from the ad­min­is­tra­tion, mean­ing Obama still has the votes to sus­tain a veto (al­though if a res­ol­u­tion of ap­prov­al fails the House, Obama would not even have to veto any­thing).”

History’s most incompetent Speaker of the House, John Boehner, is caving into his dead-enders. But by caving in, he possibly gives the President the greatest victory he could possibly have, that of not having to veto anything, nor having to rely on a Democratic filibuster. The inanity is truly breathtaking.

Once again, Pres. Obama has outmaneuvered his opposition, an opposition which thought it had him right where it wanted him. And its response is not merely to rewrite the agreed-upon rules, but to possibly do it in such a way that, like Elmer Fudd, they wind up shooting themselves in the face, while the President happily munches on his arugula. It would be hilarious if it weren’t so distressing that the world’s greatest democracy and most powerful state has a national legislature which has taken ineptitude to stratospheric heights. The Very Important People always ask: “Why can’t Obama just work with the GOP?” To which the obvious reply is: “Oh, they’re there to work?”

The anti-deal stalwarts are having the Mother of All Hissy Fits. And if they have to express that by giving the President an unmitigated victory in the belief that it’s actually a stinging rebuke, by God, that’s what they’ll do!

And this, dear readers, is why YOU VOTE EVERY GODDAMNED TIME, and vote for people with a (D) by their names. Not because Democrats are perfect. Not because Democrats are paragons of virtue. But because Democrats are not batshit insane, and actually are well versed in the art of governing. And, most of the time, will pass legislation which is actually pretty good, and perfects the Union that bit more.

More of the Very Important People believe the fever will break once Barack Obama leaves the White House. They obviously haven’t been paying attention. Yes, Pres. Obama has tied the GOP up in a Gordian knot. But the illness is now deeply rooted. A President Clinton or President Biden will receive the same welcome from our brethren on the other side of the aisle. The disease is too far gone. The right consists of mindless zombies, hankering for liberal flesh. The only remedy is to vote them back into the ground, where they can’t do anyone any harm. Then maybe we can get some real work done.


54 Responses to “The #IranDeal and the Great Republican Hissy-fit”


  1. 1 amk for obama
    September 9, 2015 at 9:58 pm

    gud gawd. that gif.

  2. September 9, 2015 at 9:59 pm

    Now I have 3 LL essays to read late tonight!!!!

    Thank you for the new thread, NW.

    BTW everyone, there’s this little Rolling Stone turd to avoid ….

  3. September 9, 2015 at 10:01 pm

  4. September 9, 2015 at 10:04 pm

    Pres Obama is the master politician of all time. Just incredible every step of the way. Hard to believe he only has 500 days. left. We have been spoiled by the very best.

  5. September 9, 2015 at 10:05 pm

    An addendum to the refugee piece: Denmark is closing its borders with Germany to refugees

  6. 12 desertflower
    September 9, 2015 at 10:05 pm

    Great piece, LL…disgusting gif. I can’t look at it.

  7. 13 desertflower
    September 9, 2015 at 10:07 pm

    Just a thought…might want to change that gif…could turn people off from reading your excellent piece….

  8. 14 MadameSoph
    September 9, 2015 at 10:09 pm

    Bringing this over from the end of the previous thread…

    Stephen Colbert is back on the air and all is right with the world 🙂

    Loved the opening, loved the comment about his Mom’s souvenir pennant from the 1963 March on Washington (he was in her womb at the time):
    “Sadly, civil rights only won the pennant that year; racism won the World Series.”

    And loved, loved, loved “Everyday People” It set the tone for the show going forward.

    There are extra clips not aired on the website. Here is the extended interview with George Clooney, with an interesting fact about how Stephen’s “Ambiguously Gay Duo” character on SNL cartoon was inspired by Clooney’s Batman 🙂 :

    http://www.cbs.com/shows/the-late-show-with-stephen-colbert/video/E75CE1F2-8662-3884-E278-B41F184452D5/george-clooney-extended-interview/
    Reply

  9. 15 Nerdy Wonka
    September 9, 2015 at 10:14 pm

    VP Biden da gawd!

  10. September 9, 2015 at 10:18 pm

    thanks for posting, Nerdy. Now I’m off to veg. See everyone tomorrow.

  11. 18 donna dem 4 obama
    September 9, 2015 at 10:31 pm

  12. 19 vcprezofan2
    September 9, 2015 at 10:31 pm

    Sisters! ❤ ❤ 😀 {old clip}

  13. September 9, 2015 at 10:41 pm

  14. 28 GGail
    September 9, 2015 at 10:56 pm

    The disease has gone too far.
    Perfect LL!

  15. September 9, 2015 at 11:05 pm

    • 30 jacquelineoboomer
      September 9, 2015 at 11:12 pm

      “The Vice President also hinted about a possible upcoming meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Barack Obama, possibly when the Israeli leaders comes to address the United Nations General Assembly in NY in October. According to The Associated Press, Biden said the U.S. was ‘fully, thoroughly prepared’ to sit down with Israel’s intelligence and defense community to ask a simple question: ‘What do you need?’ he then turned to an aide and asked: ‘Have we announced the meeting with the Israelis?’”

      http://jpupdates.com/2015/09/09/biden-to-jewish-leaders-iran-deal-is-a-done-deal-hints-of-a-bibiobama-meeting/

  16. September 9, 2015 at 11:16 pm

    Sec Kerry walking without a cane. Still has a bit of a limp but he’s doing so great.

    • 32 0388jojothecat
      September 10, 2015 at 4:01 am

      I see Kerry is still limping. I guess his sports days are over, no more bikes, wind surfing, and maybe golf. I would love to see a Biden/Kerry ticket.

  17. 33 amk for obama
    September 9, 2015 at 11:20 pm

  18. September 9, 2015 at 11:27 pm

    From an essay from Tikkun Magazine: “Trump and the Ghost of Totalitarianism” (Excellent analysis of the Trump phenomenon)

    “…And while liberals such as Michal Tomasky have pointed to his appeal to racial resentment, a gladiatorial style, and his ability to combine a war like discourse and elements of conservative fundamentalism with a flair for entertainment,[15] this type of analysis shies away from talking about Trump represents the challenge of understanding how totalitarianism now confronts Americans in new forms.[16]

    He is the embodiment of a political party and casino driven social order in which informed judgments, moral responsibility, and collective action disappear from the world of politics. Trump’s often insulting, humiliating, misogynist, and racist remarks signify more than the rantings an antediluvian, privileged white man who is both savvy in the world of public relations and delusional in the world of politics. Trump represents the new face of what Hannah Arendt once called the “banality of evil.”[17] Unapologetic about the racist nature of his remarks, unreflective about an savage economic system that is destroying the planet and the lives of most of its inhabitants, and unaware of his own “criminal” participation in furthering a culture of fear and cruelty, he is typical of an expanding mass of pundits, anti-public intellectuals, and right-wing fundamentalists who live in a historical void and for whom emotion overtakes reason.

    Clearly, the attack on reason, evidence, science, and critical thought has reached perilous proportions in the United States. A number of political, economic, social, and technological forces now work to distort reality and keep people passive, unthinking, and unable to act in a critically engaged manner. Politicians, right-wing pundits, and large swaths of the American public embrace positions that support Creationism, capital punishment, torture, and the denial of human-engineered climate change, any one of which not only defies human reason but stands in stark opposition to evidence-based scientific arguments. Reason now collapses into opinion, as thinking itself appears to be both dangerous and antithetical to understanding ourselves, our relations to others, and the larger state of world affairs. Under such circumstances, literacy disappears not just as the practice of learning skills, but also as the foundation for taking informed action. Divorced from any sense of critical understanding and agency, the meaning of literacy is narrowed to completing basic reading, writing, and numeracy tasks assigned in schools. Literacy education is similarly reduced to strictly methodological considerations and standardized assessment, rooted in test taking and deadening forms of memorization, and becomes far removed from forms of literacy that would impart an ability to raise questions about historical and social contexts.

    For Arendt the inability to think, to be thoughtful, and assume responsibility for one’s actions spoke not just to a regrettable type of civic and political illiteracy, but was crucial for creating the formative cultures that produced totalitarian regimes. Absent any residue of moral responsibility, political indignation, and collective resistance, crimes committed in a systemic way now emerge, in part, from a society in which thinking had become dangerous and non-thinking normalized. Of course, thinking critically is largely produced in public spheres that instill convictions rather than destroy them, encourage critical capacities rather than shut them down, invest in public spheres rather than eliminate them by turning them over to private interests. What Donald Trump represents is rarely talked about in the media. He is the most current egregious highly visible symbol of a terrifying stage in American society haunted by the protean elements of a new totalitarianism. Totalitarian forms are still with us but they no longer find expression in the rounding up and killing of Jews, gays, and intellectuals or in the spectacles of militarism with the heightened show of armies of thugs dressed in military uniforms and black boots. The new totalitarianism is echoed in the resurgence of religious bigotry that runs through the current like an electric current and personified in the media celebration of bigots such as Kentucky clerk Kim Davis who believes that her religion gives her the right to both deny marriage license to gays and the disavow the separation of church and state. Unfortunately, Davis is more than an embarrassment politically and ethically, she reflects a sizable number of religious fundamentalists who have the backing of Republican Party and presidential candidates such as Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee.

    Totalitarianism throws together authoritarian and anti-democratic forms that represent a new historical moment in American history. Economic fundamentalism now governs all of society rather than just the market and in doing so drives politics and sets polices that promote massive inequalities in wealth and power, produce huge amounts of suffering, and appear to delight in a culture of cruelty. Military fundamentalism points to a society that now militarizes everything from knowledge to schools. In this scenario, an increasing number of behaviors are criminalized, militarism feeds the punishing and incarceration state, and a kind of hyper masculinity now parades as the new model for legitimating aggression and violence in multiple spheres and against an increasing range of populations extending from women and black youth to Mexican immigrants. One of the most deadly fundamentalisms is education. We now live in a world in which illiteracy has replaced literacy and civic values have gone the way of the typewriter. As the orbits of privatization increase furthering what has been called by Mark Fisher the “empire of the self,” knowledge is transformed into the flow of non-stop information just as education collapses into training. Students are now defined as test-takers and celebrity culture has overtaken any viable notion of a critical, questioning, and informed culture. Trump’s rise in the polls is tantamount to the collapse of civic literacy and the public spheres that support it.

    Totalitarianism’s curse finds public and political support for a mode of non-thinking in which rails against any attempt to ask what it might mean to use knowledge and theory as a resource to address social problems and events in ways that are meaningful and expand democratic relations. This this is a form of illiteracy marked by the inability to see outside of the realm of the privatized self, an illiteracy in which the act of translation withers, reduced to a relic of another age. The United States has become a country in which a chron­ic and deadly form of civic illiteracy finds its most visible expression in a disimagination machine that celebrates the Donald Trumps of the world. The world of politics is far from clownish and in fact points to a poisonous future at a time in which the educational force of the culture is being used to promote the a form of civic illiteracy. Donald Trump is not the singular clown who has injected the color and idiocy into American politics, he is the canary in the mineshaft warning us that totalitarianism relies on mass support and feeds on hate, moral panics, and “the frenzied lawlessness or ideological certitude.”[18] As American society moves from a culture of questioning to a culture of shouting, it has restaged politics and power in ways that are truly unproductive, frightening, and anti-democratic. Jerome Kohn in writing about Arendt’s notion of totalitarianism provided a commentary that contains a message for the present age, one that points the possibility of hope triumphing over despair—a lesson that needs to be embraced at the present moment. He writes that for Arendt “what matters is not to give oneself over to the despair of the past or the utopian hope of the future, but ‘to remain wholly in the present.’ Totalitarianism is the crisis of our times insofar as its demise becomes a turning point for the present world, presenting us with an entirely new opportunity to realize a common world, a world that Arendt called a ‘human artifice,’ a place fit for habitation by all human beings.”[19] And if Trump represents a symbol of a threatening totalitarianism, the legacy of individual and collective struggle now on the horizon in the struggles emerging among the Black Lives Matter Movement, fast food workers, environmentalists, and a range of other groups point to a different future in which the ideological stupidity and the unbridled braggadocio of the loud mouth authoritarians will be challenged and overcome by the urgency of hope in the face of despair. Rather than view Trump as an eccentric clown maybe it is time to portray him symbolic of the legacy of a totalitarian post whose story needs to be told again. And in making such connections, there is not only the power of resistance but a call to civic action to prevent such horrible narrative from appearing once again.”

    • 35 desertflower
      September 9, 2015 at 11:38 pm

      Link? 🙂

    • September 10, 2015 at 7:44 am

      the legacy of individual and collective struggle now on the horizon in the struggles emerging among the Black Lives Matter Movement, fast food workers, environmentalists, and a range of other groups point to a different future in which the ideological stupidity and the unbridled braggadocio of the loud mouth authoritarians will be challenged and overcome by the urgency of hope in the face of despair. Rather than view Trump as an eccentric clown maybe it is time to portray him symbolic of the legacy of a totalitarian post whose story needs to be told again. And in making such connections, there is not only the power of resistance but a call to civic action to prevent such horrible narrative from appearing once again.”

      ************************

      What is the role of the press

  19. September 9, 2015 at 11:33 pm

    Great essay, LL, as always……

  20. 39 jacquelineoboomer
    September 9, 2015 at 11:41 pm

    Something to live for.

  21. 42 jacquelineoboomer
    September 10, 2015 at 12:03 am

    Listened to a few minutes of Martin O’Malley on Chris Hayes’ show … longest I’ve ever heard him speak, truth be told.

    Uh. What’s with the staredown directed at the person to whom he’s talkin’? The one-note voice? The I-am-god-and-you’re-not-plus-I’m-a-little-crazy persona?

    Uhm. Not impressed. Of course, I was only minutes in, Rachel came on and the plot changed, so who am I to judge?

    #RunJoeRun

    • 43 jacquelineoboomer
      September 10, 2015 at 12:05 am

      Oh, and, Martin’s body language gets tense, if you question him on anything Baltimore-related, apparently.

    • September 10, 2015 at 1:12 am

      i’ve had similar thoughts. he’s been good on most issues over the years and a strong supporter of president obama, but there’s something about him that keeps me from getting too enthusiastic for his campaign. i remember being excited for his speech at the dem convention in 2012, but he was rather dull. a little, dare i say, hillary-ish in his delivery (mind you, he’s been much better on issues and results than she ever has been).

      • 45 jacquelineoboomer
        September 10, 2015 at 1:15 am

        This was my first peek at him, and maybe I need to see him again … but he sure didn’t capture my interest much, tonight!

  22. 46 MightyPamela
    September 10, 2015 at 12:16 am

    They are revolting. In so many ways.

  23. 47 MadameSoph
    September 10, 2015 at 12:16 am

    Loved this LL:
    “And this, dear readers, is why YOU VOTE EVERY GODDAMNED TIME, and vote for people with a (D) by their names. Not because Democrats are perfect. Not because Democrats are paragons of virtue. But because Democrats are not batshit insane, and actually are well versed in the art of governing. And, most of the time, will pass legislation which is actually pretty good, and perfects the Union that bit more.”

    Frustrates me to no end how many people take absolutely no interest in participating in our democracy, or even remotely educating themselves on how our government works. They’ll still share their opinions though.

  24. 49 HZ
    September 10, 2015 at 12:18 am

    LL, you are such a great writer. Great piece. Thank you so much.HZ

  25. 50 MadameSoph
    September 10, 2015 at 12:36 am

    I have to go to bed before Stephen tonight, so I’ll have to watch my DVR’d version tomorrow. So, I decided to watch the debut one more time before I delete it.

    Soooo love how he introduced the product placement as a pact he made with the evil amulet. Bet this will be a running theme for all the paid-for product-placement bits. Wonder what will the cursed monkey paw be pushing on tonight’s show? 🙂

    I also noticed how his new set is like the Late Show done in Colbert Report colors. Very cool! He and Jon Batiste were also dressed in the same color scheme.

    I love the claymation-like opening with all of the tiny Stephens and Jon Batistes in it – kind of like “Where’s Stephen?” Wonder if they’ll put little surprises in there from time to time.

    One more thing and make to my DVR:
    After he made the cursed monkey paw come to life, he mentioned that he should introduce it to Jeb! Ha ha! That was such a nice little subtle way to say the latest Bush would make a pact with a devil, just to get elected.

    O.k. TOD, love and light to everyone tonight…. “and so on, and so on, and scooby dooby dooby….”

  26. September 10, 2015 at 8:11 am

    It was not a fluke. Two months later, 52% of people said things were going “very well” or “fairly well” in the country. And in March of this year, 53% of people polled said they felt that way. But then, this summer the presidential campaign heated up, and the country’s mood went south. In May, the percentage of people who felt things were going relatively well dropped six points to 47%, and last month that number came in at 48%.

    Keep in mind, this more pessimistic turn occurred at a time of an improving economy, falling unemployment, tumbling gas prices, low inflation, rising housing prices and no terrorist attack that caused mass casualties.

    as Republican candidates, especially Trump, keep up a constant drumbeat on how terrible things are, their loyalists’ moods followed suit. Indeed the biggest slump in the country’s mood occurred in Republicans. In March, 33% of Republicans told CNN that things were going “very” or “pretty well” in the country. By August that figure had dropped to 21%.
    The most energy on the Democratic side is being generated by Bernie Sanders, who doesn’t let a day go by without reminding everyone how the middle class is being screwed.

    my concern about this….

    GOP voters respond to hate and more hate…

    Dems respond to just the opposite…

    after PBO it is hard to choose another candidate…but choose we must…and not only choose but our butts off to elect them…If the VP does not run…we will be faced with a sure dilemma…we will have to choose a flawed candidate…

    Be it Sanders….Hillary….OMalley..

    because the chance of what may await us if don’t elect a DEM…is too horrible to contemplate…for not only us…but the world..

    • 52 Nena20409
      September 10, 2015 at 12:15 pm

      after PBO it is hard to choose another candidate…but choose we must…and not only choose but our butts off to elect them…If the VP does not run…we will be faced with a sure dilemma…we will have to choose a flawed candidate…

      Be it Sanders….Hillary….OMalley..

      because the chance of what may await us if don’t elect a DEM…is too horrible to contemplate…for not only us…but the world..
      ///////
      Well said Prettyfoot.
      My biggest fear is that Dems love to argue. They love to hear themselves debate. They unfortunately mistake endless debate as winning. The debates didn’t win in 1968. 1972. 1980. 1988. 2000. 2004. 2010 and 2014 midterm cycles.
      I wish just once, the Dem Base show leave some of the harshest comments against HRC. Sanders will never win the General. Independents and Conservative Dems would not be voting for him. If VP Biden doesn’t run……..then what?

  27. September 10, 2015 at 8:41 am

    hmmph

    Republican anti-Iran deal plan falls apart despite rally spectacle

    Rachel Maddow shares clips from assorted right-wing luminaries at an anti-Iran deal rally in Washington, D.C., and talks with Frank Thorp, NBC News Capitol Hill reporter, about how Republican disorder makes it unlikely there will be any actual vote of disapproval of the deal in Congress.

    http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow/watch/gop-anti-iran-deal-plan-falls-apart-522669635935


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