Time for the Next Round of This Fight (Part 1: The Lame Duck Can Still Fly):
Fuck despair. The 2012 fight starts now. Time to learn from our mistakes, lick our wounds, change the sheets, clean up our mess, and get back in this quickly. Time's a-wastin' before the crazies arrive and attempt to shutdown the government, defund the health care bill, and wreck the economy. It's war. It has been a war. Act like it.
At his press conference, Barack Obama was too conciliatory, too willing to allow the lie-filled narrative of his supposed intransigence, the myth of his unwillingness to compromise, to exist. Look at what Bill Clinton said in 1994: "But to those who would use this election to turn us back, let me say this: I will do all in my power to keep anyone from jeopardizing this economic recovery by taking us back to the policies that failed us before...There is too much at stake for our children and our future to do anything else." It was a challenge to the new Congress, a shot over Gingrich's bow, and a reassurance to everyone who voted for him two years before that he didn't forget how he got there and that he was still there. Shit, Reagan essentially said, "Yeah, yeah, whatever, kiss my ass" when Republicans lost seats in the House in 1982.
What did Obama offer? "I’m not so naïve as to think that everybody will put politics aside until then, but I do hope to make progress on the very serious problems facing us right now. And that’s going to require all of us, including me, to work harder at building consensus." And, as we know, "building consensus" and "compromise" means "give Republicans everything they want and you get nothing." Meanwhile, John Boehner was telling the President to start sucking and don't neglect the balls.
So it's time to run the table during the lame duck session. Right now, conservatives are shitting themselves over what can happen during the next two months of the Congress-That-Has-Nothing-To-Lose, even making a idiotic video featuring some redneck asshole you might remember from some ad shooting a man in a duck costume, which has more resonances of Dick Cheney than actual hunting. They want the Democrats to pledge to just run out the clock and wait for the new Congress to act on anything. Because, you know, they'd act just as honorably. Oh, wait, that's right. The impeachment of Bill Clinton happened during a lame duck session. So, really, the proper response is, "No, you need to blow us, Boehner and McConnell."
Democrats need to find that backbone that keeps running away and understand that they actually can accomplish a number of things that will shore up the progressive base for the next couple of years. It's so fucking easy. Listen to Nancy Pelosi (no, really - she was on the right track the last two years; Reid and Obama had it wrong), and 2012 will be different. Pass a bunch of those bills that have come out of the House. Fuck some shit up before you're out. The worst thing that Democrats can do is to play nice until 2011, hoping that it will lay some kind of groundwork for cooperation and decency in the future. That's like thinking that if you leave a crack whore alone with your pants, she won't steal your wallet. And your pants.
1. The absolute easiest thing you can do: Get rid of Don't Ask Don't Tell. Do this and all those gay votes that went away will come home, and the non-gay supporters will be able to point to a concrete promise kept.
2. There's gonna be tax cuts of some sort, even though there shouldn't be. Use reconciliation to pass middle class tax cuts. Leave the tax cuts for the wealthy for the new Congress so that the incoming House is put in the position of having to vote for rich people to get more money.
3. And attach everything else you want to the reconciliation tax bill: energy legislation, unemployment benefits extension, whatever. The rules allow it. The Republicans will howl like dogs who got kicked in the anus, but, again, again, again, Democrats need to treat Republicans like the dishonorable fuckers they are.
4. Pass the Disclose Act. The bullshit excuse Republicans used for opposing it was that it was an election year stunt. Okay, it's not an election anymore. Let's get a little of the anonymous corporate money out of the process. If the bill is filibustered, make them own it and answer for it for the next two years. (This is perhaps the most naively optimistic part of a generally naively optimistic post here.)
As the Rude Pundit writes this, Mitch McConnell, who, it should be noted, is the fucking minority leader, is talking as if he is in charge now, as if he runs the Senate. And why the fuck not, since he essentially did for the last couple of years? Use the next couple of months, dear, defeated Democrats, to walk away with some dignity and not allow yourselves to be whipped out of town by the rats and the bullies.
Tomorrow: Defeat their 2012 strategy now.