Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Coming Up Next After Big Brother...


The antics we've seen in the US Senate these days almost makes one pine for the good ole days of collegiality when SC congressmen beat MA senators senseless in the Senate chamber.

If nothing else, we could until the health care debate began rearing its ugly, co-opted head be safe and secure in the knowledge that even Republicans could be counted on to be more respectful toward their congressional colleagues than the tea bagger, birther and 9/12 idiots who had burned, tarred and feathered in effigy certain Democratic congressmen.

If you had any illusions as to the forbearance of such professional, pragmatic men of power, Tom Coburn put an end to that last night.

In a scene out of Big Brother, the CBS program that has elevated cabin fever, misanthropy and proletarian Machiavellian machinations to a quasi art, Tom Coburn called for the American people to pray that the gravely-ill 92 year-old Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) wouldn't make it to the Senate chamber to vote on the health care reform bill.

It seemed to validate the "overwrought jeremiad" of freshman RI senator Sheldon Whitehouse that was witnessed by two other freshmen senators (Al Franken of MN and Jeanne Shaheen of NH) in which he compared the desperate Republican Party to the Nazis and lynch mobs of the South. For the first time in my recollection, one Senator was actually wishing that another Senator would be too ill to attend the vote early this morning. In the strictly hard line party vote, the Republican Party again crashed in flames and couldn't even block cloture.

This is how frantically acrimonious the GOP has become over the health care bill, not to say out of touch. John McCain recently rightly said that the majority of the American people do not want this "reform" but he said it for the wrong reasons. Americans want a public option, of which the slippery Holy Grail is single payer. McCain is deluding himself into thinking that Americans are just as frantic as the GOP at the prospect of a government takeover of our health care system, which was never the goal.

The Republican Party hasn't exactly been covering itself in partisan glory this past year, especially when Congress began making real headway toward the Great, Co-opted Compromise that is the health care bill. But what Coburn did last night, in wishing for Robert Byrd to be too ill to attend the vote, revealed the ugly despicable face of the GOP.

It's an embittered, minority party that's little better than a regional cult, one that called the President of the United States of America a liar to his face on international TV, one in which the same Sen. Coburn egged on the birthers, which could be a splinter faction of the Birchers, in which a certain racist Senator from Georgia cautioned that our first black President better show some "humility" when addressing Congress about health care reform.

Now they're getting so frantic about incurring the wrath of their employers in the health care mafia that they're wishing ill health on the weakest and frailest of their colleagues. No doubt, if Sen. Ted Kennedy was still alive but likewise ailing, Coburn would've included the liberal lion in with his Palinesque "smite the wicked" prayer.

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