Monday, May 18, 2009

Understanding the Douche Caucus

In a post today about watering down the Climate Change legislation, Chris Bowers makes a good point that I've been thinking about for a long time:
Many Democratic members, such as Melissa Bean, don't have fixed positions on legislation but are, instead, moderate for the sake of moderate. That is, they believe the best legislation is always to the right of whatever comes out of a Democratic controlled committee, no matter what that legislation actually says. As such, these members, such as Bean, always work to water it down, no matter what. The over-rising principle is not any particular position on climate change or new energy, but instead to show that you are a Democrat who is to the right of most other Democrats.
One of the most misunderstood ideas in politics is that of the "moderate". As much as they are glorified by the media as principled heroes from a more civil era, the vast majority of the time the exact opposite is true. Their actions are more often than not completely unprincipled, and done solely to increase their image as to the right of the democratic party, which due to years of idiotic group think is the overwhelming conventional wisdom on how to win elections.
The Democratic leadership need to do is understand this, and use their lack of principles to our advantage. Did Ben Nelson care have a reason for cutting 100 Billion dollars in spending? Of course he didn't. He cared about getting to say something stupid like "We’ve trimmed the fat, fried the bacon, and milked the sacred cows."

It didn't matter that "the fat" and "sacred cows" created jobs just as much as the stuff he left in, because that wasn't the point. The purpose was to be perceived as a moderate/centrist/pragmatist, and because our media treats these douchebags as if they were standing in front of a tank at Tienanmen Square, he was wildly successful.

But just like how Arlen Specter is already walking back his passionate anti-EFCA speech, our biggest advantage with these assholes is that they have no beliefs or values whatsoever. You're not going to convince a legitimate conservative like Tom Coburn to vote for the budget, but Ben Nelson would probably be just as satisfied cutting 100 billion dollars from a 1.5 trillion dollar stimulus bill as he would an 800 billion dollar one.

I'm not expecting a change in the glowing treatment the media gives these assholes. All I ask is that the leadership stops enabling them and starts using their unprincipled political positions to our advantage. If all legislation goes through the same process of getting shittier and shittier as it moves through the senate, why not start with a more impressive bill so that the end product is actually something you can be proud of?

They don't have any core beliefs other than keeping their jobs in the Senate and blowing smoke up everyone's collective ass, and there's absolutely no reason we can't use that to our advantage.

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