Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Senators in the doghouse

 You guys suck!

In the old days, the pagan priests would kill a goat or a pig or a fatted calf and study its entrails.  From the pattern of the blood spattered on the altar, or from the contents of the intestines, or from the condition of some other of the grizzly components, they would proclaim omens, would forecast good or bad times.  Did they really have some channel to the supernatural that allowed them to see the future?  Or was it a lot of hooey?

Who knows?  Who cares?

The media punditry are all obsessing over the results of yesterday's primary election results in Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and Arkansas.

Lots of things happened yesterday.  In Arkansas, incumbent Senator Blanche Lincoln, a "conservative" Democrat, failed to win 50% of the vote and so faces a run-off with her primary challenger, Lieutenant Governor Bill Halter.  In Pennsylvania, Senator Arlen Specter was defeated in that primary election by Representative Joe Sestak, a retired admiral of the US Navy.  Then, in Kentucky, Republican primary voters nominated tea-bagger favorite, Rand Paul, passing over Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson.

The punditry has not yet developed a conventional wisdom about the portentive significance of these results.  Some say it is a rebuke of President Obama, who supported Senators Lincoln and Specter.  Some say it is a rebuke of national Republicans, since Rand Paul defeated the hand-picked golden boy of everybody's favorite cadaver, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Well, as I take a gander at the election results, I see something different.  Incumbent senators and their hand-picked drones are being rejected at the polls.  Don't forget that Utah Republicans also rejected Senator Robert Bennett a week earlier.  Don't forget that Mad Johnny McCain is having to actually break a sweat in his primary.  In Nevada, Senator Harry Reid is fighting for his own political life!

Hearken back to the interminable, agonizing health care reform debate that recently concluded with the passage of (supposedly) landmark legislation.  That debate highlighted the workings of the US Senate in all their obscene detail:  filibusters, sweetheart deals, threats and bullying, betrayal, false promises.  Every prima donna senator had his or her moment to shine, offering or threatening to withhold support for the legislation, exacting as much power, leverage, and pork as possible.  It was a disgusting display.

Or consider the nomination process currently underway for Elena Kagan in her quest to replace Justice John Paul Stevens.  She is even now dutifully paying homage to those senators who sit on the Senate Judiciary Committee.  Why?  Her confirmation is a foregone conclusion.  Her confirmation hearings will merely provide national attention for the preening, self-important clowns who love nothing so much as to hear themselves talk.  Shameless grandstanding, people.  Shameless grandstanding.

I think people are expressing disgust, not specifically at Democrats, nor Republicans, nor President Obama, but at the US Senate!  Blanche Lincoln and Arlen Specter were challenged from the political left.  Grayson, Bennett, and McCain were (and are) being challenged from the political right.  I think the behavior of the US Senate may have forged a national unity of sorts!

On the other hand, maybe I'm full of sh*t.  It wouldn't be the first time.  But, what the hell?  I'm just as likely to guess correctly as any of those schmoes on the cable news channels. 

(Oregon, looks like we're being slighted again.  Nobody seems to care the we had a primary yesterday.  I guess all those pundits need their sleep, and covering Oregon would require that they stay up past their bedtimes.  We're better off for it, in my opinion.)

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