It's getting harder and harder to come up with new lists of horribles, but the PeePeePee outfit really outdid itself this year. With an unbelievably high approval rating of 8 percent, Congress was unfavorably compared with toenail fungus, cockroaches, dog poop and hemorrhoids.
But there is faint hope for the critters. Americans still like Congress better than they like Honey Boo Boo and Charles Manson.
Meanwhile, over at the New York Times, Tom Friedman still thinks there's such a thing as mainstream Republicans. And that they really need to get their act together to reform their party, the same way Clinton reformed the Democrats and gave us mainstream Republicans. My response:
So-called mainstream Republicans have lost the right to call themselves mainstream. Their flow of ideas and policies for the common good dried up long ago. And John Boehner looks like he just needs to dry out.
A party only deserves to call itself mainstream when it has the capacity to either swamp, or cut off completely, those occasional renegade rivulets that branch off into crazy directions every now and again. The mighty GOP has spawned a cascade of toxic tea, and its so-called leaders have neither the will nor the way to dam (or damn) it.
And you can't call them conservatives, either, when they are so complicit in wanton destruction.
I'm happy that the president seems to be standing firm against what amounts to an internal coup d'état by a small group of reactionary usurpers. I'm unhappy that he still feels it necessary to hold out to the economic terrorists in our midst the carrot of deficit reduction and "entitlement reform" at a time where income disparity is at record levels and more and more people are sliding into poverty. I'm happy that he's giving more interviews and press conferences. I'm unhappy that he's ruled out invoking the 14th Amendment, minting a platinum coin, or even going so far as to call for the abolishment of the debt limit itself. After all, it doesn't actually exist.
The only limit we have to fear is the limited morality of the usurpers. So let's just go with the flow, and flush them out in 2014 (if they don't resign in disgrace first.)Although a Grand Bargain of austerity for the masses and prosperity for the rentiers was the obvious endgame for both sides of the Money Party, I'm not as confident as I was even a couple of days ago that they will be able to accomplish their sleight of hand before default actually occurs. It is looking more and more like the imaginary ceiling will be breached after all, and that we're in for a whole heap of dog poop. Faced with the reality of a politically-manufactured Great Depression, I suppose the plan is that we'll feel abjectly grateful when the political donor class of the Charitable Industrial Complex provides a soup kitchen in every city to make up for the lack of jobs and the cutting of Social Security, food stamps and Medicare. This time around, there is nothing even close to a socialist left flank to protect us from incipient Hooverism.
Congressman Alan Grayson of Florida tried, though. And he got gaveled into silence when he cited the dog poop poll to illustrate how the "dignity of the House" has been called into question during the debate for a clean debt ceiling vote. Clip here.
The continuing immiseration of common people caused by a cabal of fringe right wingers and complicit deficit hawk Democrats and the fun poll questions answered by disgusted populace reminds me of the ending of an Anton Chekhov story called "Small Fry."
A depressed wage slave, stuck in his bleak surroundings while the rich people gambol about town, ponders the hopelessness of his life as his kerosene runs out and a lone cockroach scurries around on his desk:
Ah... running about here, you devil!" With the palm of his hand, he spitefully swatted the cockroach, which had had the misfortune of catching his eye. "What vileness!"
The cockroach fell on its back and desperately waved its legs... Nevyrazimov took it by one leg and threw it into the lamp. The lamp flared and crackled...
And Nevyrazimov felt better.