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The Useless Caucus

[ 44 ] March 1, 2012 |

So, there was a debate in the World’s Worst Deliberative Body about whether to allow employers the right to deny employees health care coverage based solely on the religious beliefs of the former, an amendment targeted specifically at women. Some men who think that oral contraceptives produce abortions were about to vote on an issue pertaining to womens’ health care.

Dismayingly, but not surprisingly, Joe Manchin, Bob Casey, and Ben Nelson all effectively voted in favor of it. It’s worth noting here that Nelson isn’t running for anything, and voting to table the amendment would hardly be a political liability in Pennsylvania; these guys are just sincere reactionaries indifferent to womens’ rights. Lieberman voted to table it, and between this and DADT he is officially no longer the biggest wanker among quasi-Democrats in the Senate, which is kind of scary. And, for once, good for Landrieu.

Also supporting the “Ew, Women having teh sex!” amendment was Scott Brown; hopefully Elizabeth Warren is getting her campaign ads ready. And, for that matter, Barack Obama, although Mittens may have changed positions again while I was writing this post.

…Obama does, in fact, seem prepared to take advantage of this particular political gift.

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  1. joe from Lowell says:

    Elizabeth Warren has been hitting Brown over this for a few days.

  2. ralphdibny says:

    I know it’s a typo, but I like “Mittens have,” implying that Willard is actually multiple people. He’s The man With Two Brains, except not funny.

  3. Mike Schilling says:

    It’s not Romney’s fault — if it were called something sensible like the “pandering to fundamentalists amendment” he’d know what he thought about it.

  4. John says:

    Ugh, Casey, who is unfortunately my better Senator. I guess it’s a family heritage to be a douche about issues like this.

    But at least those assholes are following their actual stated beliefs. Collins and Brown have no excuse whatever.

    • JoyfulA says:

      Casey is also out in front on making war on Iran.

      This, of course, is Ed Rendell’s fault, as is the last senatorial election.

      • Craigo says:

        I’m not sure how you can blame Rendell for electing Casey, other than by beating Casey in 2002 and leaving him free to run for the Senate. There was no Democrat that was going to beat Casey in 2006, just a bunch of dilettantes and Barb Hafer, a former Republican with no base who was last seen losing every single county in the state to Casey’s father.

        • John says:

          I guess the idea is that Rendell could have run himself.

          I’ll also say that while it’s possible that Rendell is responsible for giving us Toomey, if he’d run then Specter wouldn’t have switched parties, and we’d have no ACA. As terrible as Toomey is, I’d rather have him for six years than no ACA.

  5. david mizner says:

    I know it’s hard to tell because he’s so floppy, but Mitt is clearly beginning to try to move to the center. The other day he said something like, I’m not going to say nasty stuff about President Obama just to excite the base. Apparently he’s reading the polls that say Obama is crushing him among independents. The problem for Romney is not that he’ll be seen as a right-wing wackjob but that he’ll be seen, correctly, as a out-of-touch rich fuck who “doesn’t care about people like me.”

    • Rombot v.7.12 says:

      I care about people, my friend. Sure the important people like Walmart, and Royal Dutch Shell, and ExxonMobil, and China National Petroleum, and Bank of America, and Chevron, but also the little average peoples running around buying goods and services from the big people. But not the poor people, I’m not concerned about them, because we have a safety net to take care of them that I’m committed to ripping apart with my teeth if necessary. Oh by the way, I love the independents. You know they’re just the right amount of independent. Gosh, I’m not as much an independent as some others, but I do have many close friends who are independently wealthy.

  6. L2P says:

    Check out what the Obama administration posted on their tumbler:

    http://barackobama.tumblr.com/post/18551756110/if-mitt-romney-and-a-few-republican-senators-get

    Teh Awesome! It’s nice to see them stop playing the everybody-can-get-along-we’re-all-reasonable-people game that’s been losing people for 3 years now. If they fight back like this for the next 8 months, I’m feeling pretty good about holding the Senate and maybe even taking back the house.

  7. c u n d gulag says:

    What’s everyone worried about?
    It was 51-48, so it’s not like it was close or anything.

    OY!
    I’ll repeat, we need to stop calling these assholes in the House and Senate, Blue Dogs, and start calling them RED Dog’s – ’cause there ain’t nothin’ blue ’bout ‘em!

    The “R” tribal voting members won’t like you any more come Election Day in your State (or district) because of your vote on things like this, because they won’t remember or care about your vote – they’ll notice you have a “D” next to your name – it’d sure be nice if you did, too.
    Assholes…

    • John says:

      Reid knows how to count votes. I suspect that if it had mattered, Casey, at least, would have voted the right way. (I’m not sure that either Manchin or Nelson is persuadable by leadership, but Casey certainly is). I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Reid got exactly the number of Democratic votes required to table it without any Republican defections.

      • Craigo says:

        If I can say anything nice about my Senator, it’s that he’s right on some issues, unlike Manchin, and that he’s a team player. If this gives him cover to prevent whatever asshole the GOP puts up from claiming he’s not a “real Catholic,” I can swallow it.

      • c u n d gulag says:

        Yes, I can’t argue with your point – but 51-48 looks like it had too much bipartisany goodness.

        54-45 looks a little better.

  8. cleter says:

    If I had to guess who Lieberman was going to pass his baton to, I would guess Manchin.

  9. joe from Lowell says:

    On reflection, I agree with Manchin, Nelson, and Casey.

    This amendment deals with an issue of great significance, and should have been tabled. I insist on at least 200 hours of floor debate, to make sure that the arguments of those on all sides are thoroughly laid out, but only after a similar amount of public hearing time before the…uh…Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

    Let the democratic process go forward!

  10. JMG says:

    This will never change until Democrats either primary these useless losers or accept the fact they’ll lose the seat to a Republican and vote against them in the general election in an organized and loudly publicized fashion. These people, reactionary or no, are first and foremost cowards. If one of ‘em bites the dust, the others will shape up fast.

    • Davis X. Machina says:

      This will never change until Democrats either primary these useless losers or accept the fact they’ll lose the seat to a Republican.

      You’ll have a 40-seat Democratic caucus, every one, or nearly so, a real Democrat. No lesser-of-two’s. No squishes.

      And the country in ruins. A progressive triumph.

      • Davis X. Machina says:

        Hmn… lost the quote tags:

        This will never change until Democrats either primary these useless losers or accept the fact they’ll lose the seat to a Republican…

        You’ll have a 40-seat Democratic caucus, every one, or nearly so, a real Democrat. No lesser-of-two’s. No squishes.

        And the country in ruins. A progressive triumph. In other words, the GOP Senate caucus from 2006 to 2010 all over again, but on the other side of the aisle.

        • Holden Pattern says:

          You’re absolutely right — nothing to be done. So we should STFU and fork over the money and time and votes, and hope that the slow slide into misery doesn’t land us personally in the cesspit until after we’re dead, or that the Pollyannas who claim that demography is destiny might be right before then.

          Well, I might fork over the votes, but I’ve got better things to spend my money on at this point in my life — I’ve already spent thousands on the Dems, and hundreds of hours.

      • Scott de B. says:

        Lieberman was primaried. Manchin had a primary opponent. Nelson is retiring.

    • Marc says:

      I’d like the most liberal Senate that I can get. This means real liberals in some places (where they can win elections), and moderates in others (e.g. Nebraska).

      If you’re part of a coalition this means respecting the views of other coalition members. Online liberals do not represent a majority of the party, and wrecking-ball tactics will ensure only marginalization. Does the evidence of the last two years mean anything in this discussion? Are the loons who replaced the Blue Dogs better in any way?

      • joe from Lowell says:

        This means real liberals in some places (where they can win elections), and moderates in others (e.g. Nebraska).

        What it doesn’t mean is moderates in places where real liberals can win elections. That’s where the party can be moved left without making it smaller, and thereby move American politics as a whole to the left. Primarying Joe Lieberman, for instance, was absolutely the right move, even if it didn’t work out in that particular instance.

        Online liberals do not represent a majority of the party

        Hell, online liberals don’t even represent a majority of liberals.

        Aw, hell, the loudest online liberals don’t even represent a majority of online liberals!

    • joe from Lowell says:

      This will never change until Democrats either primary these useless losers or accept the fact they’ll lose the seat to a Republican and vote against them in the general election in an organized and loudly publicized fashion. These people, reactionary or no, are first and foremost cowards. If one of ‘em bites the dust, the others will shape up fast.

      A ton of blue dogs got slaughtered in 2010. How has this theory of centrist electoral losses disciplining the remaining centrists worked out since then?

  11. c u n d gulag says:

    Well, at least there’ll still be “Trator Joe’s” in the Senate.

    Joe Manchin talking Liebed-by-none’s “Backstabbing MFing Asshole” chair – before Liebed-by-none even gone.

  12. c u n d gulag says:

    GACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Rassa massa idjit typo’s…

    “Traitor Joe’s!”

  13. actor212 says:

    I don’t blame Casey: I’m sure he checked the vote tallies before he asked to opt out.

  14. Nutella says:

    “these guys are just sincere reactionaries indifferent to womens’ rights”

    Wrong. These guys are not indifferent to women’s rights. They are opposed to women’s rights.

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