Thursday, March 6, 2014

Clowns & Cowards

As we've done for many years now, we give credit & kudos when they're due, and condemn ridiculous and spineless actions when we see them as well.

Wednesday afternoon held perfect examples worthy of condemnation for both Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill, and reminded us clearly why so many voters are so disgusted with politics in America.

There have already been more than a few examples this week of influential Republicans acting like clowns. From the idiotic tweet of Sen. Lindsey Graham blaming the Ukraine conflict on Benghazi, to the hypocritical whining about how to handle conflict from former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, to the asinine ravings of the half-term quitter Sarah Palin, to the completely disrespectful conduct by Rep. Darrell Issa toward Democratic House Congressman Elijah Cummings - all buffoonish, crass, and clownish behavior worthy of scorn.

Not surprisingly, while they've been acting like clowns, Republicans have also been bawling to their favorite right-wing media outlets all week that Democrats and President Obama don't listen to or respect them, and don't take them seriously.

Meanwhile, as Jonathan Chait pointed out in Tuesday at New York Magazine online, it doesn't seem to matter that President Obama once again gave Republicans many of the things they've been whining about for years in his 2015 budget, like an increase in the Earned Income Tax Credit.

In short, no matter what Democrats do, it appears modern Republicans aren't going to be happy with them, unless the Democrats - or anyone else who disagrees with today's Republicans - remove themselves from planet Earth. Since that's unrealistic, we ask very directly: Why the hell should anyone care what Republican politicians want? When they insist on acting like ungrateful, unhappy clowns or screaming babies with a full diaper, and there's no satisfying those Republicans, then there is also no point in even giving those Republicans or anyone who sides with them the time of day.

Unfortunately, much as there have been plenty of examples of strong, ethical action, some specific Democrats on Capitol Hill once again displayed on Wednesday how gutless and worthless certain individuals can be.

Of course, we're talking about the seven Senate Democrats who voted against President Obama's nominee to head the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division. As Ari Berman of The Nation noted, the "Willie Horton Politics" used by Republicans to scare those seven Democrats into voting against the highly talented Debo Adegbile are an embarrassment to Democratic legislators. As many of those Democrats who voted out of fear are also up for election this year, we fervently hope the Democratic voters in those Senators' states do the right thing, and give those legislators a solid reason to be scared. Maybe even vote them out in the primary elections - and vote in better, stronger, more progressive candidates who can win in the fall.

Even with all the clowns and cowards on Capitol Hill, there are those who stand up for the right things. We want to commend Rep. Elijah Cummings for facing down Rep. Issa and demanding that Issa show his fellow Congressperson the respect due to anyone who serves as a member of that body.

We also have to give partial credit today to now-former RT Anchor Liz Wahl. Wahl went to work for Russia Today knowing that it's a propaganda media outlet funded by the Russian government. She worked there for some time, yet - in the midst of the actions going on in Ukraine, and a fellow RT staffer standing up to the corporate censorship being foisted upon RT's staff, Wahl found her ethical core, and did some standing up of her own. Live, on-air Wednesday, she called out the yellow journalism of her own network - and she quit.

Not everyone involved in politics or media in DC is a clown or a coward. For those who work hard to do the right thing and have integrity, they deserve every accolade, benefit, and opportunity that comes their way.