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Revolving Villains, Distracting the Rubes

The corporate kleptocrats of the Senate Democratic Caucus were spending last week griping about Democratic losses in the November elections. As reported in Politico:

Senate Democrats — including typically mild-mannered Bill Nelson of Florida — lit into President Barack Obama during an unusually tense air-clearing caucus session on Thursday, senators and staffers told POLITICO.

Nelson told colleagues Obama’s unpopularity has become a serious liability for Democrats in his state and blamed the president for creating a toxic political environment for Democrats nationwide

Let us pause for a moment and remember that the Senate while being the most worthless part of government is at the same time one of the most pernicious (and yes, I know that a good case could be made that the Supreme Court should hold that distinction). But just consider, here we have this institution filled with overly entitled gasbags and they are feeling unloved. That Obama man led them astray. And how did he do that? He created a toxic political environment.

Bill Nelson is a conservative Democrat, essentially a Republican. Barack Obama has run essentially a Republican administration for the last 2 years. Bipartisanship has been his mantra. He hasn't missed an opportunity to stick it to the Democratic base. He bailed out the banks. He sold out healthcare to the corps. He continued the wars. He has shown he doesn't give a flying fuck about tens of millions of un- and dis- employed. Ditto the millions underwater on their mortgages or facing foreclosure from swindling banks. Bill Nelson should be happy, right? This is his agenda.

But Americans hated it, and Democrats lost big in November. In the great scheme of the corporatist takeover of the country, replacing one set of corporatists with another doesn't mean much. But with regard to Washingon kabuki, it is an excuse for great angst, even if the angst isn't real.

In the shadow play of Washington political theater, it is all about revolving villains, or what used to be called passing the buck. Bill Nelson, this secular non-entity, criticizes Obama so maybe people will forget to criticize him, pathetic fraud that he is, for his criminal complicity in the looting of the country.

But note, it is not these looting policies Bill Nelson is against. It is rather this nebulous toxic environment, or to be blunt Obama's failure to razzle-dazzle the rubes, that has upset him so.

“There was a lot of passion in that room,” one senator said. “The reason is because the public is with us on our policies, but they’re not getting the message.”

The first rule of the con is to never admit the con. So we are told that the problem was not the message but how it was delivered. But here's the catch. Obama wasn't running in 2010. Democrats in the House and Senate were. The messaging was theirs. The record was theirs, and it stank. There's your toxic environment, Bill Nelson. It wasn't campaign atmospherics but the putrid contents of the Democratic agenda that did them in. But the Democrats are never going to admit this because that would be admitting the con.

The bottomline here is that there is a breathtaking disconnect from reality in these Congressional vent fests but it is a very cynical one. The Bill Nelsons with which the Democratic party is populated are pointing fingers because they have no intention of changing policies. They are not going to stop screwing us over. They are only pissed that we noticed.

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Submitted by Randall Kohn on

Senator Liberal Ratings has the stats:

Q: How do liberal interest groups rate Senator Bill Nelson (D)?

A: The overall liberal interest group rating for Senator Bill Nelson (D) is 87%. 0%=No Agreement and 100%=Most Agreement. Individual liberal group ratings for Senator Bill Nelson (D) are: ACLU: 36% ADA: 90% CDF: 90% LCV: 100% NAACP: 100% NARAL: 100% SEIU: 91%

His civil liberties record is not good, but this IS Florida we're discussing. Were you thinking BEN Nelson?

Submitted by Hugh on

I and others have written about a million times about how such ratings are total BS. How were they calculated? Were they based on votes? How many votes? Which votes? Were the votes counted indicative of anything?

These ratings tend to ignore a lot of crucial elements. First, did the politician in question show real leadership on the issues? I suppose Bill Nelson must have because his name is on everyone's lips. Oh wait, maybe not. In fact, Bill Nelson has been largely invisible the last two years. He hasn't even managed the occasional star turn as a revolving hero, the opposite of the theme of this post. A revolving hero is like Bernie Sanders railing against the Fed one week and then acquiescing to a one time joke "audit" the next.

I'm not the biggest Alan Grayson fan in the world, but he's been talking about the foreclosure disaster in Florida. Bill Nelson? crickets. And Florida is one of the states worst hit by the collapse of the housing bubble.

Second, look at what this Democratic Congress, and in particular this Democratic Senate, has accomplished in the last two years. Is there anything there to establish a positive rating on? Seriously?

Third, look at some of those groups. The SEIU backed the healthcare bill. Its former head Andy Stern sits on the Cat Food Commission and has made noises about doing something about Social Security. Or how about NARAL? At the national level that is one suck up organization. It too supported the healthcare sellout despite its very anti-choice language.

And don't you find it a bit odd to invoke a bunch of liberal orgs at a site that criticizes these same orgs for being essentially adjuncts of the Democratic party?

Fourth, there is this simplistic myth embedded in these ratings that votes can be clearly defined and they mean exactly what they seem to mean. But this just isn't true. A Senator can place holds on bills and nominations. He/she can object, or not, to unanimous consent arrangements that can predetermine the fate of a bill. Similarly, a Senator can vote for cloture (ensuring its passage) but then vote against the bill. How is that scored? They can vote for a bill which contains lots of poisonous provisions, provisions which they did nothing to keep out, provisions whose inclusion they may even be responsible for. The truth is there are damn few votes in a Senator's or a Representative's career where they really take a stand. Healthcare was such a vote. Bill Nelson along with every other Democrat went along on that. Another was the vote on the Iraq war. Bill Nelson voted for that too.

Returning to my first point, look at Bill Nelson's committee assignments in his wiki:

Committee on Armed Services, the Budget, Finance and its Healthcare and Social Security subcommittees, Transportation, Intelligence, and Aging. That is one heavy duty roster and covers many of the great issues of our time: the wars, DADT, the deficits, torture and the war on terror, healthcare, Social Security. They give him not only a platform to talk about them but influence legislation on them. And what have we heard from Bill Nelson on all this? Nothing.

So when a powerful Senator like Bill Nelson gets up and bitches and moans about how all this shit is someone else's fault, pardon me for not being impressed.

Submitted by libbyliberal on

... the victim. So since they all did it, it is normalized and more easily minimized. Because if "all the kids so to speak are doing it" .... it is okay. The group think of compartmentalized conscience or the vacuum where conscience should exist.

Though Obama is a dazzler in his lack of moral compass. But he is not vilified for THAT by the rotating villains. He is often vilified for being liberal and socialistic which he isn't and the country is in dire need of. REAL liberalism, REAL socialism. But the right, the blue dogs and repubs, scream "THE SKY IS FALLING" with any leftward movement and the media serves the sound of crickets to any leftward leaders ... well, harder to lead without that mike.

Kabuki performances to give the media the disinformation of the week. The posturing of leadership the puppets perform to keep their name in the news. Cuz that is what brings in the votes from the ostrich stanced citizenry.