It’s Not a Decision if You Have No Choice

Let’s take a look at this nonsense that the New York Times published today:

WASHINGTON — Bipartisanship can be disorienting.

That’s why Washington has seemed so perplexed over the past 10 days. An unexpected outbreak of cooperation between President Trump and the two top congressional Democrats has upended the established order and left lawmakers grasping to divine the significance, especially Republicans who saw themselves as a strong ruling majority.

“You’ve got an unconventional president who is not limited to what the conventions of political behavior are among office holders,” said Senator John Cornyn of Texas, the No. 2 Senate Republican. “He is shaking things up.”

Why do we need to continue to make excuses for people who know absolutely nothing about politics even though it is their profession? What kind of dunce did you need to be not to know that the Republicans would need Democratic votes to pass a continuing resolution to keep the government operating? How stupid do you have to be to think that the House Republicans would vote to extend the debt ceiling without needing any Democratic help? I began writing about this September deadline in October of last year, when it still looked like Clinton would be president. Every single thing I’ve written since the election has been colored and informed by the fact that the Republicans would need Democratic help in September. So, it’s “disorienting”? It’s “unconventional”? It’s “shaking things up”?

That is the worst horseshit I’ve ever seen.

For much of the preceding two presidencies and the beginning of this one, the parties have largely gone their separate ways, typically finding compromise only in emergencies and the need to renew popular expiring legislation. Common ground has been very uncommon.

Do you remember when the Democratically-controlled Congress forced a government shutdown during the late stages of President George W. Bush’s presidency? Yeah, me neither. They didn’t want to fund the president’s damn war in Iraq and it took some time to negotiate a spending package, but when the time came they allowed it to come to a vote and let the Republicans create the needed majority. Still, seventy-eight House Democrats voted for the omnibus spending bill even though it was more war funding and even though the Republicans only needed them to provide about twenty-four votes.

As for the first and middle parts of Bush’s presidency, he needed Democratic votes from Zell Miller of Georgia and Ben Nelson of Nebraska to pass his 2003 tax cuts. His education bill was co-authored by Teddy Kennedy. He was able to get some support for expanding Medicare to provide prescription drug coverage. He had no trouble passing the Patriot Act. The Democrats really only drew the line in 2005 when Bush tried to privatize Social Security. As for the debt ceiling, the Democrats in the Senate provided zero votes in 2006 when they were in the minority and it wasn’t their responsibility, but they provided twenty-seven votes in 2007 when they were in the majority. They didn’t hold anything hostage in exchange for their votes, either. Their only sin was talking nonsense about fiscal responsibility instead of staying focused on the waste of burning all our money in Mesopotamia. Some of these things were emergencies and some of them weren’t, but there was a degree of bipartisanship on all of them. The end of cooperation between the parties didn’t come until the Kenyan usurper was sworn in.

Now Mr. Trump, frustrated by the inability of the Republican-controlled Congress to deliver him the victories he so craves, has decided to shop elsewhere.

“Decided” is an interesting word. It implies that he had some alternative. Here’s what a White House aide said about Schumer and Pelosi and the meeting they had with Trump and the Republican congressional leaders where the president supposedly went shopping elsewhere: “”They’re the only two people who came to the meeting with a deal to be made,” a White House aide said of Mrs. Pelosi and Mr. Schumer. “This is on the other guys,” the official said, in a reference to Mr. McConnell and Mr. Ryan.”

Or you can just take Trump’s word for it, since he’s actually telling the truth in this case:

“I’m a Republican through and through,” the president told reporters as he returned from Florida aboard Air Force One, “but I’m also finding that sometimes to get things through, it’s not working that way.”

It’s not really that complicated.

Some Republicans seemed to be left dazed by the fact that Mr. Trump was willing to reach a general agreement with Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the House Democratic leader, and Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, her Senate counterpart, on allowing undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children to remain, while not receiving a commitment for a border wall in exchange.

Anyone who is dazed because the president can’t get the votes he needs from the Democrats to keep the government operating and to avoid a catastrophic credit default unless he caves on the stupid fucking wall is a very stupid fucking person.

Representative Gary Palmer, Republican of Alabama, spoke for many when he expressed incredulity that Mr. Trump had reached a deal that compromised on one of his key campaign pledges.

“I’d be shocked that the president made a deal that said that there wouldn’t be a wall,” Mr. Palmer said.

Rep. Gary Palmer of Alabama is a very stupid fucking person.

I could go on an on about our idiotic discourse and the downright morons we have representing us, but the fact is that their collective stupidity is so corrosive and influential that I meet maybe one person in five hundred who isn’t misinformed by at least a good chuck of what passes for their common wisdom.

Whether it’s lefties arguing that the Obama can overcome legislative roadblocks with his Green Lantern superpowers and magical bully pulpit or it’s folks on the right thinking the Trump can do the same to get his wall, I am goddamed weary from the weak-ass reasoning that is all around me.

So many people care passionately about politics, but so few have the slightest idea why things happen the way they do, or how they might actually make things different.

People are dazed and confused at the bipartisanship!

There isn’t a desk hard enough for my head.

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