Still Pissed Off About the Hawley-Smoot Tariff

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Time to Get My Fisk On

Ted Kennedy speaks; can the fiskings be far behind?

"Thank you, Sheila Cherry, for that gracious introduction and thank you to the Press Club for inviting me here today."

Kennedy then offered Ms. Cherry a ride home, to which Cherry enigmatically responded that she didn't have any scuba gear with her.

"These two young leaders have a passion for public service and a talent for inspiring others. After spending a few minutes with them, you'll be reassured that the nation's future is in good hands."

This is rich. One of the two young leaders Kennedy mentions is Andrew Gillum, who organized the Get Out the Vote effort in Florida. Given that Bush took Florida's 27 sweet, juicy electoral votes by 380,978 votes. If that is the future of the nation, it is indeed in very good hands. Just to emphasize, that's an even bigger margin than we saw in Ohio.

"2004 was nothing like that. It was more a replay of 2000. This time a switch of less than 60,000 votes in Ohio would've brought victory. Unlike 2000, it would've been a victory against an incumbent president in a time of war.
Small swings in other states could also have given Democrats control of the Senate or the House or even both. "

And calling for help could have saved Mary Jo Kopechne's life, but "coulda" doesn't change anything, does it you fat lush?

Still, your point is well taken, that the election was close in some states.

"I categorically reject the deceptive and dangerous claim that the outcome last November was somehow a sweeping or even a modest or even a miniature mandate for reactionary measures like privatizing Social Security... "

Heh. I wonder what Kennedy thought of Clinton's non-majoritarian 'mandate." But I suppose I can't disagree with the point that Bush has no mandate as regards Social Security privatization. Of course not. We didn't have record turn-outs because of Social Security, we had them because we are in the midst of two wars: the war on terror, and a cultural war.

But so what? Since when does a politician need an issue specific mandate to overhaul a failing system? No one will ever get a Social Security-based mandate, because the vast majority of voters will never get excited enough about it to swing a single-issue election. Does that mean it cannot be touched?

Social Security was not put into place by a president with an issue-specific mandate, so it may be changed by a president without an issue-specific mandate.

"... redistributing the tax burden in the wrong direction or packing the federal courts with reactionary judges."

Au contraire, monsieur. Remember those red state "values voters" that the media disparaged after their candidate lost? What do you think those values voters thought about reactionary judges? Bush has done a fine job of pissing off his base through his Medicare expansion (for which, incidentally, he had no mandate) or his liberal immigration policies, and it was conservative moves like tax cuts that kept that base from outright revolt. And that same base feared the idea of Kerry putting libs on the federal bench.

"Those proposals were barely mentioned or voted on in an election dominated by memories of 9/11, fear of terrorism, the quagmire in Iraq and relentlessly negative attacks on our presidential candidate."

*Snicker* Did Kennedy just mention attacks on Kerry? Heh.

"In truth, we do not shrink from that debate."

Unless you consider filibustering conservative judges to be shrinking from that debate. But other than that...

"Unlike the Republican Party, we believe our values unite us as Americans instead of dividing us."

If that's what you believe, Senator, then you are a fool. Your pro-choice values are deeply divisive. Perhaps your alcohol abuse has damaged your brain so much that you can't see that, but people have extremely strong views on abortion, and it is utter nonsense to suggest that fiercely-held pro-life views are more divisive than fiercely-held pro-choice views.

The same is true of gay marriage, of affirmative action, of anti-military policies, of the appeasement of terrorists, and of the treatment of detainees.

"If the White House idea of bipartisanship is that we have to buy whatever partisan ideas they send us, we are not interested."

I agree with that sentiment completely. Ted Kennedy doesn't have to bend to George W. Bush's ideas one whit. He doesn't have to compromise his views in any degree, and the White House cannot credibly call partisan legislation anything other than partisan.

But note that America sent a Republican to the White House, and sent more Republicans than Democrats to Congress. As a practical result, you may choose to be unyielding in your principles, but you won't get your way on anything at all. [In my best Scottish accent]: You don-a have the power!

"In fact, our values are still our greatest strength."

Other than the fact that you lost the election to "values voters." And the fact that your abortion values lead to millions of deaths every year. And that your gay marriage values rely on anti-democratic judges and mayors to get a foothold (because you could never get anywhere by relying on voters). But other than that, yeah, greatest strength. Sure.

"Despite resistance, setbacks and periods of backlash over the years, our values have moved us closer to the ideal with which America began, that all people are created equal."

Yeah, that's a good one. This from the party that embraces historians who argue that Washington, Madison and Jefferson were all a bunch of racist elitists. Right. Leftists believe that the only reason white people ever grant rights to minorities is because it coincides with some white goal. And yet here, during this talk, you lionize the men you would so quickly demonize.

"We have an administration that falsely hypes almost every issue as a crisis."

This, from the guy who just called Iraq another Vietnam? Wow.

"Today I propose a progressive vision for America; a vision that Democrats must fight for in the months and years ahead; a vision rooted in our basic values of opportunity, fairness, tolerance and respect for each other."

Stated in such broad terms, who could possibly disagree? The conflict isn't one of broadly stated vision, Senator, it's one of mechanics. So Democrats want racial justice (or at least claim to want it)? So do I, but we will disagree on the best means to get it. I believe affirmative action is a failure and counter-productive. You believe that rewarding people for their skin color rather than their ability equates to justice.

"Today, as we know too well, that dream is again in peril. The hopes of average Americans have faltered, as global forces cause the economy to shift against them."

Unless you consider unprecedented economic growth to be a shift in favor of them, in which case please disregard the preceding.

Okay, I'm spent. It's a long speech, and I don't have the stomach to read what the fat, white son of enormous privilege who has never worked a day in his life, and who was spared a negligent homicide prosecution because of family connections, has to say about justice. Apologize to the family of Mary Jo Kopechne and then maybe you can start to use the word "justice" again.