The Brat Fatale Speech: Deluded, Dishonest Or Dumb?  

The Vedas: Ann Blyth, Krysten Sinema, Evan Rachel Wood.

I dislike writing about the antics of the Sinematic Senator but yesterday’s speech left me no choice.  Veda Pierce Sinema took to the Senate floor to give a speech that was alternately deluded and dishonest. I would prefer to think she was lying about the process. I hate to think that any Democratic senator is that dumb.

It’s as if the Arizona Brat Fatale read Norm Ornstein’s recent piece about filibuster myths and learned all the wrong lessons from it. Deluded, dishonest, or dumb?

KTAR News Radio in Phoenix has posted a transcript of the Brat Fatale Speech. We begin with her ode to the voting rights bills. Let’s begin our exercise in quote and response.

And I strongly support and will continue to vote for legislative responses to address these state laws – including the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, that the Senate is currently considering.

I support these bills because they strengthen Americans’ access to the ballot box and they better ensure that Americans’ votes are counted fairly – it is through elections that Americans make their voices heard, select their representatives, and guide the future of our country and our communities.

She supports bills that cannot pass because of the 60-vote threshold. I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that someone who fancies herself a fashion plate would value style over substance. Deluded, dishonest, or dumb?

The debate over the Senate’s 60-vote threshold shines a light on our broader challenges.

There is no need for me to restate my long-standing support for the 60-vote threshold to pass legislation. There’s no need for me to restate its role protecting our country from wild reversals in federal policy.

She’s an elected official: repetition is the essence of communication. It’s a lame excuse for not explaining her position with clarity. Besides, she was against the filibuster before she was for it. Deluded, dishonest, or dumb?

American politics are cyclical and the granting of power in Washington, D.C. is exchanged regularly by the voters from one party to another.

This shift of power back and forth means the Senate’s 60-vote threshold has proved maddening to members of both political parties in recent years – viewed either as a weapon of obstruction, or a safety net to save the country from radical policies, depending on whether you serve in the majority or the minority.

In 2021, obstructionism is a Republican thing. Hell, it’s been that way since Bob Dole committed his caucus to oppose any health care reforms proposed by the Clinton administration. Of course, Dole’s move was deeply cynical, not deluded, dishonest, or dumb.

The 2013 decision by Senate Democrats to eliminate the 60-vote threshold for most judicial and presidential nominations led directly to a response in 2017 by Senate Republicans, who eliminated the threshold for Supreme Court nominees.

These short-sighted actions by both parties have led to our current American Judiciary and Supreme Court, which, as I stand here today, is considering questions regarding fundamental rights Americans have enjoyed for decades.

This is one of the few times that the Sinematic Senator has criticized both sides. Maybe she’s angling for a regular column at Politico. Deluded, dishonest, or dumb?

I share the disappointment of many that we have not found more support on the other side of the aisle for legislative responses to state-level voting restrictions.

I wish that were not the case – just as I wish there had been a more serious effort on the part of Democratic Party leaders to sit down with the other party and genuinely discuss how to re-forge common ground on these issues.

Joe Manchin wasted months trying to convince Republicans to support *his* ideas about voting rights. The only possible taker was the most honest member of the GOP caucus Lisa Murkowski who is a genuine maverick as opposed to a fake one like Veda Pierce Sinema.

I don’t need to pose the Three Ds question this time. D is for dishonesty.

Continue reading “The Brat Fatale Speech: Deluded, Dishonest Or Dumb?  “

I want it all and I want it now

I’m really out of sorts and anxious these days, and I’m kind of angry about it, to be honest. We just spent 4 years being terrified of what TFG and Mitch McConnell would do and although I’m not as fearful as I was then, I am still pretty fucking anxious. I know that big legislation takes time and negotiation and posturing, and that politics is the art of the possible. But watching the Democrats put Joe Manchin’s and Kisten Sinema’s faces on milk cartons so they can start talking is making me anxious. There’s a year left before the election … Continue reading I want it all and I want it now

Of Bathrooms & Moral Panics

“Horace, fetch me the Fainting Couch, this instant!”

One of the many things that kind of drives me batty about our current society is how we really are good at misplacing our priorities. For an example, look no further than last weekend’s women’s room confrontation between Arizona Senator Krysten Sinema and a progressive activist group Living United for Change in Arizona (LUCHA) over the Reconciliation Bill, aka Joe Biden’s Agenda.

I’ll start by saying filming someone in a bathroom is not something I think is a good idea for various reasons, not the least of which is the collateral damage of someone who might just be in there to answer nature’s call and are not expecting to be a bystander in the current reconciliation bill fight. Maybe wait outside for her. And to be truly fair, Sinema could have said “please give me a minute, I can come out and answer a few of your questions.”

That said, the pearl-clutching that ensued was both frustrating and entirely predictable. It was reminiscent of the June 2018 Sarah Huckabee Sanders incident, where the Red Hen restaurant owner asked her to leave, based on her, well, let’s see…oh yes, blatant lying and supporting the tyrannical nut job we had for a president. Trump had pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal the previous month and the controversy over the appalling child separation at the border was in full bloom, but Sarah the Liar not being able to get past the cheese course before getting the heave-ho was the deep deep focus of the DC punditry. “Civility!” cried the columnists before collapsing on the Fainting Couch.

“Civility!” is the battle cry now, as it was then, and before. But civility often doesn’t get the job done and is used by more powerful interests to shut people down. Just look at ACT UP, the LGBTQ rights group that used some loud tactics to get people to give half a damn about AIDS during the 80s. ACT UP members were frustrated that their loved ones were dying and how it was being ignored by people in power. They weren’t being heard. Did they get results? Just ask a certain famous doctor.

See, these tactics that have the pearl clutchers rolling around on the Fainting Couch likely wouldn’t happen if the targets would do the thing that requires the least amount of effort: listening. Sinema has been rather fastidious at not listening to her constituents. She’s quite good at it. An activist posted on Twitter that following her into a bathroom was an act of desperation:

Twitter post describing how Sinema has continually ignored requests for meetings

Continue reading “Of Bathrooms & Moral Panics”

Pointless Triangulation

I know, I know, it’s Jacobin, but it’s not all that different from something really poisonous in our political landscape right now which is the tendency to act like it’s 1992:  Joe Rogan has some views on trans issues that anyone on the Left should oppose. Unfortunately, at least half the country holds similar views. The issue isn’t whether Bernie Sanders should compromise with such positions. As a matter of principle, he can’t and shouldn’t do that. The question is whether the best way to build a movement that appeals to rather than alienating the tens of millions of Americans … Continue reading Pointless Triangulation

True Unity

Politics isn’t about feelings, you ambulatory turtlenecks:  Obviously, no Democrat would talk like Trump anyway, because that kind of bigoted talk would get a person drummed out of the country’s multiracial party even as it got him celebrated and elevated in the country’s white ethno-nationalist party. I am saying, though, that Democrats should stop pretending they can unite the country. They can’t. No one can. What they can do, what they must do, is assemble a coalition of working- and middle-class voters of all races around a set of economic principles that will say clearly to those voters that things … Continue reading True Unity

Clinton (Consultant) Needs to Go Away

For all the talk about how Hillary and Bill need to exit the stage, I think the real cancer on our politics is everyone they employed. Shut UP, Rahm:  “I don’t think you can make it to the Oval Office without being a good politician. And whatever you want to say-and I am in violent disagreement with this president-he was a better politician than Hillary.” He’s also a fascist but let’s respect his SKILLZ, right? Shut UP, Carville:  James Carville said the Democrats will not have a wave election in the 8pm hour of MSNBC’s election night coverage. He said … Continue reading Clinton (Consultant) Needs to Go Away

Tweet Of The Day: Nancy Smash Challenge Edition

It’s no secret that we’re Nancy Pelosi fans here at First Draft. The first female speaker was also one of the most effective. It’s why she was targeted by Republicans in the 2010 teabagger wave election and in every subsequent campaign. It’s best when your boogieman (boogiewoman in this instance) can really boogie. Pelosi just led Democrats to their biggest gains in the House since the post-Watergate wave election way back in 1974. Instead of meeting with acclaim, she’s facing a challenge led by the #FiveWhiteGuys with support from the cats and kittens at Politico. Since none of them has … Continue reading Tweet Of The Day: Nancy Smash Challenge Edition

I’m Done With Your Doug Jones Feelings Too, Internet

See the Bernie & Hillary edition. AAAAND we’re already mad at Doug Jones.  Instead of, rightly, being mad at the assignment editors who are out there asking every conservative Dem to take impeachment off the table like it’s 2005. Look, the point for anyone who lived in Alabama was not to be represented by a Bible-banging pedophiliac, and for anyone who doesn’t live in Alabama the point of Doug Jones was to elect a Democrat, full stop. Doug Jones is almost not the point at all. The point is a Democratic Senate, a Democratic House, a Democratic White House, Democratic … Continue reading I’m Done With Your Doug Jones Feelings Too, Internet

The Gods Lift Those Who Lift Each Other

Two quick hits. One:  Oklahoma stands out for the velocity with which districts have turned to a shorter school week in the past several years, one of the most visible signs of a budget crisis that has also shuttered rural hospitals, led to overcrowded prisons and forced state troopers to abide by a 100-mile daily driving limit. Democrats helped pass bipartisan income tax cuts from 2004 to 2008. Republicans — who have controlled the legislature since 2009 and governorship since 2011 — have cut income taxes further and also significantly lowered taxes on oil and gas production. “The problems facing … Continue reading The Gods Lift Those Who Lift Each Other

Let Me Make This Easy for You, Democrats

No. On CNN, Sen. Richard Blumenthal says Democrats should “do the right thing” and confirm Gorsuch. #SCOTUS — Tom McKay (@thetomzone) February 1, 2017 Really? Still? We’re still doing this? It’s 2017. We’re fully more than a decade past the time when Democrats, eager to take the high road and do the right thing and be patriotic and put country before party, sucked George W. Bush’s strap-on and were rewarded for their decency by having the war hero they nominated for president derided as a commie faggot peace-freak appeaser. We jus spent eight years in which a Democratic president gave … Continue reading Let Me Make This Easy for You, Democrats

What Are You Looking At?

I cannot tell you how exhausted I am of the Democratic Party pretending there’s only one race that matters:  Still, the party’s expectations about Clinton demonstrated just how bad parties are at analyzing what they need to fix to win. Next year, while it is not what they boast about, Democrats are expecting mistakes by Trump — the most unpopular incoming president in decades — to create opportunities for them. Their debate about winning a new majority is not about a savior from red America, or even a change in policy. It is about better organizing, and how to win … Continue reading What Are You Looking At?

It Can’t Be Said Often Enough: Trump Was Not a Surprise

Not if you’d been paying attention in any way:  A 2006 report by the Institute for Policy Studies found that, in 2005, CEOs of the largest U.S. private defense contractors continued to profit from the ongoing wars. Defense CEO pay was 44 times that of a military general with 20 years of experience and 308 times that of an Army private in 2005. Generals made $174,452 and Army privates made $25,085, while average defense CEO pay was $7.7 million. In contrast to wealthy individuals who became even wealthier, those who were sent to do the actual fighting comprised disproportionately high … Continue reading It Can’t Be Said Often Enough: Trump Was Not a Surprise

I’m Done With All Your Hillary and Bernie Feelings, Internet

TED CRUZ WANTS TO SET THE WORLD ON FIRE. Genuinely, I think he does. I think he wants to bring about the end times. I think he is living in a comic book and none of the rest of us are real to him. Marco Rubio is six years old and he keeps thinking if he talks faster and louder it will make him sound smarter. Debate moderators ask him why his own people think he sucks, and he yells about his Lord and Savior. Jeb Bush once ruined an entire family’s life just to make points with the Jesus freaks … Continue reading I’m Done With All Your Hillary and Bernie Feelings, Internet

Are You Proud Now, America?

Nothing. There was nothing there. Not only was there nothing there, but there was something less than nothing there, because people actually got themselves INDICTED for making out like there was something there. Not only was there something less than nothing there, but anybody with two brain cells to rub together looked at the sterling credentials of the people making out like there was something there and said, there’s nothing there. They were, of course, the exact kind of carnival barkers they seemed to be, and this news only surprises the people who make a living being surprised when the curtain … Continue reading Are You Proud Now, America?

The Generational Feminism Olympics, Yay!

I am so not looking forward to the next 10 months of this bullshit:  Do you notice a difference between young women and women our age in their excitement about Hillary Clinton? Is there a generational divide? Here’s what I see: a complacency among the generation of young women whose entire lives have been lived after Roe v. Wade was decided. Guys? Which one of you forgot to send Debbie Wasserman Schultz the list of stuff ladies younger than 40 care about? Because she seems to be under the impression that young women aren’t working as clinic escorts, or donating to … Continue reading The Generational Feminism Olympics, Yay!

Democrats Who Voted for SAFE Act are Cowards & Traitors

Once upon a time:  What I want to know, what I want to know, is what in the world so many Democrats are doing supporting the President’s unilateral intervention in Iraq? What I want to know, is what in the world so many Democrats are doing supporting tax cuts which have bankrupted this country and given us the largest deficit in the history of the United States? What I want to know, is why the Congress is fighting over the Patient’s Bill of Rights?  If the Patient’s Bill of Rights passes, is a good bill, but not one more person … Continue reading Democrats Who Voted for SAFE Act are Cowards & Traitors

The Pre-Palin GOP Was a Scholar’s Paradise, and Other Lies We Tell Children

Bill Daley, attempting to let Republicans off the hook by complaining about those filthy Republican voters:  Calling the current GOP primary “carnival-like,” Daley said the party had a chance to right itself after Palin’s “blatant lack of competence and preparedness” became apparent and contributed to the collapse of the McCain campaign. “What’s critical is that substantive, serious Republican leaders either wouldn’t or couldn’t declare, before or after the election: ‘This is not what our party stands for. We can and must do better,’” Daley wrote. “Once McCain put Palin on the ticket, Republican ‘grown-ups,’ who presumably knew better, had to … Continue reading The Pre-Palin GOP Was a Scholar’s Paradise, and Other Lies We Tell Children

Poll Worship & The Louisiana Silly Season

I hate articles about polls. There’s way too much poll worship in the world and when the polls are wrong, as they were in the U.K. general election, people freak out. It’s part and parcel of worshiping a false deity. Poll worship is wreaking havoc on national politics right now with the candidate trying to be the first insult comedian elected President leading the GOP field. The polls also show a backbench Independent Senator from Vermont doing surprisingly well in the politically quirky Granite State. All you need to know about that is that New Englanders often win that primary *and* that they love … Continue reading Poll Worship & The Louisiana Silly Season

Your Own Self-Interest

Charlie: There is no question that the Democratic party has done a god-awful job of explaining to white working people who’s screwing them and why. Most of the people who have tried that have found themselves marginalized, and not always by Republicans, either. Senator Professor Warren is one of the few of them who has managed to explain these matters in such a way that they are both easily understood, and in such a way that she doesn’t sound like she’s talking down to anyone. And she still has a long push up a dirt road before she moves the … Continue reading Your Own Self-Interest

I Do Not Mourn The New Republic

Mostly because of shit like this:  Now the left-leaning weekly has admitted that it was wrong to have backed the war based on the administration’s claims that Saddam Hussein was hiding weapons of mass destruction. “We feel regret, but no shame. . . . Our strategic rationale for war has collapsed,” says an editorial hammered out after a contentious, 3 1/2-hour editors’ meeting. “I wanted the editorial to be honest not just about the war and other people’s mistakes but our mistakes,” Editor Peter Beinart says. “We felt we had a responsibility to look in the mirror.” You know what … Continue reading I Do Not Mourn The New Republic

The T Word

I’ve tried to avoid election post-mortems. But I’m a political junkie so my efforts to bury the recent past were futile. The problem with most of them is that they haven’t focused on the big problem for Democrats: the T word. No, not teawads but TURNOUT. The national turnout was 36.3%, which is beyond pitiful. It’s woeful and many other words ending in ful. It’s also becoming a chronic problem in off-year elections since Republicans tend to vote in every election. That means that Congress, state leges, and Governors are all more conservative than the general public. That’s the main … Continue reading The T Word