Big night on the health-care beat last night. I started working last night just after Baby Killer Bart had struck his deal, and it became Done. I kept CSPAN on as long as I could stand it, but that wasn’t long. Does listening to the House of Representatives, or Congress in general, ever lead you to a certain stirring pride in being an American? Yeah, me neither. I can’t listen for long without getting depressed, so I turned it off. Once the deal is done, it’s all over but the whining. It was interesting to see that Mary Bono is still in Congress. Excuse me, Mary Bono Mack. Let’s check the wiki-bio, shall we?
Bono married Wyoming businessman Glenn Baxley in 2001 about 18 months after the two met in Mexico. They filed for divorce in 2005. On December 15, 2007, Mary married Congressman Connie Mack IV from Florida in Asheville, North Carolina. …Known for her dedication to physical fitness. …Her district includes the highest percentage of gays and lesbians of any district represented by a Republican. …Bono Mack followed the Republican Party line 89% of the time according to Congressional Quarterly. In 2004 she earned an 84% approval rating from the Christian Coalition, but this fell to 33% in 2008. In 1999, she voted in favor of the Largent amendment, to ban adoption by same-sex couples in Washington, DC. Bono has, however, voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment twice. …Bono Mack was a leading proponent of the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998, the so-called “Mickey Mouse Law”, which extended the terms of copyright. Giving a speech on the floor of Congress in favor of the bill, Bono said: “Actually, Sonny wanted the term of copyright protection to last forever. I am informed by staff that such a change would violate the Constitution.”
In other words, she went to Washington, liked what she saw, settled in — married a local — and now would probably say she “votes her conscience,” or whatever. I hope you’re happy, Palm Springs. She’ll likely be there until they carry her out feet-first.
I’m trying to imagine how we might pay royalties to the heirs of John Philip Sousa every time the band strikes up “The Stars and Stripes Forever.”
We followed the most radical voices in the party and the movement, and they led us to abject and irreversible defeat.
There were leaders who knew better, who would have liked to deal. But they were trapped. Conservative talkers on Fox and talk radio had whipped the Republican voting base into such a frenzy that deal-making was rendered impossible. How do you negotiate with somebody who wants to murder your grandmother? Or – more exactly – with somebody whom your voters have been persuaded to believe wants to murder their grandmother?
Whatever it is, it’s fun to read. I’ve frequently said, over the years, that the Republicans of my adulthood bore little resemblance to the ones of my childhood, i.e., the nice country-club members who wanted their taxes cut, but would have fainted from mortification had anyone asked about their relationship with Jesus. I don’t know how many of their ilk are looking around today and asking who invited these thugs into their party. I hope at least a few.
Anyway, it’s over now. The Democrats will lose seats in November; the party in power usually does. But if Frum is right — if the steadily improving economy will take some wind out of the Tea Party’s sails by fall — then there will be a reckoning. Eventually.
Side link on Frum’s site: A video extra on how Rahm Emanuel lost his middle finger, from his “60 Minutes” interview. I had no idea the accident was that serious, having only heard the Obama-at-the-roast version, in which the loss of Emanuel’s all-important second digit “tragically rendered him nearly mute.”
One last point before I move on to the fluffier bloggage: Like most moderate Americans, I was frustrated by the line Stupak et al drew over so-called abortion funding; I keep seeing the figure 80 percent of private plans offer abortion coverage — is this true? If so, are all the pro-lifers in the country who were willing to smash this bill to smithereens over a few percentages of a penny of federal money that might go to someone’s abortion, are they willing to repudiate their employer-paid private insurance coverage and either go bareback or buy from a different company out of pocket? I bet …not. Just a thought.
And from the Department of Revisionist History, Newt Gingrich predicts doom, doom for the Dems:
But former Republican House speaker Newt Gingrich said Obama and the Democrats will regret their decision to push for comprehensive reform. Calling the bill “the most radical social experiment . . . in modern times,” Gingrich said: “They will have destroyed their party much as Lyndon Johnson shattered the Democratic Party for 40 years” with the enactment of civil rights legislation in the 1960s.
The GOP: Happy to Profit From Others’ Doing of the Right Thing for 50 Years.
I’ve doubted Patti Smith’s status as a working-class hero ever since I learned she sent her son not to the public schools of St. Clair Shores, Michigan, but the Grosse Pointe Academy. This weekend brought more proof, via the NYT:
Necks craned for a glimpse of Patti Smith as she settled at her customary corner table at Da Silvano in Greenwich Village, a favorite afternoon haunt, earlier this month. The wonder was that the patrons, silver haired and sleekly buffed, could pick her out at all. Ms. Smith was understated, even self-effacing in her mannish jacket, boater shirt and beat-up jeans. …So it was surprising to learn that her roomy gray jacket, with cuffs that unfasten at the wrist, was designed by Ann Demeulemeester, a high priestess of Parisian vanguard chic. Her jeans were Ralph Lauren, prized by Ms. Smith for their racy lines. Her boots, a gift from Johnny Depp, who wore them as the Mad Hatter in “Alice in Wonderland,” were the perfect fit, Ms. Smith exulted, “like when the magic cobbler made your shoes.”
I guess Johnny Depp doesn’t give boots from Payless. And Demeulemeester is “a longtime friend and collaborator,” so I doubt she pays retail. And I suppose the lady can afford it. Still.
Manic Monday awaits. And we’re off!