“Bipartisanship”

Like the college guy with the hot girlfriend who becomes habituated to demoralizing, degrading, bankrupting insanity, so the American people with politicians.  Whatever “representative government” is supposed to be, it sure as hell ain’t this.

Army combat veteran and Congressman Max Rose (D-NY) has released a statement breaking party lines to oppose Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s War Powers Resolution.

That’s it.  That’s the news.  That a Democrat is voting other than Nancy Pelosi wants him to vote.  The Left considers this a huge betrayal, while the Right is hailing it as some kind of big victory.  My analysis is more Kent Brockmanesque — I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, democracy simply doesn’t work.

The context — “Nancy Pelosi’s War Powers Resolution” — doesn’t matter at all.  That’s not to say it isn’t a serious issue, worthy of real debate.  We could start with the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution and the War Powers Resolution.  The latter replaced the former and is still in effect, at least theoretically, though it’s hard to see how much American military action since 1973 is covered under it.  But that would require some thought, and some historical literacy, so let’s talk about what “everybody knows.”

For instance, everybody knows that if Obama had taken out Soleimani, the same folks who are currently freaking out would be ecstatic.  The only thing that moistens the thighs of the Media-Academic Complex more than a live terrorist is a dead terrorist cruise-missiled by a Democrat president.  The Bin Laden raid was a gross violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty, but it’s still the first thing Lefty brings up when he wants to sound tough.  (Soleimani, not that it matters, was tooling around a combat zone wearing the uniform of an avowed US enemy).

So, too, everybody knows what would’ve happened if the Republican House had brought a “war powers resolution” to the floor limiting Obama’s freedom of action:

Again, there are real, big, important issues at stake here — can Pakistan send commandos into New York if they find out a guy on their hit list is living there? — but none of them would matter in the slightest to the “debate.”  The content doesn’t matter.  At all.  Only the form.

Let me put this as clearly and calmly as I can: This is gibbering insanity, and yet we conduct all our political affairs this way. This “war powers” nonsense pales in comparison to sham-peachment, for instance, where we’ve got Nancy Pelosi crowing that “we’ve been working on this for two and a half years,” when the so-called “crime” he’s being “impeached” for happened — if it happened, which of course it didn’t — in 2019.  “High crimes and misdemeanors,” they announced almost from the moment the last vote was counted, will be whatever they need them to be.

Then look at the fallout. A lone Democrat, NY rep Jeff Van Drew, voted against “impeachment.”  And then he switched parties.  Think about that for a second.  What could “representation” possibly mean, when the Party requires such lockstep loyalty that you have to abandon it to vote against it on a matter of grave historical consequence?  The removal of a sitting US president is bound to have grave, global ramifications, for years… and yet, both sides all vote in lockstep, to the point where any dissenter actually has to go over to the other, lockstep-voting side.

So, too, with the “trial,” whenever that actually happens.  Here too, everybody knows that Pelosi is only delaying the transmission of the articles of impeachment — which is unconstitutional in itself, as if that has ever mattered — in order to bribe, cajole, threaten, intimidate, or otherwise sweet-talk a few “Republicans” more than just Snowe, Murkowski, and Pierre Defecto.  Again, think about that.  We know how these clowns are going to vote, regardless of the evidence.

Again, this is a situation of the utmost consequence.  You’re gonna be in the history books for this, one way or another.  Short of actually voting to declare war on China or something, this is probably the most consequential action a Senator could ever be expected to vote on…. and yet, we all know how it’s gonna go.  Is there anyone, anywhere, so naive as to think that, say, Martin Heinrich (D-NM, a guy I picked at random) is going to break ranks?  Or that however Pierre Defecto ends up voting, it’s based on anything other than who offered him the sweetest deal?

THIS. IS. LUNACY., and yet, everyone in America simply accepts it as given.  We even clap for “bipartisanship,” for pete’s sake, like the good little trained seals we are.  As far as I’m concerned, the actions of our “representatives” are the strongest possible argument for divine-right monarchy.  At least when the Duke of This schemes with the Earl of That to assassinate the King because the King awarded the Duke’s mistress to Baron The Other Thing, they’re being no better than they ought to be.  “Democracy” asks everyone, voters and representatives alike, to be better than they ought… and then cheers when they turn out to be worse scoundrels than we thought.

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11 thoughts on ““Bipartisanship”

  1. WOPR

    As you said, it doesn’t scale. Once it costs millions of dollars to run for election, the money guys are in complete control. Plus, you eventually end up with people who would be good, not wanting to get into the mud. You can’t blame them. Most likely, they get ruined or they find they enjoy the mud. Either way, it is another failure. Just getting on the ballot is a significant organizational effort.

    OT: WRT Trump’s response to Iran, maybe I’m reading too much into it, however I think it just shows how much of a Boomer Trump is. He spent most of his life during the Cold War where you didn’t just use the neocon way of bombing anyone you didn’t like. Notice, he never really responded to other Iranian provocations like the ship captures. The drone shootdown was over Iranian territory. I figure Trump was like, “Yeah, we were over their territory and they shot it down, so what?” The embassy mob was too much. Too much of a reminder of Jimmy and his incompetence. Plus, the embassy is US territory. Support guys in Iraq attacking our guys in Iraq, well we may not like it but those are fair play rules. Attack our embassy, different ballgame. Notice, he hit the guy outside of Iran and with little collateral damage. The way they took the guy out was as much of a message as taking him out. It happened outside of Iran. It was a statement of telling Tehran to keep to the rules and we have our limits. It was very reminiscent of Reagan hitting Libya.

  2. Pickle Rick

    Politicians are whores. That being said, I’m fully in support of limitations on the war powers of the imperial presidency, which has been wielded badly ever since 1945. Multigenerational Quasi-wars is no way to conduct foreign policy.

  3. MBlanc46

    Regardless of how “representative government” can or cannot work in general, it’s certainly no longer working in the United States (assuming that it ever did). It’s likely that it’s unworkable in any significantly multicultural, multiethnic society. Even where it’s been pretty successful over the last century or so, in some of the countries of northern and western Europe and Australasia, it appears to be going off the rails, and for the same reasons it’s doing so in the US. I’m of the view that President Trump will be defeated in NOV, but if he does eke out a victory, I would expect the level of hostility to increase by a factor of two or three.

  4. Frip

    here’s the deal. i’ve been thinking about things. and i always end up with what Severian says it’s all about….”life is not fair”. that’s really it.

    1. contrariandutchman

      Such fatalism is unbecoming the heirs of Western civilization. “Fiat Justitia et pereat mundus” has since antiquity been a driving force in the West. May it remain so till the end times, even if Justice can never be achieved in this life.

  5. WOPR

    It’s not fatalism and it really is part of the West. It rains on the just and the unjust. The statement isn’t about justice. It’s about realizing that no one is dealt the same hand and instead of worrying about it, suck it up and move on.

    1. contrariandutchman

      Justice and equality are not at all the same thing. The West always acknowledged the fact that all people are nogt all equal until the diseases of the past fifty years or so struck.

    2. MBlanc46

      WOPR: I see that you beat me to it, and in very similar language (except I didn’t have the bit about the rain).

  6. MBlanc46

    C’mon, CD, you know that the Fates and fatalism are deeply engrained in the classical Western tradition. The idea that we are completely in control of our own lives, and that by putting the right folks in charge we can create a New Man and a perfect world is probably the most destructive idea in the modern world. Stuff happens. Sometimes it’s good. Sometimes it’s not so good. Out job is to play the hands we’re dealt the best that we can.

  7. Severian Post author

    I’m not sure where I fall on this debate, but I can’t help being reminded of Machiavelli’s quip that Fortune is a woman, and the man who wishes to control her must treat her roughly. He had Game, did Niccolo.

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