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Profile Information

Name: William Rivers Pitt
Gender: Male
Hometown: Boston
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 57,702

Journal Archives

A message for the President

Do it, Mr. President.

Take the executive action on immigration today, when you have your press gaggle this afternoon. Make it big. Make it loud. And, yes, make them squeal. There is nothing else you could do that so effectively could force the carefully camouflaged extremism that won last night out into the open. There is nothing else you could do that so effectively could energize the fault lines underlying the Republican position on this issue. There is nothing else you could do that so effectively could call the bluffs of all those anonymous Republicans who are whispering to Luke Russert that they know they have to "govern" over the next two years. (Look at the new House over which John Boehner has to be the hall monitor. Ken Buck from Colorado, who was too extreme to elect in the previous Republican wave year, got elected. Jody Hice got elected in Georgia with 67 percent of the vote. There are other land mines out there, too. There's no governing his caucus, let alone the country.) There is nothing else you could do that so effectively could force the issue, change the narrative, charge up your stunned party, and reassert what's left of the power of your office. There is nothing else you can do.

Last night was a defeat for the idea that circumspection ever leads to anything except timidity. The president delayed taking executive action on immigration to help out Kay Hagan, Mark Pryor, and Mary Landrieu. Hagan and Pryor are out, and Landrieu is on borrowed time. Harry Reid's actual contribution to the dysfunction was to keep those same Democratic senators from having to take tough votes that might hurt them on the campaign trail. It didn't work. They all got hung with the votes they didn't take. Alison Lundergan Grimes wouldn't even say whether she'd ever voted for the president. (Kudos to whoever thought to plant that question.) Nobody was fooled. The president's party proved itself utterly unwilling to stand behind the president's policies and, therefore, the president's very real achievements. This was not clever. It was suicidal.

The rest: http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/The_Only_Thing_Thats_Left

Charlie Pierce, folks. The man is on fire today. If you haven't read his blog yet, do so with dispatch.

Charles P. Pierce sums up last night succinctly.

Let us dispense with some conventional wisdom before it petrifies. First of all, the president's basic unpopularity was unquestionably a factor, but not anywhere near as much of a factor as was the reluctance of the Democratic party -- from the president on down -- to embrace the actual successes that the administration has achieved. The economy is, in fact, improving. It is the responsibility of the president and his party that we have the paradoxical polling that indicates that the elements of the Affordable Care Act are popular, while "Obamacare" is not. (Mitch McConnell told a transparent lie that Kentucky could get rid of the ACA and still keep its very popular state exchange. He didn't suffer at all for that.) The senatorial candidates who lost were senators who ran away from the administration. Alison Lundergan Grimes wouldn't say if she'd voted for the president. Kay Hagan endorsed the Keystone XL pipeline. Michelle Nunn practically ran as an independent. How much worse could it possibly have been for all of them had they stood by the president and his record? How much worse could it possibly have been for them had the president come to campaign for them?

Second, it was a great night for voter-suppression, which has been central to the Republican response to the fact that the president has been elected twice. Kris Kobach, the architect of the strategy, was re-elected as Secretary of State in Kansas, and Jon Husted won the same office in Ohio, over Democratic candidate Nina Turner, on an election that was a referendum on Husted's voter-suppression tactics in that state. Thom Tillis, who piloted North Carolina's incredibly stringent voter-suppression law through the state legislature, is going to the Senate, and Scott Walker, who oversaw the same kind of effort in Wisconsin, is going back to his day job, running the state into the ground and dodging subpoenas, until it's time for him to run for president. It's going to take days to sort out the overall effect of these laws on the general electorate, even if anyone cares to do so, which I've come to doubt, because the Supreme Court created a new normal when John Roberts gutted the Voting Rights Act and declared the day of jubilee, and the people in the country who are not those inconvenienced by these laws, and who are not those against whose franchise these laws were directly aimed, seem perfectly content with this situation.

Last, and I hate to break this to Tom Brokaw, and to Kasie Hunt, who talked about how the Republicans know they have to "govern," but this election couldn't have been less of a repudiation of the Tea Party. As the cable shows signed off last night, it was dawning even on the most conventional pundits that the Republicans had not elected an escadrille of Republican archangels to descend upon Capitol Hill. It was more like a murder of angry crows. Joni Ernst is not a moderate. David Perdue is not a moderate. Thom Tillis is not a moderate. Cory Gardner -- who spiced up his victory by calling himself "the tip of the spear" -- is not a moderate. Tom Cotton is not a moderate. And these were the people who flipped the Senate to the Republicans. In the reliably Republican states, Ben Sasse in Nebraska is not a moderate. James Lankford in Oklahoma is not a moderate. He's a red-haired fanatic who believes that welfare causes school shootings. Several of these people -- most notably, Sasse and Ernst -- won Republican primaries specifically as Tea Partiers, defeating establishment candidates. The Republicans did not defeat the Tea Party. The Tea Party's ideas animated what happened on Tuesday night. What the Republicans managed to do was to teach the Tea Party to wear shoes, mind its language, and use the proper knife while amputating the social safety net. They did nothing except send the Tea Party to finishing school.

The rest: http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/Election_Night_2014

What's different? Not much.

So, hey. This was a bad night for those of us who believe dinosaurs existed even though they weren't mentioned in the Bible

But relax a bit.

The President of the United States of America has this nifty thing called a "Veto Pen." He's not the most reliable *ahem* "liberal" *hachoo* out there, to be sure, but I do have high confidence that most of the whackadoo batshittery that's about to be farted out of this newly-demented Congress won't become law.

We all have front row seats for two years of political theater. The roads will crumble, the poor will suffer, the current wars will remain current, and nothing will get better...but honestly, if the Dems had kept the Senate, McConnell would have filibustered anything they tried to do anyway, and the House is a fucking insane asylum already, so what's different?

Not much.


The Stupid gets profound from here. At least I'll have plenty to write about. ‪#‎ColdComfort‬

Stout hearts, all. Shoulders to the wheel.

Psssst...hey...Scott Brown...



New Hampshire

A song for the American electorate

In honor of the oft-predicted-by-the-media possibility that The Worst People In American Politics will take over the Senate, I hereby and unilaterally declare this to be the official theme song for Midterm Election Night 2014.

Baby don't you do it,
don't do it
Don't you break my heart
Pleeeeease don't do it, don't you break my heart

A sacrifice would make you happy if nothing for myself
Now you wanna leave me for the love of someone else
My pride is all gone whether I'm right or wrong
I need you baby to keep on keepin' on

You know I'm trying to my best
Oh I'm trying to do my best
Don't do it, don't you break my heart
Pleeeeease don't do it, don't you break my heart

My biggest mistake was loving you too much
and letting you know
Now you got me where you want me
and you won't let me go
If my heart was made of glass well then you'd surely see
How much heartache and misery, girl, you've been causing me

While I've been trying to do my best
Well I've tried to do my best
Don't do it, don't you break my heart

Pleeeeease don't do it, don't you break my heart

Go down to the river and there I be
I'm gonna jump in girl, but you don't care bout me
Open up your eyes
Can't ya see I love ya?
Open up you heart, girl
Can't ya see I need ya?

Oh baby don't do it, do it, do it
Don't you break my heart
Pleeeeease don't do it don't you break my heart

My biggest mistake was loving you too much
and letting you know
Now you got me where you want me
and you won't let me go
If my heart was made of glass well then you'd surely see
How much heartache and misery, girl, you've been causing me

While I've been trying to do my best
You know I've tried to do my best
Don't do it, don't you break my heart
Pleeeeease don't do it, don't you break my heart

An Open Letter to God

Dear God:

OK, you feckless fuck, listen up. I am about to walk out the door, get in my car, drive down to the community center, and cast MY THIRD VOTE AGAINST SCOTT BROWN IN FOUR YEARS IN TWO STATES. I consider my requirement to do this a hate crime, because You clearly hate me; I had to deal with two back-to-back elections with this assburger in Massachusetts, and then I moved to New Hampshire, and that fart in the wind of history followed me, and now I have to vote against him AGAIN after enduring a THIRD session of OMG SCOTT BROWN IS SO AWESOME YOU GUYS commercials running wall to wall on every station until they invaded my sleep.

Fuck you, God. If this was Your Big Plan, I intend to thwart it. I am so totally going to vote against this dickhead, and You can't stop me. Throw a tree in the road, have a deer try to eat my face, send wolves who shoot bees out of their noses to gnaw my bones: nope. With my vote, I will be a splinter in the stake that will FINALLY be driven through the heart of this wretched opportunistic political vampire.

If You're going to kill me, God, do it right now. My keys are in my hand, and I am out the door.

Fuck Scott Brown.

Sincerely Yours,

William Rivers Pitt

Want to hear an Ebola joke?

P.S., this just in:

Kaci Hickox still doesn't have Ebola. Film at 11.

So here's some funny shit.

Ballot cast in the Seattle area.

So all I have to do now is pack my shit and my family and move 3,500 miles away and ride the demonstrable groundswell.



On the eve of this election, there's something I need your help to understand

Tomorrow, everyone of voting age in my family will troop down to our polling station and vote en masse to eject Scott "Please Just Go Away Already" Brown over the treeline and into the ether. This is not special, or unique, or dramatic. This is standard; we vote, period and end of file.

I imagine 99.99983% of every participant on this board is the same way: you vote, period and end of file.

So here's the thing that has been vexing me for a while now.

From the day of its inception until the day George W. Bush finally vacated the office he never won in the first place, DU was flypaper for liberals and progressives, and deliberately so. Among the attributes most clearly cherished were a demand for fair and open elections, a love of the Constitution and the rule of law, a desire to stop unjust or unwise wars, a desire to protect and defend the environment, and a desire to bring the criminals in government and Wall Street to justice.

That's the short list of the viewpoints actively cultivated for eight full years here. Eight. Full. Years.

Nowadays, however, because some politicians with a (D) after their names aren't, don't or won't stand for some or all of those ideals, pointing that out here and criticizing it has become some sort of high crime. If we do criticize those (D) politicians for failing to live up to those ideals, we're called "ratfuckers" or "trolls," or accused of "trying to depress turnout," or of having "Obama Derangement Syndrome," etc., because OMG REPUBLICANS YOU GUYS.

Are we really that chickenshit that we can't discuss and debate these serious issues, and whether our (D)'s are living up to them? P.S. If you think being critical on DU is going to swing even one election tomorrow, I strongly suggest you push away from the keyboard and go get some fresh air.

It gives me whiplash. We were for all those things for 2,922 days, until a guy with a (D) after his name took the Oval, and now we get dunned for standing up for the principles that were the bedrock of this community since January of 2001.

Don't call me a "ratfucker." Don't tell me I'm depressing turnout; if you want to find me tomorrow afternoon, look for the guy with the ponytail and beard holding a sign on Main Street, and that's after I vote.

We stand for these things or we don't. We stand up for them or we don't. We used to, en masse. Now, if there's a (D) involved, doing so is a crime to a whole lot of people around here. As far as I am concerned, *that* right there is Obama Derangement Syndrome.

Explain it to me.

This is it. This is the day.

One day, every November, the temperature dives and wind howls and the rain goes sideways and the snow shows its face...and all the remaining leaves come down. That day is today, and boy, it's a doozy. The trees are dancing the tango, and the leaves are swirling in tiny leaf-tornadoes in the back yard. The top of the mountain is frosted with snow. By morning, the limbs will be bare, and will stay that way until May. It was a truly glorious Autumn, but November is in full throat outside to tell me it was nice while it lasted.

I went out this morning without a coat, not even thinking about it, until the wind got up under my shirt, tapped my heart on the shoulder, and said, "Remember me?"

Yep. It's here.
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