I'm starting to think that the biggest problem with America may be the American People.
I don't think the American People are serious about solving our problems.
First off, Rachel's speech was a joke, and I don't mean "ha-ha" joke. I mean "I-wonder-why-she's-allowed-a-TeeVee-show" joke.
Spoken like someone who's never had to pass a single bit of legislation in her life.
But alas, when Jonathan Chait ripped her, he said it much better than I:
In reality, you can't pass any of the climate bill by reconciliation. Democrats didn't write reconciliation instructions permitting them to do so, and very little of its could be passed through reconciliation, which only allows budgetary decisions. Maddow's response is to pass the rest by executive order. But you can't change those laws through executive order, either. That's not how our system of government works, nor is it how our system should work.
If Maddow's speech had to hew to the reality of Senate rules and the Constitution, she'd be left where Obama is: ineffectually pleading to get whatever she can get out of a Senate that has nowhere near enough votes to pass even a stripped-down cap and trade bill. It may be nice to imagine that all political difficulties could be swept away by a president who just spoke with enough force and determination. It's a recurrent liberal fantasy —Michael Moore imagined such a speech a few months ago, Michael Douglas delivers such a speech in "The American President." I would love to eliminate the filibuster and create more accountable parties. But even if that happens, there will be a legislative branch that has a strong say in what passes or doesn't pass. And that's good! We wouldn't want to live in a world where a president can remake vast swaths of policy merely be decreeing it.
Jon Stewart ran along the same lines last night, when he blasted the last eight President's for promising to get us off Oil, and then not getting us off oil.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|An Energy-Independent Future|
Jon, I love ya. It was a great bit. But do you know what those last eight Presidents had in common?
We've been electing them.
We've been electing these Congress-critters.
We've asked them to make tough choices...
...and when they've had to make tough choices, we've punished them for it. (Health Care Reform, anybody?)
We may be the one's we've been waiting for, but we're the one's who've been falling for this crap again and again and again.
No amount of money can sell a truly terrible idea, but a truly terrible idea can sell to a public that's only half paying attention. And that's where we are today.
It took a hundred years to get a Health Care Bill through both Houses of Congress and onto the President's desk for signature. Every time it was attempted (again, this is a bill to benefit the American People) those same American People (helped along by the AMA, Pharma and AHIP) rose up and cried "SOCIALIST!"
So how long is it gonna take for Energy? We know we have a problem. We know we want to get off oil, but we also want someone else to take the pain.
Not me. Not in my backyard. No.
We don't even have a population that understands that there's a problem yet, so how do we expect our elected representatives (Note: they represent their people, remember?) to generate any political will to do anything about it?
If you want to attack a problem seriously, you first have to accept the idea that not everyone is going to accept your ideas. Period. That's the thing about a Representative Democracy, everyone's got a say...and they're not always going to align with what's on your mind. It's as difficult for me to accept as it is for you. But you know what? That's okay. You muddle through the best you can. You do what you can. You do not, Keith and-or Rachel, let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
The ship of state turns slowly...but it does turn. The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice...but it does bend.
Translation: You think your job is done just because you pulled a lever in 2008? Are you high?
The Civil Rights Era, the New Deal...the two proudest accomplishments (up till now) on the Liberal Resume were not overnight success stories. They were long, hard slogs, full of blood (spilled), sweat and more than a few shares of tears. They were not popular when they were done. Too many Liberals thought they didn't go far enough. And on top of all that, somehow my fellow Liberals have jedi-mind tricked themselves into believing that the respective Presidents who got these bills passed magically snapped their fingers to make them happen.
Again, I ask...are you high?
Don't answer that. I'm afraid I already know the answer.
Look, fellow Liberals. We're on the right path. We're doing what we said we wanted to do when Obama got elected. Either we're going to follow through, or we're not. Right now, to me, it looks like you're punking out.
Rachel certainly did.