Fight for America...When the Lights are on
Democrats were all over the news last week, acting like an
bitched about Tom DeLay, stalling a transparent Republican
effort to self-investigate (read: bury) the charges against
him. They pounded their fists in righteous indignation over
the nomination of John Bolton. And they freaked out to the
man about Bill Frist's decision to denounce the Democrats
as being "against people of faith."
John Kerry issued a cheeky "Can you believe these fucking
guys?" quote about Frist that was picked up in papers
across the country. "We're going to allow the majority
leader to invoke faith to rewrite Senate rules, to put substandard
extremist judges on the bench?" he shrieked.
the Bolton fracas, the voice leading the opposition charge
was none other than Joe Biden, who was unusually pointed and
vicious about the Bush nominee, all but accusing him of lying
to Congress. In a voice dripping with Capra-esque civic-mindedness,
Biden said: "I'm less concerned about the interests of
the U.N. than I am the interests of the United States of America
and how we can look straight-faced in the mirror and say,
'this guy is the face we want to put forward to the whole
was the front-and-center stuff. Democrats were less vocal
about some of the other shenanigans going down in Congress.
In the last two weeks, a number of major bills were passed
with wide bipartisan support, including an $81 billion spending
bill for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, an energy
bill containing some $12 billion in tax breaks and subsidies
for the energy industry, and—last but not least—the so-called
Bankruptcy Reform bill, that long-awaited hot wet dream of
the commercial lending industry.
Energy bill, which included a $2 billion subsidy to the oil
and gas industry to research drilling in the Gulf of Mexico,
and cleared the way for oil drilling in the Alaskan wildlife
refuge, was passed by the House on Earth Day in a touching
gesture to environmental idealism. It passed by a vote of
249-183, marking the sixth time this year that at least 40
House Democrats voted for a Republican-sponsored bill.
of those other instances involved the Bankruptcy Reform bill,
which unlike the energy bill has already cleared both houses
and been signed into law. This admirably vicious piece of
legislation—which one Harvard expert on bankruptcy described
as having been "designed to point a thousand daggers
squarely at the consumer in trouble"—will essentially
make it next to impossible to declare personal bankruptcy.
central feature of the bill is the creation of a so-called
"means test," a mechanism that will employ the IRS
to investigate the means and assets of individuals to determine
if they are eligible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The
test is elaborate and complicated, but the gist of it is that
if you own your own underwear, you will not pass it. Other
excellent provisions of the bill include an elimination of
automatic stays of evictions, and the exclusion of certain
types of student loans from Chapter 7 consideration.
credit-card industry has been gnashing its teeth to get this
bitch passed for about eight years. When it finally succeeded,
it did so with margins of 302-126 in the House, and 74-25
in the Senate.
did it manage those numbers? Among other things, the industry
made some $7,978,034 in political contributions in 2004 alone,
with $2,925,825 of that going to Democrats. Not surprisingly,
some of its biggest contributions were to the leading Democrat
traitor-whores who cheerleaded the thing through Congress.
Among the top 20 recipients of credit-card money in the past
year were Senate Democrats like Evan Bayh of Indiana, Harry
Reid of Nevada, and the Delaware contingent of Tom Carper
and Biden—all of whom voted for S.256.
congressional legislation, it's always useful to look in the
fine print, because the broad strokes of almost any bill can
be made to sound quite sane. With the Bankruptcy Reform business,
Bush-haters naturally pounced on the baldly hypocritical premise
of the bill. They balked when Bush, in signing it into law,
said, "If someone does not pay his or her debts, the
rest of society ends up paying them." This from a man
who's running massive federal deficits that our grandchildren
will have to pay for; this from a man who ran up $3 million
in bank debts as president of a failed company called Spectrum
7, only to be bailed out by a company called Harken.
Bush-hating crowd can cry foul about this stuff all they want,
and they obviously have a point in doing so. But the Bankruptcy
Reform bill sounds reasonable on its face. If you borrow
money, you should pay it, right? Why should it be Citibank's
problem if you don't get a job?
that this bill goes out of its way to stick you even if the
debts aren't your fault. In amendment after amendment leading
up to the final vote on this bill, Republicans—with the help
of a dependable group of contribution-rich Democrats—shot
down every conceivable legitimate exemption to means testing.
This included proposed exemptions for women whose debts were
incurred due to non-payment of alimony and child support,
for the dependent spouses of servicemen killed in action,
and for people whose debts came about as a result of catastrophic
my absolute favorite is the amendment, proposed by Bill Nelson
of Florida, to exempt from means testing individuals whose
debts were incurred as a result of identity fraud. It would
be hard to imagine any legitimate objection to this amendment.
The only rational objection to this amendment would be that
your tongue is so far up the ass of MBNA that you can't possibly
vote for it. Which says something about the Senate; the amendment
was crushed, 61-37.
the Democrats who voted "Nay" to that amendment
were Carper, who received $86,107 from credit card companies
last year, and our Capra-esque civic hero Biden, who received
a total of $144,700 between 1999 and 2004—far more than he
received from any other industry.
bill was held up only when Republicans and Democrats locked
horns over barring abortion clinic protesters from filing
for bankruptcy if they were sued. Republicans balked, the
Democrats refused to budge, and the long "ideological"
tug-of-war ended only when an amendment on this issue sponsored
by local swine Chuck Schumer was finally defeated.
whole thing is a perfect microcosm of our national politics.
On the front pages, the Democrats feud with the Republicans
like pit bulls over a bunch of idiotic and mostly irrelevant
social issues, usually involving Jesus—Terri Schiavo, judicial
nominations, the bankruptcy claims of anti-abortion terrorists.
Whenever the cameras are on, they trot out a shrill hag like
Nancy Pelosi—a personage very proficient at being loud, but
suspiciously ineffective at instilling party discipline—to
hysterically denounce the Republicans as the spawn of Satan.
But once the lights are off, they hand the party reins to
a few dozen whores who make sure the money votes go the right
do this every time, yet we still buy their Capra act. Are
we really all that stupid?