Saturday, March 21, 2015

A Non-Governing Coalition

In the wake of the Israeli elections, Prime Minister Netanyahu has to form a new governing coalition. Too bad his rightist allies in the US Senate can't take a lesson from him. They seem unable to govern, even with a clear majority. Follow me here.

The funny thing about Hillary Clinton's press conference the other day dealing with her emails is that she seemed to be enjoying herself. Reporter after reporter asked pretty much the same nonsense questions. She took it all in stride, and didn't seem to take any of it too seriously -- because it is, after all, nonsense.

As I said nearly two weeks ago, right after the press conference, there's nothing here.The point of the faux scandal is to attempt to put Ms. Clinton on the defensive. Treating this faux news story with the contempt it deserves it the right approach.

The current chef Benghazi persecutor, Trey Gowdy, has now demanded to be given Ms. Clinton's email server -- or at least, to have it turned over to a third party. Of course, he's not going to get that. All the official and government emails were sent to other people in the government, so they're already available and already saved on other government servers. Anything private is, well, private, and he has no right to any of it.

It isn't clear what he's looking for -- well, yes, it is. It wouldn't be clear, if we assumed he wanted something relating to Ms. Clinton's duties as Secretary of State, because all that information is already in his hands. Gowdy is (supposedly) asking as part of his Yet Another Investigation Into Benghazi. What he's really looking for is something, anything, that can be presented as tawdry personal dirt. There isn't any other possible reason for the request, since investigation after investigation has already concluded there's nothing more to investigate. Even the investigation run by Republicans said that.

What we're seeing, of course, is really not Yet Another Investigation Into Benghazi, but yet another example of the inability of Republicans to govern. Their only concern -- their obsession -- is political machinations. They cannot actually do the People's work.

Interfering in negotiations to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear bomb is one example. Shutting down the government in 2013 is another (and Republicans will have at least three chances to do that again this year). Republicans are unable to govern, even when they've got complete control of Congress. We saw it in their fumbling over passing a clean DHS funding bill. Or their inability to bring the bipartisan Senate immigration bill to the House floor. House Speaker Boehner said he'd instead pass a series of smaller reform bills. He couldn't even do that.

We see it in Republicans' inability to even pass an anti-human trafficking bill. Some Republican Senate moron had the bright idea to stick a poison pill into their own bill -- unnecessary and divisive anti-abortion language, preventing the victims of human trafficking from using federal funds for abortions if their victimization leads to unwanted pregnancies. Senate Majority Moron Mitch McConnell has claimed the language is no big deal -- he says there are enough exceptions that victims who need abortions can get them anyway. If it's no big deal though, then the language doesn't need to be there, does it? So just remove it.

But no, McConnell insists the poison pill has to stay in, and to force the issue, he won't allow a vote on Loretta Lynch until the bill passes with the anti-abortion language in.

Wait, what? What has Loretta Lynch got to do with the anti-abortion poison pill in the human trafficking bill?

Well, nothing.

Ms.  Lynch has already been waiting longer for her confirmation than the last five Attorneys General combined had to wait for theirs. The really funny part of that is how anxious Republicans are to get rid of the current Attorney General, Eric Holder. They absolutely hate him. Or at least, for six years, they've pretended to hate him. More than likely, it was all political posturing (like Trey Gowdy's pretend "investigation"). Faux News viewers fell for it, which is all that matters.

Will Democrats cave on this issue, and vote to keep the nonsense anti-abortion language in the  human trafficking bill? There's no reason for them to. If they don't, Republicans will be seen as once again trying to load legislation up with bags of flaming dog poo, as they did in forcing the 2013 shutdown, and as they did in the silliness over DHS funding. Eventually, as with DHS and the 2013 spending bill, they'll have to just take their bag of dog poo out and let the clean bill pass. In the meanwhile, Democrats are stuck with Eric Holder staying on as Attorney General. Oh my, what ever shall we do?

As with the posturing above, the point of Trey Gowdy's faux "investigation" isn't the investigation, just as the dog poo in the above bills proved the machinations weren't about the bills. Trey Gowdy is trying to embarrass the former Secretary of State and likely 2016 presidential candidate, nothing more. He's seizing on the email faux "scandal" as one way to do it. Nothing else has worked. Ms. Clinton was scoring easily 10 to 15 points ahead of even the closest of the likely Republican candidates.

So, how's this latest tactic working out for Republicans? Well, think about it. Before the email thing broke, Ms. Clinton was polling at least 10 to 15 points ahead of any possible Republican candidate. Now, three weeks later, she's polling at least 10 to 15 points ahead of any possible Republican candidate. Not much of a change.

The people who support Ms Clinton know it's a nothingburger. The people who hate her already hate her. No one has any real expectation that anyone will be swayed by this nonsense, but it's not about that. Republicans will use these faked "investigations" as a way to keep the nutty base engaged, keep them riled up, prevent them from thinking about any actual issues -- because Republicans lose on issues -- and, they hope, get them to the polls.

That's all Republicans have. They're in a constant campaign posturing mode. They sure can't govern.

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