One excellent measurement of this country's segue into insanity can be found in the fact that Mitch McConnell is not far enough to the right to please many Tea Partiers. How is that even possible?
Mitch is as hideous a reactionary as the Senate has ever seen. Asking him to be more
conservative is like saying Baltimore should be more humid in the summer.
In his secretly-recorded speech before a conclave of billionaires -- all gathered together under the aegis of the Koch brothers -- Mitch makes Mitt Romney seem like Michael Parenti
. Here is what Mitch promises if Republicans control the Senate:
"And I assure you that in the spending bill, we will be pushing back against this bureaucracy by doing what’s called placing riders in the bill. No money can be spent to do this or to do that. We’re going to go after them on healthcare, on financial services, on the Environmental Protection Agency, across the board (inaudible). All across the federal government, we’re going to go after it.”
McConnell’s pledge to “go after” Democrats on financial services—a reference to declawing Dodd-Frank regulation—is a key omission from his Politico interview. He has been a vocal opponent of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in particular, and presumably under his Senate leadership funding for the CFPB would be high on the list of riders for the appropriations chopping block. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Wall Street was the number-one contributor to McConnell’s campaign committee from 2009 to 2014.
He's against unemployment extension.
He's against raising the minimum wage.
He's against allowing people to refinance their student loan debts.
He's against campaign finance reform.
And he's willing to shut down the government unless he gets his way.
Yes, Obama has been, by and large, a failure. His neocon-lite foreign policy has been even more infuriating than his coddling of the Wall Street hooligans. But Obama's many sins are almost insignificant when we contemplate what the right has in store for this nation. Liberal disappointment with this president does not justify letting the Koch brothers have even more power on Capitol Hill.
So to all of you who want to sell me on the cynical belief that "both parties are the same," I have a message: Screw you
. You probably don't live on minimum wage, and you probably don't have to deal with crushing student loan debts.
Let me tell you something about Obamacare.
Yes, many of us were furious -- and remain
furious -- at Obama because he took single payer off the table at a time when the idea was popular. But a couple of years ago, one of my family members had to give up his health insurance because the monthly payments (more than $400 a month) were too onerous. This same person has insurance again, thanks to the ACA. The cost: $160 a month.
You want to sneer at that? You want to minimize its importance? Go to hell.