And I thought, You know, dude, you probably should have kept that to yourself.
And President Barack Obama heard that and started rubbing his hands together, knowing his re-election was no longer a longshot but very much doable.
These 90 NIMBY's (remember, I hate NIMBY's. They are weekend warrior activists and don't care about any issues beyond their immediate outrage. They can kiss my Polish ass) were dubbed the Kamikazes. They became known for undermining House Speaker John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. All they have managed to do is screw up what should be the easiest two year campaign in history.
Want proof? Those of you who are die hard Democrats, please tell me this -- name ONE, just ONE major policy concession (other than extending the Shrub era tax holiday) that D's have had to give in the past year. Answer? None. The D's haven't had to yield on a single item. They have always gotten what they wanted. (Before any of you say, "The Keystone XL Pipeline," no. The final provision on the bill was just that Obama had to make a decision on it in 60 days, it says nothing about what the decision should be, and Obama was totally fine with that. Sorry, wrong answer.)
And what has a year of Tea Party representation gotten us? The debt ceiling debate went through the ceiling, resulting in America's credit rating being downgraded for the first time in history. They turned the appropriations process into a long rambling speech class, resulting in seven temporary funding patches instead of a full blown budget and the government nearly closed down three times. Obama even started calling the tax holiday a "tax cut", and the R's are embracing the lingo instead of correcting anything. Several of the Kamikazes are bitching that the GOP is screwing up, messing up their message and not educating the voting public that not only was this the change they voted for, but it's actually good. People who made fun of the R's for being willfully ignorant should have saved their ammo for these clowns.
Now, here comes a true election time issue -- extending the Shrub tax holiday (dropping it 2%, from 6.2 to 4.2). This will have no effect whatsoever, other than letting middle class families save an average of $1,000 a year. Employers will not hire more people because of it, and it costs the government about $120 bil, relative chump change in Washington. Passing this is just so that the politicians can say to the 160 million people it will affect, "See? We support lower taxes and gave you a break! Aren't we wonderful? Vote for us!" Part of this is, to offset the loss of the $120 bil, there would be a one-year freeze on federal employee pay raises.
The Senate wanted some more time to examine what the Kamikazes had ginned up. Senate Majority Leader and Veep Joe Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell came up with a two-month extension that also extended Medicare and unemployment benefits. Most of the money to pay for it would come from increasing fees on Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. It passed 89 to 10 (7 of those R's), a stunning margin in the partisan Congress. Boehner said it looked good to him and he'd push it through the House. Senators decided to call it a week and took off for the holidays, ready to debate the House proposal when they got back.
Boehner told everyone this was a great deal. But last Saturday, the Kamikazes got him on the phone and had a little chat with him. Boehner has now said they will not pass the extension.
I want to say to the Kamikazes, in my deepest voice, "FOOLISH MORTALS! YOU HAVE NO IDEA THE DARK FORCES YOU ARE PLAYING WITH!" The most important part is this is an election issue, and they just defeated it. Obama and the D's will savor the irony of the GOP saying they want to cut taxes but the R's in the House couldn't even let it happen for two months. The Kamikazes, part of a Congress with an 11% approval rating (the lowest since they started tracking it), can bitch all they want they wanted a better deal, but something this inconsequential with the PR baggage it carries? This issue just blew up in their faces. And with the Senators gone to Parts Unknown, they won't be able to regather until the new year, when the tax holiday expires and they'll be doing damage control for ages.
This, in many ways, is the basic problem of the Kamikazes. Any bill they don't like, instead of trying to rework it or cooperate with the opposition, they reject it outright, effectively killing any chance to move forward. Don't get me wrong, I don't blame Obama for the recession, I blame Shrub with his short-sighted policies. True, Obama hasn't done it any favors, but any chance of making things better gets tied up by the Kamikazes acting like children who don't want to eat their beets. And of course, none of them will admit they are fucking up, they just act like we detractors just don't get what's really going on, but they're smarter than us, they get it, and isn't it lucky they are in Congress and we aren't. The American public is being taken for a ride, and it's an ego trip.
There's also the bad blood the Kamikazes are creating in their own party. They just knifed their allies in the Senate in the back. You think they aren't going to remember this? Especially McConnell, who was hoping the Tea Partiers could make him Senate Majority Leader next year and has just seen them turn his whole party into a liability. Don't forget Boehner, who has just shown his party rulers that he can't control his own Congress -- I fully expect him to not be elected Speaker if the R's somehow hold onto the House next year. This is going to get really really ugly.
The shame is that the core principals of the Tea Party -- smaller government, cutting taxes, cutting spending -- are great ideas. So great, they shouldn't be Tea Party ideas, or Republican ideas, or Democrat ideas. They should be human ideas, and everyone working together instead of trying to seize it like a flag to wave around. But the Tea Party is more interested in saving us, even if it destroys everything else. It is arrogance, and they should not be proud of it.
Like I said, it's going to be a bumpy election. The bright side, though, is that the Kamikazes, like their namesake, will complete their mission or die trying. Their political lives are almost over. Good riddance to bad rubbish.