Happy Hour Discurso


Today’s opining on the public discourse.

News that’s no news to anyone: Robert Novak is a spiteful, whiny, deluded fuckwit:


During a recent interview with the National Ledger, conservative columnist Robert Novak was asked if he would reveal Valerie Plame Wilson’s secret CIA identity if he could go back and do it all over again. Novak noted that he has previously said he “should have ignored” what he had been told about Plame, but he now claims he is “much less ambivalent“:


NOVAK: I’d go full speed ahead because of the hateful and beastly way in which my left-wing critics in the press and Congress tried to make a political affair out of it and tried to ruin me. My response now is this: The hell with you. They didn’t ruin me. I have my faith, my family, and a good life. A lot of people love me — or like me. So they failed. I would do the same thing over again because I don’t think I hurt Valerie Plame whatsoever.

But of course, Plame was “hurt” because of Novak’s column — she no longer has a career as a covert CIA agent. Moreover, Plame has said that she feared for her and her family’s lives after Novak revealed her identity.

But Novak ignores the point that Plame’s outing had broader national security implications. In fact, Plame’s CIA job was to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and as one former senior intelligence officer put it, the leak made “it harder for other CIA officers to recruit sources.”

Way to support the nation, Novak. You’ve won first prize in the “cutting off your nose to spite your face” category.

A common theme I’ve noticed on the right is the desire to get back at the left even when playing that ridiculous game means the country suffers.

They also seem to be under some delusion that losing in a landslide means they get to make demands on cabinet staffing:


Congressional Quarterly bemoans Obama’s broken promise of a bipartisan cabinet since he’s only appointed one Republican to one of the top three positions in government — State, Defense and Treasury …


Now that President-elect Barack Obama’s Cabinet is, by his count, half picked, the odds are fading that he’ll have more than one Republican on his team — suggesting that his campaign promise to include Republicans may have meant nothing more than the usual token appointment from the other side.

Obama did attract a lot of attention by asking Robert Gates to stay on as Defense secretary, and liberals have debated whether he’s the right man to oversee a withdrawal of troops from Iraq. But that debate overshadows the fact that Gates isn’t likely to have much, or even any, company. Of the Cabinet jobs that are left at this point, virtually all are domestic policy positions that would be hard to give to a Republican without prompting vicious internal fights, and it’s almost impossible to find Republicans who have been mentioned as candidates for any of them.

I guess maybe it’s a slow news period and there’s not much to write about. But this is about as nonsensical as it gets. In recent decades it hasn’t been particularly common for presidents to have any appointees from the opposite party. And when they do it’s usually like Bush appointing Norman Minetta to be Transportation Secretary, a secondary cabinet post of no real consequence to the president in question.

Obama’s put not only a Republican but his predecessor’s choice in charge of the Pentagon. He’s also named as his National Security Advisor a retired general who appears also to be a Republican, albeit one who was advising Obama during the campaign and not a particularly ideological sort.

The whiny little fucks are lucky they got this much. It’s not like Obama’s going to busy himself staffing his cabinet with government-hating Cons when he’s trying to get shit done. Not after the last eight years, in which Cons have been famous for not getting shit done aside from destroying this country, which they’ve done very well at.

Saxby Chambliss, newly re-elected and under the mistaken impression that his victory cancels out the magnificent ass-whuppin’ the Cons suffered in November, is champing a the bit to continue the trend of dumbfuckery:

Fresh off his victory in yesterday’s run-off Senate race, Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) told Glenn Beck today that he had won a “big victory on basic conservative principles.” He lauded Gov. Sarah Palin’s (R-AK) efforts on his behalf, and told Beck that he would push moderate Republicans to move rightward:

BECK: Yeah. Do you think the Republicans are going to get it? … I mean, do you think you are going to be able to hold 40 together on some of the big issues of the day?

CHAMBLISS: […] Having that tighter margin I think is going to give us an opportunity to go to some of our moderates who have not always voted with conservatives and say, look, you know, this is the opportunity we have to define our party, this is the opportunity we have to ultimately move back in the majority. If we don’t stick together, then it’s over. Our movement’s going to be delayed and delayed. But if we do stick together and then what you’re going to find in your state where you’re elected as a moderate, you are going to find folks rallying around you.

I somehow think Chambliss is under the impression that the whole country is just like Georgia. It is not. It will be interesting to see what excuses he comes up with if he manages to arm-twist moderates into voting right and then finds the voters are livid.

With all that in mind, it’s good to see Obama making neo-cons cry:

By and large, Barack Obama’s cabinet selections have been met with very little resistance from the right. There’s been some fuss over Eric Holder, but the conservative reactions have been surprisingly muted.
It appears, however, that one prospective choice might actually generate some heat. Greg Sargent has the story:

[Obama’s] rumored choice for U.S. Trade Representative, Congressman Xavier Becerra, is reportedly worrying some pro-big business and free-trade types.

The possibil
ity that Obama might award the post to Becerra — who professed his regret for voting for NAFTA, opposed the Central American Free Trade Agreement, and once pronounced U.S. trade policy as “broken” — is already being praised by some progressives. David Sirota sees it as a sign that “Obama is serious about reforming our trade policies.”

And now Business Week reports on some rumblings of opposition from the pro-business and free-trade camp:
Philip Levy, who’s now with the conservative American Enterprise Institute, told the mag that the choice is “troubling,” arguing that “to oppose Nafta is in many ways to lash out symbolically against trade.” A business lobbyist added to the mag that he and his colleagues are “pretty concerned.”

Becerra, who has been active in trade policy debates on the Hill for a while now, hasn’t always been predictable. He voted for Nafta, for example, but later regretted it. Becerra opposed the Central American Free Trade Agreement, but supported China’s entry into the World Trade Organization, and supported the free-trade agreement between the U.S. and Peru last year.

Bet you a dollar there’ll soon be a run on fainting couches. They’re really going to start swooning when Obama rolls out his policies, and they discover he’s serious about taking this country in a new direction.

Poor babies.

Comments

  1. says

    Will the Dems play hardball when the same games are played in the senate or will they fold as usual.I hope Obama calls the repugs on it and uses the inernets as a tool to put pressure on them.

  2. says

    The problem with repudiating free trade is when you want other countries to buy your stuff…I’m not someone who would claim that more free trade is in all circumstances better than not, but people have to remember there’s two sides to that equation. Pulling out of existing or pending trade agreements will harm jobs in the US as well as protect jobs (and have other effects; e.g. stuff costs more, so implementing trade barriers can put the brakes on an economy and drive up inflation – as well as make it harder for the lowest paid workers to just survive).You have to be confident that the losses will not outweigh the gains. Sometimes the calculations are trickier than they first seem.

  3. says

    My preference on trade agreements like NAFTA is that they’re predicated on all the countries involved have roughly equivalent policies on workplace safety, environmental protection, and worker’s rights. If that’s true, and labor is still cheaper in Mexico, then eventually the imbalance should even out. Meanwhile, labor, availability of resources, and shipping costs will determine where companies build things, not where they can make their workers work 70 hour weeks in unsafe conditions.Unfortunately, such policies weren’t always in place, and we’re the poorer for that.