Friday, January 30, 2009

Dick Armey To Joan Walsh: I Am Glad That You Can Never Be My Wife.

As Republicans grovel before the shrine of Rush Limbaugh, Joan Walsh faces off with Dick Armey.

Armey supplies the public face of the current Republican party as he, rather than make any rational argument, sneers and laughs dismissively at Walsh ending with the comment, "I am so damn glad that you could never be my wife, 'cause I surely wouldn't have to listen to that prattle from you every day."

It's a disgraceful performance but it does make you despair about any possibility of achieving bipartisanship with such people.

Glenn Greenwald:

People like Dick Armey -- and Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity -- are the face of today's GOP, its heart and soul. Armey, who once notoriously referred to Barney Frank as "Barney Fag," comes from a faction -- the Texas Republican Party -- that continues to advocate formally in its 2008 Party Platform (.pdf), among so many wonderful planks, that sex between gay people be criminalized and that all gay citizens be denied the most basic rights, including even the right to adopt children and to have custody over their own children [p.12]:

We also believe that no homosexual or any individual convicted of child abuse or molestation should have the right to custody or adoption of a minor child, and that visitation by such persons with a minor child should be prohibited [p. 14]. . . .

The Texas GOP wants creationism taught in the public schools alongside evolution and given "equal treatment" [p. 17]; Guantanamo to remain opened [p. 24]; the U.S. military to remain in Iraq with no timetable for withdrawal [p. 24]; and extraordinary medical care to be denied to all prisoners except for those who can pay for it themselves [p. 19].

The party's 2008 Platform also demands that the U.S. -- this is really what it says -- "cease strong arming Israel" by pressuring them "to make future diplomatic concessions, such as giving up land to the Palestinians on the West Bank" [p. 24]. American policy towards Israel, they argue, should be "based on God's biblical promise to bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse Israel and we further invite other nations and organizations to enjoy the benefit of that promise" [p. 24]. Armey himself, in a 2002 Hardball appearance, advocated that Palestinians should "leave" the West Bank and Gaza (which Armey believes is part of Israel) and go somewhere else. His state party's Platform also wants the U.S. to "immediately rescind our membership in, as well as financial and military contributions to, the United Nations" [p. 25] .

These are the people who have largely been in power for the last two decades and the country is in the shape one would expect it to be in as a result. That's why all of this chatter about post-partisan transcendence and trans-partisan harmony and the like is so inane.

This is what I find so interesting about American politics. In any other society, anyone who held the beliefs that people like Armey holds would be seen as extremist, and yet the Democrats seem to spend an inordinate amount of their time trying to seek consensus with these people. And, when consensus proves impossible - as it always will when dealing with such nut cases - it is the Democrats who find themselves labeled as partisan.

Why do they bother seeking such consensus? I mean, seriously, why don't they do what Bush did and say, "We won" and push forward with their own agenda? I understand that Obama wants a change from the past eight years but, when I witness the open contempt which Armey displays here towards Walsh - the sneering laugh and the constant calls to "Give it a rest" - I honestly wonder how consensus with such people is even possible.


daveawayfromhome said...

Your bafflement is shared by many a Democratic voter. If we had anywhere else to go, the vaccuum of our leaving would burst the eardrums of the party leadership.

Kel said...

New Labour over here send me bonkers with their constant attempts to please the readers of the Daily Mail, but even they don't attempt to get the Tories to approve their every move.

Indeed, opposition parties over here are expected to oppose.

And the Labour Party has swung so far to the right though that Cameron catches them out by voting for their proposals.

Katrina said...

Totally agree. I appreciate the fact that Barack wants to achieve consensus, but the Republicans only sneer at us on the left. They would prefer to destroy the United States - at any cost. They have proven themselves to be irresponsible fiscally and criminally deranged regarding the treatment of "detainees". When will these people be flushed down the toilet into the sewer where they belong?

Kel said...


I think politically they have sown the seeds of their own destruction. They always stood for two things and two things alone: tax cuts and deregulation. Deregulation has led to all of the world's financial woes and Obama is offering tax cuts, but tax cuts to the poor and the middle class, rather than to the rich, as the Republicans always favour.

I honestly don't know what platform they are going to run on in future as the one they have run on since the eighties is now defunct.