Saturday, January 5, 2013

Ex Senator Scott Brown -- What Comes Next...

For the "Good" of the Country 
and for the "Good" of Ex-Senator Scott Brown

Okay, sooner or later we have to try to figure out just who might want Ex-Senator Scott Brown back in the Senate so bad after his 7 point trouncing in the 2012 election by Elizabeth Warren.  We're going to fiddle around with this just a bit, but then MeanMesa is going to address the real issue floating through this quagmire of oligarch politics.

Obviously, if you are an ageing war monger who is terrified about the absolute void of relevance which is rushing to engulf you, in other words, if you are Senator John McCain, it's only natural that you'd love to "fly the flag" in one last glorious "Hurrah" before the owners of the Republican Party send you back to Arizona to graze quietly until the end.

Take it from MeanMesa, Senator John.  Old people can get, well, embarrassing, and you've gotten about as embarrassing as the GOPCon handlers are willing to go.  Yes, that means that they may actually shut off the sacred GOPCon money flow before your next campaign.  Wouldn't it be nice if you could just handle this one, last mission they've assigned for you with a little panache?

Given this "scene setting," it's hardly shocking that the pathetic old war horse pumped out another one of his absolute "line in the sand" declaration that UN Ambassador, Susan Rice's prospects for being confirmed as the next Secretary of State were dead on arrival.

This entire "tactical package" actually stinks of an overly adolescent, heavy handed McCain "sneak attack."  It's all remarkable similar to when he dramatically "suspended" his Presidential campaign to rush back to DC to solve the last great Republican "fiscal cliff" calamity in 2008. He had nothing to add to that catastrophe, and he clearly also has nothing to add to this, either.

The old war monger was clearly ordered to just shut up and take the hit.  MeanMesa is also sure that pummelling a well respected woman didn't bother him.  Pummelling a black woman bothered him even less.

With the tiniest bit of imagining, MeanMesa can hear the old war bird chortling at the prospect.  For John it was a gloriously warm reminiscence of the 1960's -- back when he was, at least theoretically, relevant.

The now infamous Benghazi attack was supposed to be the October surprise which would dissuade millions of Americans from voting for Barack Obama.  These voters were supposed to have been filled to the gunwales with a penetrating suspicion that Obama had incompetently botched yet another foreign policy challenge.

The commercial media -- everyone of them from FOX to PBS had already most certainly done their part --  had been instructed to "soften up" the field by their respective owners.

Now the "political genius" of John McCain had manipulated events to cook up a diabolical scheme to deliver the Massachusetts Senate seat back to the loser who had just lost the other Massachusetts Senate seat to Elizabeth Warren.  Here's what John's Secret Plan was looking like even before the President had nominated anyone for Secretary of State.

McCain: Susan Rice "not qualified"
 to be Secretary of State after Benghazi

(CBS News) John McCain, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, has spoken out recently about what he calls "incompetence" of the Obama administration in dealing with the September 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Specifically, he called out administration officials for "gross, gross, outrageous statements" made in the days after the attack. 

And as U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice has been floated this week as a possible replacement for Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, McCain has vowed to try to block her nomination based on her statements following the consulate attack. Wednesday on "CBS This Morning," McCain sharply criticized Rice and Obama for their handling of the Benghazi attack.

McCain reiterated that he is primarily concerned with the "loss of four American lives in Benghazi" on September 11 and "the president not telling the truth about what happened there and what he knew and when he knew it." McCain is pushing for a select committee to investigate the administration's handling of the attack in Libya, to "get to the bottom of this, because the American people deserve the truth."

He defended his pledge to block Susan Rice's confirmation if President Obama nominates her as the next Secretary of State, insisting that "she's not qualified" and criticizing her for asserting the attack was spontaneous in media appearances following the attack.

McCain criticized Rice for going "on national television in defiance of the facts 5 days later," and added, "She is responsible to the Senate of the United States...I was on 'Face the Nation' the morning she came on and told that incredible story and right after the president of the Libyan National Assembly said it was al Qaeda...and yet she never changed her story."

While McCain was open to the possibility that a select investigative committee could clear of Rice of "misleading the American people," and allowed that the president and Secretary of State Clinton held responsibility in the matter as well, he continued his sharply worded attack.

Referring to Rice, he said she was at a minimum, guilty of "not being very bright, because it was obvious that this was not a 'flash mob' and there was additional information by the time she went on every news America."
He insisted, "The consulate in Benghazi was turned into a death house and somebody has to be held responsible."

Turning to the turmoil surrounding now-retired CIA director David Petraeus, McCain said, "He's a soldier, he's a man who understands the responsibilities of office...he is the finest combination of intellect and leadership in American military that I have ever known."

Senator McCain added that General Allen "deserves the benefit of the investigation that is going on now," but maintained that the mission in Afghanistan will not be damaged by the investigation into Allen's conduct, because Allen was set to move to another job. 

Still, McCain expressed concerns about Afghanistan, "We've got much larger problems with the president continuing to announce withdrawals from Afghanistan earlier than his military generals have recommended...I'm not optimistic about how we're going to end up in Afghanistan because of the president's decisions, not General Allen's."  

(You can see the original CBS article  here.)

As McCain's teen age daredevil assault plan swung into action, the usual Republican talking heads rushed forward to deliver the important strategic message.  The air waves were inundated with one breathless repetition after another -- MeanMesa was wondering when Donald Trump would appear to parrot out the same words while standing somewhere on Wall Street.

[from top] Republican Senators Collins, Graham, Ayotte and McCain -- all think for themselves.
Now that the election is over, the behind the scenes scheme to somehow re-package the Ex-Senator for re-insertion into the deliberative body has completely disappeared from view in reports from the controlled media, but, believe MeanMesa on this one, it is still the "main hog at the trough" in the smoky back rooms of the GOP.

Just to review a few of the facts at play.

The oligarchs and corporatists who own the Republican Party spent hundreds of millions of cash to "sweep" the election we just held.  Even with all the anti-democracy crimes they purchased in the unfortunate states under their PAC control, their "batting average" was roughly what could be expected from a blindfolded school girl try to hit a target with a compound bow while a spider walked across her cheek.

Their money produced astonishingly dismal results.

And, all the time they were pouring in this money, they were dreaming of owning the Congress and the White House -- trinkets they could then add to their current "favorite" possession, the Supreme Court.  When the votes were counted, all those "investments" of theirs could just as well have been kindling for a home coming bon fire.

This is now pretty much old news, but there remains one part of the tale which is still quite alive, kicking and breathing.  To completely understand this last little part, we need to think for a moment about what value these oligarchs placed on taking or holding a Senate seat.  For example, Scott Brown practically drowned under the flood of cash they provided to get him re-elected.

Although Scott Brown had been an incredibly profitable little dandy for them while he was in the Senate, just about any Senator they could have gotten elected could have, ultimately, been pressed into the same service.  However, when Brown lost that seat to Elizabeth Warren, it was the equivalent of moving the "Nightmare on Elm Street" to a "Nightmare on Wall Street."

Oh dear.  Now, what's to be done?

The Massachusetts Special Election

Of course!  The prospect of the senior Massachusetts Senator, John Kerry, leaving the Senate to become Secretary of State or even Secretary of Defense would leave a delicious, mouth watering, little "opening" for the oligarchs to recover some of their lost territory.

Just the rumor of such a nomination had entire flocks of Wall Streets grabbing their check books for another flood of campaign contributions. If only they pumped in enough money, Rick Scott could return his pink leather shorts to the history books and, once again, penetrate the US Senate!

Of course there was the small matter of vivisecting the black girl from the UN ambassador's job, but that would amount to nothing for the experienced team of drawling GOP racists.  Owning full access to the obedient and entirely corporately controlled commercial media also wouldn't hurt any, either.

After all, the hill billies and bigots comprising the Republican base already hated Obama and considered black girls as mere chattel the good Lord had provided for those lonely moments after a night of beer guzzeling and burping at the American Legion.

The evisceration tool was to be a thinly repainted picture of the Benghazi disaster, absent any actual factual material, of course.  The GOP's low information base swallowed it all --  just as eagerly as Michelle Bachmann ate her corn dog.

If Kerry becomes the Secretary of State, the Governor of Massachusetts will appoint a replacement for who will serve as an "interim" Senator until the special election can be held.  Of course there is no possibility -- it would be illegal -- for the Governor to appoint an interim Senator from the opposing party, but when the special election is held, Republican candidates can also run.


At this very moment Wall Street oligarchs have already begun to drool over the prospect of pumping $100 Mn dollars into this special election.  If it begins to look like $100 Mn isn't doing the trick, $200 Mn can happen in a heartbeat.

That Senate seat is worth this much to them.  Compared to what a "wholly owned" Senator can do for them, $200 Mn is chickenfeed.  The oligarchs are just remembering the sweet moments -- and profits -- from when Scott Brown was their Senator last time.

There is a very comforting development which can be added to this story before we plunge into the MeanMesa conclusions about it.

Massachusetts Democratic Representative, Barney Frank, has announced that he is leaving the House of Representatives this year.  This came with the predictable litany of "personal reasons" -- for one, he just married his long time partner, James Ready, in July of last year. 

However, Barney Frank has also just placed his name in the running for that interim appointment.  MeanMesa encourages the Massachusetts Governor, Democrat Deval Patrick, to take him up on the offer.  Frank has been one of the most out spoken and effective Democrats in the House for years.

What is the Point?
MeanMesa's Conclusion

We may all be just a bit tempted to dispatch this weird tale of Washington machinations to our own growing pile of stoic refuse.  MeanMesa isn't particularly against such an attitude if for no other reason than the reasonable maintenance of psychological hygiene. However, as usual, there's a larger picture here which is worth closer examination.

There is a very old idea about just how one wins an election here in the United States, and what we see contemporary Republicans doing has basically nothing to do with that old idea.

That "old idea" has everything to do with presenting some sort of plan for what is to be done with the country.  Naturally, the plan should include some issues about the economy and foreign policy, but, since we are, at least ostensibly, a nation of laws, the plan should also include a bit of philosophy, a few ideas about laws and, perhaps, even a bit of ideology to round out the picture so everyone can understand where the plan is coming from if possible.

If the plan is a good one, that is, if it is an attractive plan to voters, the candidate and party which has put if forward stands a good chance in in the polls.  This is fair because there is no shortage of plans, and all those plans can originate from just about any sort of place on the political spectrum.

It's not that complicated.  This is the way to win an election and implement a plan.

Now, after threading through two entire posts about the oligarchs and their Scott Brown scheme, we simply aren't able to miss the vacuous absence of what we've been calling a plan.  In the place of that plan, we have seen almost nothing but things which are sickeningly similar to what we've been discussing here.

Instead of a plan, we see every possible manipulation of the electoral system which might elevate the political clout of a minority to that of a majority.  Let's look at a few examples.

1. huge, hidden money which only attacks political opponents and doesn't present any alternative plan
2. manipulation of electronic voting machines
3. removing legal voters from voter registration lists
4. not placing adequate polls, equipment and people in districts with populations of the opposing party
5. media jingoism, deception and horrible reporting -- i.e. without "follow up" questions
6. unchallenged out right lying in campaigns
7. candidates' brazen refusal to answer questions or reveal income histories
8. public air wave networks broadcasting exclusively partisan political content
9. commercial corporate media which is willing to report false information as news

See?  None of this has anything much to do with running our country.  All of these things are manifestations of what happens when money is injected into a system which was never designed to resist being dominated by such massive money being injected into it.

The oligarchs have invested untold millions into dominating the election system.  Our national election system has faced this violent onslaught while undefended.  There were neither champions, courts nor even a relief column which could come to the aid of our democratic elections as they faced this attack alone.

In the 2012 election that "relief column" amounted to lines of brave American citizens who stood in the cold and the weather for hours to -- against all odds -- cast ballots for the country's future.  The anti-democracy forces which gleefully erected all these barriers to voting were horrified when citizens stood their ground.

The voters weren't supposed to do that.  They were supposed to give up and go home.

Well, the voters didn't go home.

The Republicans and their oligarchic puppet masters may have already created a pile of cash as high as the John Hancock Tower to sweep their man, Scott Brown, back into the Senate, but the news is out now.

Those same "horrifying citizens" can protect our democracy from that kind of money and that kind of cynicism again.  In fact, it looks like the oligarchs should probably try to get used to elections -- and voters -- like these.

Moreover, MeanMesa is reinvigorated by the news that every Democratic heavy weight -- up to and including the President -- will be in Massachusetts for that special election.  Barack Obama no longer has to wonder if he can win another election.  Maybe some of the rest of the gutless Democrats will "absorb" some of his new found backbone by osmosis.

To the Democratic Party:  "It's time to release the Kraken."

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