Wednesday, July 30, 2008

One Trick Pony


Oil companies cut production this p.m. - and oil costs went back up - since demand is down. The law of supply and demand doesn't apply when it comes to public savings, evidently. It is the law oil companies aspire to use, through their monopoly powers, to extract the last penny from consumers who are helpless before that law, when it is used against them.

The Big Lie technique has been adopted wholeheartedly by the right wing, and you can be sure to hear it dunned on viewers under any pretext on the floor of congress.

The idea that oil companies should be given drilling leases on every inch of the continent that we can possibly lease, and that that will give the driving public lower prices, is patently absurd. That hasn't dampened the continual urge of the wingers to declare it the solution, and that those public-spirited oil companies would be drilling away on the leases they already have except that mean ol' environmentalists won't let them.

Hard to believe that the wingers themselves can continue on against the tide of facts, but it seems to be these ponies' one trick. Feed the hungry? Drill. Clothe the naked? Drill. End the recession? Drill. Give the pony its treat, now.

When I had a little pony farm I had a one trick pony. Interrupt it during its trick, and it panicked and started over from the beginning. Right wingers on the floor in congress remind me that it is learned behavior, and getting out of the groove means thinking for themselves. My pony couldn't do that either, he did his one trick and that's all he was capable of.

That drilling, and giving out unprecedented numbers of new leases, has not done anything to bring down prices just hasn't made a dint in the tin oilwell tree hat the party of oil seems all to have been fitted for.


The drilling mantra is the other arm of wingers' resolute obstruction of Congress, and as much aimed at a public lack of intelligence. What the right wing is doing is dishonest, dishonorable, and attacks the public interest they are supposed to serve. The only way they can believe in it and practice it is by seeing the public as incapable of understanding the truth, and their job as keeping their opponents from achieving anything valuable.

Presently the wingers are keeping the Senate from voting on alternative energy research. If the grants are kept from passage, solar and wind energy will be interrupted and in many cases stopped. The tactic for obstruction has been used 79 times so far, in this Senate session.

I listen to CSpan and watch congressional proceedings while I'm doing other things like blogging, so, for some time, I have seen this going on. For those of you who don't, I will post part of one among many of senators' discourses on the subject, this time Sen. Durbin's from April 15.

Why were we involved in a filibuster until last night by the Republicans on the bill before us today? This is a technical corrections bill. When we passed the highway bill, the Federal highway bill years ago, it was a huge bill affecting the entire United States of America. Then, as we combed through it, word for word, line for line, page for page, we found there were technicalities that needed to be changed: punctuation, references to a road instead of a trail. You find them in here. They go on for hundreds of pages.

But they are technical in nature; it is not a big policy debate. This kind of bill usually passes in the Congress by a voice vote late at night and no one notices. It is housekeeping. That is ordinarily what we do when we try to catch up and make sure everything is done just right.

Senator Boxer has worked long and hard to bring it out of her committee and bring it to the Senate floor, and the Republicans initiated a filibuster against the technical corrections bill. That is like having a resolution to salute motherhood and having them initiate a filibuster. Where is the controversy? There is no controversy in this bill. If they want to offer amendments, we said on this side: If they are germane amendments to the bill, have at it. That is what the Senate is all about, after all.

But the Republican strategy of filibusters, as indicated by this chart, in the history of Congress, the minority party has initiated no more than 57 filibusters in any 2-year period of time. That is the record, 57 in 2 years.

So far in this Congress, we are barely a few months into the second year. The minority party, the Republicans, has initiated 65 filibusters, and we are still counting.

You say to yourself: Well, they must have been some pretty controversial issues they had to filibuster. A technical corrections bill? So why do they filibuster? So that we burn the clock and eat up days so we cannot address the issues that are even more important to this country.

Would it not be great for us as a Senate to consider and debate a national energy policy to bring down the price of gasoline in the United States? No way. The republicans insist on filibustering a bill that focuses on punctuation. Would it not be timely for us to consider the cost of health insurance to businesses and families across America and find a way to make it more affordable and accessible? No way. The Republicans want to debate a bill which changes the word ``trail'' to ``road'' and filibuster it.

The disgust that the public has exhibited for the congress in polls is well deserved. As long as the right wing can keep the public from being served, it will deserve no more.

We have to bring this travesty to an end, and we need to vote in a new wave of public servants.

In the 4th District of Texas, I am working to elect Dr. Glenn Melancon and his Democratic running mates. You can get to work, too. We can't let the enemies of the country continue to keep us all from the benefits of good government.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home