Each week when I sit down to write a post, I wrack my brain to think of something positive, or at least relatively so, to write about, and each week events prevent this from happening. It’s hard not to feel typecast when even the most complimentary commenters nonetheless refer to one’s work as a “rant” or admit that I’ve made them more depressed, angry, hopeless, or whatever.
For that reason, I am happy to announce that for the first time in recent memory the week’s news, taken together, makes me feel uncharacteristically optimistic. Not that I’m doing backflips, which are notoriously difficult to execute in bathrobe and curlers without spilling one’s drink, but at least I don’t feel like ranting this time.
First, and perhaps most importantly, the Snowden revelations appear to be reaching a tipping point, though not with the US media, of course, but with the public, the rest of the world, Microsoft(!), Google, and even a growing chorus of otherwise hawkish Republicans in Congress. When you hear James Sensenbrenner, of all people, openly declaring that the odious “Patriot” Act ought to be allowed to expire, change is in the air, and that’s a good thing.
Better yet, hopelessly compromised Democrats like Dianne Feinstein and even the Snooper in Chief may not have changed their minds, but at least have chosen to STFU and stop sounding like Dick Cheney about the whole thing. Stopped clocks, it seems, are right twice a day, and that golden moment appears to have arrived.
And speaking of Cheneys, daughter Liz’s carpet-bagging bid to unseat Mike Enzi for his Wyoming Senate seat has, by all accounts, gone over like a fart in church, and that’s just among fellow Republicans. Even more heartening, the perennially clueless MSM has jumped on board, more out of reflexive deference to Washington insiders than any grasp of the situation, but when article after article reminds America, again, that the Cheney family is as popular as crabs in a whorehouse, it’s time to open a bottle of something expensive.
Although I initially agreed with Charlie Pierce that nothing good could come out of the (failed) prosecution of trigger-happy tub of lard George Zimmerman, I’m happy to say he wasn’t entirely correct this time. ALEC, the NRA, and “Stand Your Ground” laws have finally aroused the near-universal revulsion they so richly deserve, and Zimmerman’s most vocal supporters are scattering like cockroaches, including, but not limited to, the juror whose book deal evaporated faster than cow piss on a hot rock.
While it’s still too early to tell, the draconian anti-choice laws being rammed through in Texas, North Carolina, Wisconsin, and elsewhere do seem to be denting the popularity of the Republican Governors who signed them, and if nothing else, guarantee that Democratic voters, especially those with lady parts, won’t be staying home in 2014 the way they did in 2010.
And then there’s Virginia, where the once golden futures of Bible-banging Ken dolls Bob McDonnell and Ken Cuccinelli are circling the drain in a fetid whirlpool of the tawdriest money-grubbing and hypocrisy imaginable, the former earning the hilarious nickname “Sponge Bob,” complete with logo, from Rachel Maddow, and the latter now trailing Terry McAuliffe in the polls to succeed McDonnell as Governor. A hollow victory, to be sure, but like a hollow chocolate bunny, it still tastes pretty sweet.
Other former GOP “rising stars” like Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, and Rand Paul are also flaming out, victims of the peculiar and ever-changing whims of the insatiable Republican base, or just good old fashioned buyers’ remorse at home. Note to Walker: when you are repeatedly used as a punch line in radio commercials for a home state remodeling contractor, the chances of your becoming the next Ronald Reagan are dimming rapidly.
Last but by no means least, the state of California is getting ready to throw the book at a Koch-funded and failed effort to influence two statewide initiatives in the 2012 elections, with a Grand Jury and everything, the first serious threat to the post-Citizens United utopia they hoped to create at the expense of the rest of us. Wouldn’t it be the height of irony if a paltry (to them, anyway) $11 million afterthought was the thing that upset their whole billion dollar applecart?
When life gives you lemons……
Photo by hans peter meyer under Creative Commons license