RachelWatch: Virginia Leaves Rachel Reeling


Today: Congressman Barney Frank, Ezra Klein, and Melissa Harris-Lacewell.

Reconcile Dogs

Rachel started us off by proving that last week’s contest was no idle chatter. She really is committed to using “The Tarantino.” And there was no shortage of opportunity.

Rachel noted that conservadem Senator Evan Bayh (Indiana) is bringing up some fine points against the filibuster, and that’s great and all, but does the guy have zero self-awareness or what? Does he know that he was one of the major reasons the Democrats couldn’t count on the supermajority he now thinks is such a terrible burden?

Has anyone sat him down and explained that the Democrats could have been zooming nothing-but-net legislation through all this time if only he had helped corral his fellow conservadems?

Or was he just hoping that he’d get to vote “no” and look like a fiscal conservative but still have legislation sail through that could coattail him into re-election? I suppose it’s a little late to care whether he’s dumb or a weasel. I’m just grateful that he’s going.

While I was stewing over that, Rachel moved on to the process of tweaking health care reform to get it passed without running into the Tarantino and I’m already growing weary of typing that. Can we call it the Tarry?

They’re Not Embarrassed

I know it’s easy to stereotype Republicans as stodgy killjoys who only smile when they are evicting families or asking financial industry lobbyists if they would like a happy ending with that deregulation, but that’s clearly not true.

Rachel has conclusively proven that several leading Republicans are involved in a rollicking can-you-top-this game of dares.

There is no other way to explain the blatant, easily checked, right-there-on-video lying.

I’m pretty sure Senator John McCain (R – Arizona) wins this round. His claim is that you good people of Arizona should vote for him because he, your actual Senator, didn’t know what the $700 billion in bank bailout money was really for. And he didn’t bother to check.

How can any other Republican possibly top that? A challenger would have to escalate to “I didn’t find out what the TARP money was for because I was busy driving that body out into the desert.”

Well played, Senator McCain. Well played.

Congressman Barney Frank (D – Massachusetts and my heart) is not quite as impressed with McCain as I am.

“Who’s Afraid of Virginia”

I did a lot of my growing up in the Commonwealth of Virginia — third grade through college. I am fond of it. But when one moves north or west, one has to spend a fair amount of time and energy educating one’s new neighbors and explaining that the state is not, in fact, filled with vicious backwards treethumping bigots.

And then things like these happen and we’re back to square one.

Rachel noted that Virginia State Delegate Bob Marshall (R. Of course R.) said, in an attempt to get Planned Parenthood de-funded, that disabled children are a punishment from God visited on women who have had abortions.

The full statement is an onion of cussed ignorance. So many layers!

Meanwhile Virginia’s brand-spanking-new Governor Bob McDonnell has thoughtfully revamped an executive order to make it legal to discriminate against state workers based on sexual orientation again.

Hey, Old Dominion Democrats! Does Creigh Deeds still look too drab and boring for you to bother dragging your carcasses out to the polls? Because things sure are getting exciting now!

You have to pay attention every time, voters! Not just when there are big sexy national elections and not just when someone makes you feel “inspired” or “motivated” or “self-actualized” or whatever the hell it was that you stay-at-home Democrats were waiting for.

You feel inspired by a candidate? Great. Knock on some doors and work a few phone banks. But you educate yourself on the candidates and you go out and vote every damned time. It is one of your very few burdens as a privileged American citizen. It is your job.

Otherwise just-plain-mean dunderheads like McDonnell and Marshall slither in and you have to spend the next 10 years crossing dinosaurs back out of the history textbooks.

The magnificent Melissa Harris-Lacewell of Princeton University dropped in to be a cool head while slicing right to the heart of the matter, as always.

Ms. Information

Rachel reported that as of Monday, credit card companies have to follow some common-decency rules and be less jerkball. Well, less overtly jerkball. Until they can figure out a way to make an end run around the new rules and impose fees for keeping your card in a wallet or for having toenails or whatever the hey they’re planning.

But in the meantime, enjoy!

If you also noticed a crackle of excitement (and gunfire) on Monday, it’s because it is now legal to bring concealed weapons into national parks, depending on the laws of the state that your bit of park happens to be in.

Just remember as a courtesy that, while it’s true that most people go to national parks to parade their Second Amendment rights, a few weirdos go to enjoy the peace and quiet of nature.

So be sure to pack a silencer.

The Rule of Law

Wow, John Yoo just keeps getting scarier and scarier the more you learn about him. The things that come out of that placid, perfectly bland face are so casually monstrous it stops you in your tracks. It’s like he’s straight out of the Dark Ages. Or rather, out of their most disturbing folktales.

Rachel was not feeling placid. She was righteously, enjoyably fired up.

Rachel welcomed Michael Isikoff of Newsweek to talk about our torture program and the ugly swirl of lies that kept us torturing in the name of “good information.”

And it didn’t even work. It just made some cowards feel better.

Sleep well, Mr. Yoo and Mr. Bybee!

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