Don’t be a chump

Here’s a little screed from Dave Winer, a smart guy I’ve been listening to for 20 years. Among other things, Dave is the original blogger, the Blogfather. Here’s what he has to say about Biden’s speech last night and what he recommends. I agree.

But Biden’s speech was disturbing. Not because he said anything other than what he was saying through the campaign — he was totally consistent. But now we’re on the other side of the election, and I don’t think all the happy talk about working across the aisle will amount to anything, other than a sense by the Repubs and their voters, that yeah you can walk all over the Dems and there’s never a price to pay.

Another quote: I like what JFK said in his inaugural, to the Soviets.

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

The equivalent from Biden to McConnell today would be…We noticed that Trump stopped getting his Cabinet officials approved by the Senate a couple of years ago, and McConnell never said a word about it. So the first round of my Cabinet appointments will be on the house, freebies, appointed without Senate approval. Then we can have a big bipartisan conference on how we want this to work in the future. And until then, the Senate is out of the advise-and-consent business. If you don’t like it, ask Nancy Pelosi if she’ll impeach me. Heh.”

Hopefully the Repubs will squawk, loudly, and take the Dems to court. And Biden, like Trump, will ignore what the court says, if they dare rule on this.

Same with oversight from the Senate. Cross that off the list too, until we come to some larger agreement about enforcing the norms that Trump and McConnell trashed over the last four years. Maybe the price is, dear Senate, that McConnell is censured and loses his party leadership. Or maybe we insist that he be sent back to Kentucky. I’m not kidding. What you all did is not excusable. We’re willing to let McConnell take the fall, and then we can move on from there.

But don’t tell me how we’re friends, we’re not friends. McConnell came within a hair of turning America into a fascist dictatorship. He must’ve thought he’d get away with it.

I wrote about this in We must be worse than the Repubs on Oct 27.

“The Repubs walk all over the Dems. But if you love America, you have to vote Democratic, because the Repubs are crazy fascists. We have to teach the Dems how to be hardass motherfuckers, and insist that they have a head-on collision with the Repubs so they respect them, and in doing so, respect us.”

It sure sounds like Biden is making the same insane mistake Obama did, believing that this election is somehow transformative, or that he is transformative, and all of a sudden, because the US is in dire trouble (as usual when the Dems take over), the Repubs will transform. They only respect you if you drive straight into a head-on collision with them without hitting the brakes. You are the president, Mr President-elect, you have to be the badass. I’m hoping you know that and this happy talk is just a veneer.

I agree 100%. Don’t be naive – the Republicans will not change, will not play fair in 2021. Have to recognize the game and play it better.