C-SPAN ROCKED TODAY...
...and by that I mean C-Span 2 also. I watched Kerry explain why he wouldn't be voting to approve Rice for Secretary of State. Then I watched Biden explain why he would be voting for her, simultaneously and perhaps inadvertently revealing why the Democrats have been losing elections at all levels across the country. Here's a transcript of the hearing, but I think these remarks were made after Rice had to leave. At any rate, I don't have time to wade through the transcript for an exact quote, but Biden said something to this effect: "The reason I'm voting to confirm Rice is that a President should get to have his family. And just like getting re-married is a huge act of faith in people and institutions, I'm going to trust my faith rather than my experience regarding Bush that Rice will be different."
Or words to that effect.
But that is the whole problem. Bush is a liar who wants to undo the New Deal and the Great Society. He proved in his first term that he can't be trusted, that he will say anything to get the results he wants. For example, if he wants to invade Iraq, he says they have WMD. They don't. Now, he wants to privatize Social Security in order to enrich his friends/cronies/donors on Wall Street. So he says Social Security will be bankrupt in 2042. It won't, according to the estimates of the Social Security trustees and the Congressional Budget Office.
Biden, he's doing it again! Already! Even as Biden was speaking his hopeful yet willfully ignorant words, the push for SS "reform" was well underway and has been for weeks now. The Democrats (or whoever will speak for the left) are the "opposition" party in typical two-party parlance. So why don't they get on with the business of OPPOSING? Oppose Bush's war on the working class, oppose Bush's war(s) for oil, oppose right-wing judicial nominees, just oppose something, for Christ's sake.
This whole conciliatory tone that Biden was taking, with talk of hope for "bipartisanship" and "reaching out to the minority"--that's loser talk. That's the talk of the people not in power. There is power in "no," Joe Biden. John Kerry and Barbara Boxer stood up, at least this once. Hopefully it will become habitual for them to just automatically oppose whatever a Republican proposes.
Ruling class and Greg Palast
But, as Greg Palast pointed out in another C-Span program, being a member of the ruling class makes it difficult to follow one's principles lest one put oneself in danger of being expelled from it or despised by it. Palast said this in response to a question about why Kerry conceded so readily. He gave a really good talk about how Kerry really got the most votes (because of what the exit polls said), but that Bush had the most votes counted.
And according to Palast, Edwards was none too happy with Kerry's quick and tidy concession (apparently his duty as a member of the ruling class), having promised blacks out on the campaign trail that he and Kerry would make sure that 2004 would be different where black voters were concerned. However, Palast pointed out, a non-white voter has a 900% higher chance of his vote being discarded/not counted than does a white person.
And then Robin Morgan, who I'd never read or heard of before, got up and basically read from her contribution to the book the panel was convened to talk about ("What We Do Now") and commented on the passages after she read them. Her essay was on the separation of church and state, and she had some killer quotes from various framers about religion and whether or not the U.S. is a "Christian nation." A lot of the stuff she mentioned can be found here, at Ms. Magazine's site.
Economic Hit Man
The author of "Confessions of An Economic Hit Man" was on BookTV this evening, and his story is very interesting. I first heard him with Janeane and Sam on the the Majority Report, but I hadn't seen him before. I liked what he said about taking action--he said that when politics comes up at a party, engage in the conversation, talk to people, confront them with the facts, write letters to the editor and do something.