Exhibit A: The tax compromise.
Sure, Dems like me didn't like giving windfalls to Warren Buffett.
But any bill which Jim DeMint hates must have something going for it. (Also, the more I read about it, the more this sounds like an exceedingly clever second stimulus. In which case, my hat's off to you, Mr. President.)
Exhibit B: Don't Ask Don't Tell.
An already historical presidency just upped its game! DADT is dead -- and it was about frickin' time.
This is a major piece of civil rights legislation (possibly the biggest ever tailored to the LGBT community) and the President, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and even the dread Joe Lieberman deserve to take a victory lap. (It doesn't change my contempt for Lieberman... But, yes, my hat is also off to the gentleman from Connecticut.)
Exhibit C: START looks like it's a go.
How the hell did that happen?!
At the beginning of the month Jon Kyl was saying that it was dead, and now it's back?
Of course, START might be the most important thing in this lame duck session. It is essential in terms of keeping loose nuclear material under safe watch and getting Russia to apply diplomatic pressure towards Iran. Killing the treaty looked like sheer partisan lunacy.... and, yet, it looked like that was precisely what would go down.
Well, thank goodness cooler heads prevailed. Hats off to Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton and all the former GOP national security topdogs who lobbied the senate to make this happen.
Exhibit D: 9/11 Responders.
I'm not 100 percent sure if the GOP -- or the pundits for that matter -- realize just how badly they fucked up on this bill.
This is the easiest vote the GOP ever took. Healthcare and benefits for the guys who ran into the World Trade Center on the darkest day our Republic has ever endured to save their fellow Americans. It's difficult to even try to imagine a more no-brainer piece of legislation.
And the GOP held it up because....
Wait, what was the reason again?
Oh, yeah. They weren't sure how to pay for it. After all, their priority was to pass a tax cut for millionaires and billionaires. (Sorry -- I mean "small business owners.")
Now it looks like the responder's bill is back on the table before congress adjourns. And they're saying it will probably pass.
So let me get this straight: The GOP voted against popular legislation (extremely popular in their own base!) that's going to pass anyway, because they thought they had to take care of tax cuts first.
I can't wait to hear how they try to explain this away.
While I generally hate those sorts of "gotcha" moments, no party has so richly earned a slew of attack ads come 2012 that Dems should scream from the top of their lungs: THE REPUBLICANS HATE OUR 9/11 HEROES!
THE REPUBLICANS COULDN'T FIGURE OUT A WAY TO GIVE HEALTHCARE TO 9/11 RESPONDERS ON THE SAME WEEK THAT THEY WERE GIVING BILL GATES AND WARREN BUFFETT MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN TAX CUTS!
So, finally, my hat's off to you GOP. You played your cards reasonably well in 2009/10. You captured the House and a number of Senate seats. But you gave us a nice little parting gift. Something that I don't believe the public will forget. Merry Xmas!