Once again, The Onion gets it right:
Conceding almost certain Republican gains in next month's crucial midterm elections, Democratic lawmakers vowed Tuesday not to give up without making one final push to ensure their party runs away from every major legislative victory of the past two years.
Party leaders told reporters that regardless of the ultimate outcome, they would do everything in their power from now until the polls closed to distance themselves from their hard-won passage of a historic health care overhaul, the toughest financial regulations since the 1930s, and a stimulus package most economists now credit with preventing a second Great Depression.
"There's a great deal on the line, and we know it isn't going to be easy for us," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), speaking from the steps of the Capitol. "But if we suffer defeat, we will do so knowing we cowered away from absolutely anything we produced that was even remotely progressive or valuable in any way."
The stimulus package gave a tax cut to 95% of working families in America and stopped an economic collapse that looked to have no bottom when Barack Obama took office. But Republicans lie about it, so of course the Democrats are running away from their own accomplishment.
Wall Street fought tooth and nail against financial regulations designed to prevent another collapse like this one, and today is lavishing money on a Republican Party which vows to return to the same deregulation that created bubbles in mortgages and arcane financial derivatives (and, just incidentally, gave these people obscene profits before they collapsed our economy and had to be bailed out by the American taxpayer). So, naturally, the Democrats are hiding under the bed, if not actively attacking their own program.
And after campaigning for decades on health care reform, Democrats finally succeeded on their campaign promise, passing a very conservative reform bill almost identical to Republican plans in the 1990s - and a bill that lowers the federal deficit, to boot. Among other things, now health insurance companies can't kick you out if you get sick. But it's unpopular among gullible, Fox "News" watching seniors - who won't be affected by its provisions at all, but who reliably vote - so Democrats... are running away. Oh, we're so very sorry we kept our campaign promise!
The Onion might be satire, but you can't get any more accurate than this. And keep in mind that these are the same Democrats, by and large, who went along with the worst excesses of the Bush Administration, including deficit-busting tax cuts for the rich and starting two wars in the Middle East, one against a completely innocent country, simply because they feared the president's poll numbers.
These are the same Democrats who decided not to investigate the crimes of the "loyal Bushies" in the previous administration, letting the Republicans completely off the hook and able to start fresh at deceiving the American people. Oh, gosh, we wouldn't want to look too aggressive, would we? Republicans might look at us with those sad, puppy-dog eyes. Let's give our opponents - who nearly destroyed our country the previous eight years - a chance at a fresh start. I'm sure they'll be nice to us then.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) acknowledged the task would be difficult, but said Democrats would remain steadfast in permitting their opponents to deride the accomplishments of the $787 billion Recovery Act, even as the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office reports that the 2009 measure has created millions of jobs.
"While the stimulus isn't a cure-all, we owe it to the voters to scatter like pigeons whenever the Republicans grossly mischaracterize it as a wasteful giveaway," Pelosi said. "Their sleazy, cynical distortions may win them votes in the end, but we will not let that happen without doing whatever it takes to sit idly by and let them get away with it."
According to party leaders, the Democrats are putting their sweeping new health care law at the top of the list of accomplishments to back away from, mainly by allowing its most popular provisions—federal subsidies to make health care more affordable; allowing children to stay on their parents' insurance until age 26; and rules that prevent sick people from being denied coverage—to be summarily dismissed as "Obamacare."
"It's the ninth inning now, and Democrats are finally getting serious about hiding in the weeds at the slightest mention of last year's credit-card legislation, which put an end to predatory lending schemes that are universally considered repugnant," [James] Carville said. "Now that's smart politics, right there. The chips may be down, but they're still finding a way to curl up like a bunch of pathetic little hedgehogs and piss all over themselves the moment any sort of challenge is mounted."
Am I bitter? Hey, I'm still disgusted that the Democrats couldn't even muster up the gumption to separate tax cuts from the wealthiest of Americans from tax cuts for everyone else, everyone making less than $250,000 a year, and vote on the latter before the election, letting their opponents campaign on deficit-busting cuts for the top 2% of earners in the nation.
I guess when they run away, they really run. Frankly, I'm surprised they can run so fast without a spine.