C Street’s Waterloo

If we’re able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo. It will break him. And we will show that we can–along with the American people–begin to push those freedom solutions at work in every area of our society.

About a million people have commented on Jim DeMint’s prayer to "break" our first African-American President by thwarting his attempts to reform and extend health care. But few–at least that I’ve seen–have connected it with another lingering news story: the role of C Street in pushing hyper-capitalist policies.

DeMint is the most senior C Street resident not currently embroiled in a sex scandal (or the cover-up of it, in Tom Coburn’s case).  And while his roomies all scramble to keep their jobs in the aftermath of being proven utter hypocrites, DeMint has taken the lead attacking health care and–significantly–counterposing it to "freedom solutions."

This is what C Street is really about–fighting back any check on hyper-capitalism. As Jeff Sharlet explained in a recent interview,

Sharlet: Exactly. However you look at it, The Family is effectively a union busting organization. They’re particularly concerned about the Teamsters and the Longshoremen. They thought they were run by some sort of devils. The Family was instrumental in the breaking of the spine of organized labor.

One of the things that makes them different from other Christian conservative organizations, and I think even upset some Christian conservative organizations, is that the issues for them are not abortion or morality or same-sex marriage. The important issue to them is what they call Biblical capitalism, and I think what even some conservative observers looking at them call crony capitalism.

That needs to the be the story here: the loudest opponent to health care reform is advocating the position of a morally discredited fascistic cult, that he’s interested in defeating a wildly popular policy so as to replace it with Orwellian "freedom solutions."

Sure, the opponents of health care reform are partly people–like Ben Nelson–being spoonfed honey by the insurance industry’s bean counters. But there are others–notably this loudmouthed and unrepentant member of the Family–who are opposing it as a rallying cry to some fundamentally authoritarian whack-jobs.

DeMint is going to continue to get face time for his outrageous comments.  We would do well to emphasize that he’s a morally hypocritical cult member just like Ensign and Sanford.

Yes, an Adulterer WAS Living in “the Family’s” House; Yes, “teh Gays” Are Ruining Marriage

In the last post, I asked whether Cindy Hampton–John Ensign’s mistress–is the one who failed to report the severance she is said to have received.

But the Politico article has two more important details. First, this paragraph all-but confirms that the confrontation over the affair that took place in Tom Coburn’s presence took place in the home owned by "the Family."

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), another of Ensign’s housemates, told POLITICO on Monday that he wasn’t at the confrontation and knew nothing of the affair until Ensign’s news conference last week.

Others lawmakers who live with Ensign include Reps. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) and Zach Wamp (R-Tenn.). An aide to Stupak declined to comment on the matter, and Wamp’s spokesman did not return a call seeking comment.

DeMint, Stupak, and Wamp have all been reported to live in "the Family’s" house on C Street.

Also note, Tom Coburn still doesn’t want to talk about the fact that he was being a moral scold for the two months of time when he knew his colleagues was conducting an affair.

And speaking of moral scolds, here’s the reception you get these days in the Senate if you’re a straight man abusing his marital vows.

During a vote Monday evening, Ensign was greeted warmly by both Democrats and Republicans, who approached him, shook his hand and gave him hugs. He was greeted by a slew of senators, including Lindsey Graham, John Cornyn, Bill Nelson, Jon Kyl, John Thune, Saxby Chambliss, Mel Martinez, John Barrasso, Lamar Alexander, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, John Kerry, Kent Conrad and Chuck Schumer.  

Most of these men, of course, like to claim teh Gays are ruining the institution of marriage. And most of these men, of course, gave Larry Craig a far different reception when his sex scandal was exposed.

It’s nice to see moral hypocrisy is alive and well on the Hill. 

Who Killed the Combustion Car?

I have to admit, it’s pretty gloomy in MI right now. Suppliers are doing quarterly plans–but putting a giant asterisk on the plan saying "If GM fails, we don’t know WTF happens." Ford is trying to anticipate how they can chase down and reclaim the tools from dying suppliers in time to keep their own supply chain alive. And a local environmentally-focused pol and I started plotting yesterday to turn MI into the beacon of new agriculture–not just because we’ve got the foundation to do so, not just because we need to think about what to do when our economy dies completely, but out of spite at the Californians who seem ready to jettison the Midwest and its jobs of late (soon their dying way of irrigation-dependent industrial Ag will be begging MI for a bailout!).

So it’s tough getting back on the automobile beat, when I can just blithely read tea leaves in the Blago mess. That said, readers are rightly kicking me in the ass for avoiding this very important subject. So I’m watching an empty Senate on CSPAN 2 and making a list: a list of all those who, either out of self-interest or because they are salivating to bust the union, have decided to let the American auto industry–and with it, the economy more generally–die. 

That list starts, of course, with the self-interested union-busters: Richard Shelby, Bob Corker, Jeff Sessions. Mitch McConnell has officially jumped onto the union-busting Japanese SUV, though it goes against the interest of a goodly number of his constituents. And Jim DeMint seems anxious to jump to the head of this class, with his call to free car companies from the "barnacles of unionism wrapped around their necks."

Fuck you, Jim DeMint.

But I am taking a perverse kind of solace out of the discovery that the guy who’s on top of all my other shit lists is on top of this one too.

Dick Cheney.

You see, Dick went to Congress to try to get them on board with the idea of saving the auto industry. And that made it worse.

Yesterday, [in spite of Cheney’s similar failure at rallying support for the financial bailout in September] White House nevertheless dispatched Bolten and Cheney to meet with Senate Republicans about the auto bailout plan, where they “heard a barrage of criticism — and offered few satisfying answers.” Read more