Harold Ford Jr. — the swamp monster currently mounting a vanity campaign to replace New York Senator Kristen Gillibrand — has an op-ed in the New York Times today that proves once and for all that Harry Jr.’s got some nudie pix of the Times’ editor Bill Keller. Occam’s razor forces any reasonable person to draw that conclusion, so horrendous is this piece of “writing.” Let’s go through it line by line and get angry, shall we!?
Okay Harry, I hope you start out with a real doozy — some vague, unsubstantiated generality about “What Americans Want,” unsupported by any data. Whaddya got for us, Harry FJ?
SCOTT BROWN’S victory last week in the Massachusetts Senate race, following the Republican gubernatorial triumphs in New Jersey and Virginia, marked the third time in three months that the Democratic Party has lost the support and trust of independent voters.
Zing! Man oh man, Harry, slow the F down for a sec, okay? First of all, as Margie Omero argues over at pollster, the lessons of Massachusetts are far from clear. She writes, discussing the Washington Post/Kaiser/Harvard poll,
“First, [the poll] shows opposition to Obama was not the biggest motivator for Brown voters. Over half (52%) said “Obama was not a factor” compared to 43% who said their vote was “to express opposition to Obama.” Brown voters are also evenly divided between whether Brown should work with Democrats on health care reform (48%) or stop changes to health care from happening (50%). Also worth noting, a full 37% of Brown voters said they are dissatisfied or angry about the “policies offered by the Republicans in Congress.” hardly a national mandate for Republican takeover.”
There’s no question that the Democratic party is in shambles, but let’s be careful before we jump to early, convenient conclusions. I say convenient, because the rest of Harry’s Op-Ed will (spoiler alert) hilariously argue that the Democrats need to look and act more like Republicans, who everybody hates. So here’s sentence number two:
The message these voters sent was clear.
I don’t like where this is going.
With one out of five Americans unemployed or underemployed, President Obama and the Democratic Party need to shift attention away from health care and toward a bold effort to create jobs, improve the economy and rein in the size of government. [emphasis added.]
Way to go, Harry! You know that signature piece of legislation that literally ALL Democratic voters want to pass in some form? And remember how pissed everyone got when it looked like Democratic leadership was going to back down from fighting for a bill after Coakley’s loss? Let’s do that! Also, “rein in the size of government,” is code for “deregulation,” which is the root of our economic shitstorm.
Feel free to stop reading now because it doesn’t get any better the deeper you wade into Harry’s dead, flammable, neoliberal ocean. But if you’re still with me, let’s look at Harry’s “Four Simple Ways to Get Your Life Back on Track” or whatever:
First, cut taxes for businesses — big and small…
Harry, I’m gonna stop you right there.
… [and] reduc[e] the top corporate tax rate to 25 percent from 35 percent.
Please stop right there. Actually, you know what, I’ll give you that point. Yes, yes, more corporate tax cuts. That should assuage the growing populist resentment in the country. Pitch-perfect, Harry.
Second, we should pass a more focused health reform bill that restructures current health care costs before spending more, prohibits insurance companies from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions, enacts responsible reform on malpractice suits and extends health coverage to all children.
I love that last line. “If you’re 18 and poor, good fucking luck if you get sick. Anyway, why aren’t you in the military yet? You should probably be in the military, and try to stay healthy.” Also, the the first few lines of that passage are code for: let’s try to pass this legislation piecemeal, which is ridiculous. Healthcare reform can’t happen incrementally, for the same reason you can’t build a house incrementally. All the pieces depend on all the other pieces. Making the bill “more focused,” ie, weaker, is nothing but a shrewd attempt to kill any kind of reform at all.
This program isn’t all that Democrats wanted from health care reform right now, but it’s what the country wants.
The public option still polls high, so let’s not pretend that Harry’s “less is more” approach has anything to do with giving the public what it wants.
Third, we should reform our immigration policy to ensure that those who contribute to our economy, especially foreign math and science graduates of American universities, have a clear path to citizenship.
Subtext: everyone else, go fuck yourselves. All the day laborers and working class immigrants who don’t have access to an education better get used to getting shit on if silver-spoon Harry has his way. Besides, they don’t “contribute to the economy” by working necessary jobs, and then recirculating their money right back into the economy very quickly.
Finally, we need to address budget deficits now rather than waiting for some ideal future economic situation. It’s a good sign that the Obama administration is following the advice of Senators Kent Conrad of North Dakota, Evan Bayh of Indiana and other Democratic fiscal pragmatists…
Blah, blah, blah. Fiscal pragmatists who endorse endless, expensive foreign wars. And who have done everything in their power to weaken the health care bill and demoralize the base. If those are the Senators Harry would like to emulate, his campaign should be fought as viciously as possible.
The rest of the Op-Ed is just more Reaganite “the government is the enemy” idiocy. If anybody remains unconvinced that Harold Ford Jr. is truly reprehensible, check out this extensive list of his closest associates — a list that doesn’t, by itself, prove he’s awful, but it helps to strengthen an already rock-solid case.
Wow. Harold Ford’s op-ed in today’s Times has to set some kind of new standard for cluelessness.