The Senate: What’s It Good For?
Such was the question last summer from a soul and blogger I’ve always admired, Natasha Chart of Pacific Views. Now that the cherished and excruciating goal of health care legislation (no matter how messed up) is so painfully close of course powerful Senators are going out of their way to fuck it up even more, bringing back the irrevocable 100% result to the titled question: not a god damn thing. Gail Collins piles on today at the New York Times with a special rant about our absurd Senate, while BarbinMD from Daily Kos netted the quote of the day yesterday (anonymously) from a “senior Democratic lawmaker:” the Senate is just a pain in the ass to everybody in the world.
Let that truth blaze forth through every screen in the country, baby. Readers of mine have long known I consider the Senate a loathsome, useless, grossly offensive government appendage that other sane Democracies of the world of course have not inflicted upon themselves, while the modern the mothership of all Democracies, the United Kingdom, long ago empirically showed us the way by getting rid of that awful bicameral piece of shit institution, they called theirs the House of Lords.
Unicameral legislation and elimination of the electoral college have long been considered quaint righteous goals of that easily ignored infinitesimal slice of population, the egghead political science nerd, thus as always totally and completely ignored. So what? It doesn’t make the truth any less relevant or the eventual goal any less righteous, ‘n by God if folks are finally piling on with the obviousness that the Senate has always been reeking shack stuffed with assholes like Joe Lieberman well praise the day and baby freaking Jesus, let me join in.
Of course there’s that little detail—one of many that will keep unicameral legislation a fantasy in my lifetime—that there’s quite another way to the answer that excellent question in the title: the Senate was good for incubating and launching the political careers of the current President, Vice-President, and Secretary of State of the United States of America. Ah, blogging, it has been a way for me to influence people and gain so many friends, yes.
That’s why the truth the Senate sucks like a hurricane was anonymous from that “senior Democratic lawmaker” yesterday, far too many Democrats are invested in it (even blue California inflicts a grasping, nauseous Blue Dog upon the country in Dianne Feinstein). We’re stuck with it forever, everyone knows how messed up it is but is totally powerless to change it. Well, maybe one day the truth will win out.
It’s as fine a reason as any to keep blogging, an American phenomena I cherish and have spent a lot of money and energy to keep going. Not only does the Senate suck, but the American journalism corps—especially television—is suckier even still by a magnitude of ten, my God it’s awful.
Blogging may be fun for some, but the real reason it exists is the screaming vacuum for truth and political integrity created by our lousy captured journalism corps. If journalists hadn’t let their profession be captured by corporatists to obscure the truth blogging would be all about knitting and scuba, but it hasn’t worked out that way, now has it?
So I admire Natasha Chart, hope John Cole of Balloon Juice finally gives himself at least one day of rest that he keeps talking about, like the baby pictures at Booman Tribune, give best wishes to the engagement of Christy Hoffman at Athletics Nation, idolize Glenzilla at Salon, always remain loyal to the great Amanda Marcotte of Pandagon, wish I had the quality output of Steve the Machine Benen from Washington Monthly, wonder what part of the Empire Jane Hamsher will add next to FireDogLake, will stay envious at the prodigious intelligence of Mathew Yglesias at Think Progress, pay close attention to Jedi Atrios of Eschaton, and hope the peerless Digby of Hullabaloo never quits. 1
Because lousy American journalism not only isn’t worth a second of attention, it actually causes a lot of harm to the Democracy in its corporate enabling. The Senate is not worth a god damn thing and should be heaved, it may be a fantasy, but changing our journalism and politics through blogging most assuredly is not, it will always be a goal of my adult lifetime to make it so.
 Sharp eyes immediately see that at least 2 of these bloggers have melded into relatively “mainstream” journalism models (Washington Monthly and Salon). The bloggers may no longer be in their cheeto-pajama stage of development at those august fine institutions, yes, but they still started out as unaffiliated passionate voices, the perception of which is and always will be a cornerstone of healthy Democracy.