Love it or hate it but running a campaign for a state or national office is an expensive affair now. Part of the immense (and exponentially growing) cost to candidates is devoted to covering opposition research. It is now a requirement for a functional political party that every significant (and even minor) opponent is throughly investigated. Voting records, personal problems, business deals, and embarrassing yearbook photos are all gathered en masse for use in the public relations war defines the modern election process. If you ever ran for elected office, somewhere in a basement your entire fucked up life in a detailed and well- organized binder.
Creating these binders is expensive and arduous as hell, especially when you consider that most of the information that is gathered remains secret forever. Despite the bullshit you might have heard about the “nastiness” of modern politics the truth is that very few campaigns have the gall to release the goriest details of their opponent’s life. The reasons for doing so are obvious. You never want to turn your opponents shameful secrets into an asset by making that malignant motherfucker look sympathetic. You also want to save that information if that piece of shit you are running against goes for a higher office later in his awful life. But frankly the chief reason that the “binder of doom” is never fully disclosed to the press is out of deterrence. The sooner you leak that your opponent is into scat porn the faster the media will find out about your candidate’s predilection for vacations with underage thai prostitutes.
I bring all this up because we as a nation are now in day four of the GOP’s latest idiotic attempt to destabilize the country because they lost a presidential election. Since the Republican fucked up the 2008 election, the ACA SCOTUS case, Issa’s various investigations, and the 2012 campaign they are going back to appendix of the Newt Gingrich playbook in order to score more points with their dwindling base. Fuck whatever noise you are hearing from television or newspapers, this shutdown is the desperate wet fart of a political party that long ago decided that the purpose of an elected official is to gain as much screen time as possible in order to secure a Wingnut Welfare® pension. Working on legislation is an annoyance for these folks.
So how do “we”- meaning folks who would like a functioning democracy instead of a country ruled by hayseed hate group rejects- combat the “suicide caucus?” These are folks who were re-elected by double-didgts margins of voters who have been spoon fed Fox News styled insanity for 30 years, and who have no real legislative accomplishments or priorities to speak of that can be leveraged against them. How do you reason with self-important psychopaths with nothing to lose?
You open those binders.
Most of the media is focused on comparing this current shut down to the 1995 Gingrich mess, but the parallels between this current miasma and the Clinton Impeachment are more helpful. Obama, like Clinton in 1998, does not have to worry about re-election, and thus is more concerned with securing his own accomplishments (i.e. the ACA) than demonstrating that he can play nice with the opposition party. The Republicans on the other hand are in a very similar position to Gingrich in ’98- almost universally despised having spent all their capital on idiotic and fruitless attempts to extort their way into relevance. Impeachment over a blowjob was literally the last thing the House Republicans had left in there arsenal of ratfuckerry.
As we know today the Lewinsky idiocy ended up being a massive embarrassment for the GOP, but what is lost in that narrative are the counter attacks leveled at the Republican House and Senate Leadership during that time. Larry Flynt for example devoted his plethora of cum-stained resources into publicly shaming the various sexual misdeeds of Newt Gingrich, Bob Barr, and Bob Livingston. Henry Hyde’s nasty little affair was also exposed during this time along with the antics of Dan Burton’s crazy ass. This release of information not only exposed the hypocrisy of the Republican’s crusading against Clinton, but it also effectively neutralized desire of these very flawed men from pursuing this line of attack again.
The stakes of this current shutdown are potentially catastrophic for our economy and for the very future of our democracy, as giving into the jackals in any manner will only empower them further. As such the DCCC needs to hand over their opposition research files on these motherfuckers in full to scandal rags like Gawker, TMZ, and the New York Times. We are in this mess because one political party decided to use their positions of power to mug for the cameras rather than pass a budget. There is no shame or downside into ruining the lives of these amateurish brats who have caused so much needless pain since 2010.