Anthony Weiner does the verbal equivalent of crushing heads on the floor of the House:
The House was debating a bill last night that would provide up to $7.4 billion in health care aid to rescue and recovery workers who have faced health problems since their work in the wake of the September 11 attacks. The bill ultimately failed to get the needed two-thirds majority, 255-159, and Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) was not happy about it. Not one bit.
In a rant that lasted for almost two minutes, a hopping mad Weiner railed against “cowardly” Republicans who claimed they were voting against the bill because of “procedure.” Weiner spat: “It’s Republicans wrapping their arms around Republicans, rather than doing the right thing on behalf of the heroes!”
Weiner attacked those who “stand up and say, ‘Oh, if only we had a different process we’d vote yes.’ You vote yes if you believe yes! You vote in favor of something if you believe it’s the right thing! If you believe it’s the wrong thing, you vote no!”
“It is a shame! A shame,” he exclaimed.
TPM‘s David Kurtz has exactly the right take on this:
What I like about Weiner is that he reacts publicly with the range of emotions that someone truly engaged in politics should react with. Politics can be maddening, stultifying, unjust, absurd, and crazy-making. That’s why a lot of people hate politics, even people ostensibly in politics. But if you’re going to really do politics, if you’re going to engage on the battlefield, you have to grapple with all the maddening things that go along with it in order to get done what you actually want done.
Too many progressives seem to want to sit on the sidelines until someone, a Marquess of Queensberry, comes along and changes the rules of the game to make it more civilized. What they don’t seem to grasp is that democratic politics are the Queensberry rules. They replaced mob rule. The fractiousness, unpredictability, and feralness of politics are vestiges that remind us of what the real alternatives to democracy are. The real alternative is not a debating club and smoking jackets.
What I like about Weiner, or at least what I see of him in public, is that he’s in the game. He doesn’t hold himself above it or outside of it. He’s in there. He’s fighting. A good lesson for Democrats: If you’re actually in there fighting, you don’t have to worry about “projecting” to voters that you’re a fighter.
Like I said, all you can do is crush their empty little heads and move on. No engagement, no compromise, no negotiation. They don’t want engagement; they just want to fire up their base, and everyone else can get fucked. If you stand up to them, it’s a net positive: you won’t get any votes from the brain-dead Palinites or teabaggers no matter what, and you just might get votes from people who are happy to see a Democrat stand up for his fucking principles for a change.
UPDATE: TBogg notes that professional asshole Peter Wehner had a snarky response to Weiner’s outburst, and reminds us that, for Wehner, the highlight of George W. Bush’s presidency was the day that over 3,000 Americans died in a coordinated series of terrorist attacks. He may well be right.