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On Snowe-Landrieu Bipartisan Initiative: Kiss My Democratic Ass

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Nausea alert: Do not read this on a full stomach if you're a Progressive, who has had it up to your eyeballs with some elected Democrats regularly accepting prison shower-room, Ned-Beatty-in-'Deliverance' treatment from Republicans and then meekly saying "Thank you, sir, may I have some more?" Because what you're about to read is the Washington, D.C. version of just that. Senators Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Mary Landrieu (D-LA) issued a joint press release yesterday announcing that they want to convene a group of Republicans and Democrats in the new Senate to "build on the success of 'Gang of 14'" and "forge bipartisan consensus on key issues in the 110th Congress." "I couldn't be more pleased to join with Senator Mary Landrieu to build upon the success of the bipartisan Gang of 14 with a group committed to bringing comity, consensus and legislative achievements back to the halls of the Senate," said Snowe. "The American people are tired of partisan attacks and intransigence from the Congress; they are rightly demanding results. And Senator Landrieu and I believe this group will serve as a productive catalyst to bring the Senate together across party lines." Not to be outdone, Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT) also heralded the arrival of a similar entity yesterday, also issuing a joint statement saying they are forming a "Bipartisan Members Group to create an opportunity for Senators to know one another better across party lines." Landrieu and Lieberman have sidled right up alongside Alexander and Snowe, making grand statements about how it's time to come together and guessing -- incorrectly -- what message the American people delivered in a loud, clear voice on election day. And, like the weak-kneed centrists they are, their capitulation is very much akin to the wife who reunites with her abusive husband because he mumbles "I'm sorry, baby" after breaking her nose for the third time. Isn't it convenient for Snowe, Alexander and other Republicans to initiate this transparent maneuver and now extend a hand across the aisle for something other than slapping Democrats? Isn't it just freakin' amazing that this change of heart comes right when they are voted out of the majority on a clear mandate of the people and now have to themselves face the legislative life Democrats have lived for years? And true to their ongoing status as political followers and not leaders, Landrieu and Lieberman -- putting aside the fact that Holy Joe can no longer even be considered a Democrat -- lap it right up and forget who it is that over the last few years would not have pissed across the aisle if a Democrat was on fire. This column continues at"
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Bob Geiger is a writer, activist and Democratic operative in Westchester County, NY.
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