Jim DeMint: The Crybaby of the US Senate
By Al Giordano
US Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina), in the right-hand photo, is having a tantrum today, alleging that Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-Massachusetts), on the left, is blocking him with “bullying tactics” from visiting his pals in the Honduras coup regime.
Truth is, nothing prohibits DeMint from traveling to Honduras on his own dime. It’s the US taxpayer funds - specifically those of the Senate committee - that he can’t use for the propaganda junket, one that DeMint announced in advance would be to advocate for the coup regime's sham "election" process. That he cancelled his scheduled trip to Tegucigalpa tomorrow when it became clear he’d have to purchase his own plane ticket and that of his entourage, he just gave up and decided to put out a press release instead.
“Not a single U.S. Senator has traveled to Honduras to learn the facts on the ground,” said the statement prepared by the Senator’s staff. “And the Obama administration won’t allow Honduran officials or even businessmen to come to the U.S., either.”
This is the same DeMint that invoked Senate rules that allow a single Senator to “block” a vote on confirming various of President Obama’s diplomatic nominees, including those for US Ambassador to the Organization of American States, US Ambassador to Brazil and Undersecretary of State for the Western Hemisphere, because he doesn’t like the White House position against the Honduras coup.
It's the time-worn tale of a schoolyard bully who, when he gets punched in the nose himself, sobs and and accuses his bester of unfair play.
During the years when Republicans were in power in the United States, they would frequently accuse the Democratic opposition of playing as “victims.” And they were sometimes right about that. Politics is hardball, baby, and nobody who enters it should whine when hit cleanly and fairly. Now that they’re in the minority and unpopular with voters they’re whiners, too (which suggests that tantrums aren’t a partisan trait but rather a societal one).
DeMint then reported Kerry to the principal’s office Twitter: “@JohnKerry (Foreign Rel. chair) trying to hide truth to protect Zelaya, blocking our fact-finding trip to Honduras at last minute.”
Everybody say, “awwwwwwww.”
What a big fucking crybaby. If you don’t want to get hit, Jimmy, don’t go out on the playing field throwing punches. Good for Kerry for knocking DeMint on his ass with such a timely, karma-packed punch.
DeMint can still go to Honduras any time he wants. But that he cancels his trip the moment he’d have to pay for it, and instead puts a press release out sort of indicates that he didn’t feel that strongly about it all along. It’s just the usual beltway posturing of partisan politics. And the scoreboard reads: Kerry 1, DeMint 0.
Update 8:29 p.m. ET: In what may be another case of the Obama administration not having its act together regarding speaking with one voice on Honduras policy, ABC News is reporting - with a question mark - that DeMint's office is now claiming that Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell intervened and got the Defense Department to pay for DeMint's junket. (Apparently, Secretary Clinton's State Department is on the right side of this battle, denying the funds.)
In that report, Kerry minces no words:
“Thanks to his intransigence, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee can’t even hold hearings on our policy in Central and South America. Sen. DeMint is blocking the nominations of two key officials who will implement President Obama’s foreign policy in the Western Hemisphere... When Senator DeMint lifts these holds and allows these individuals to receive an up or down vote on the Senate floor, the Committee will approve his travel to Honduras, a country that is in the middle of delicate, political crisis.”
But if DoD is now going to undercut that, it is the White House that will be perceived as equivocating and weak, again, regarding the Honduras coup. Somebody upstairs needs to step in and put all the players on the same page.
Friday update: Well, DeMint and three lower house congress critters from the far right of the Republican Party did go to Tegucigalpa today, met with Micheletti and other golpistas, and left. In doing so, DeMint succeeded in uniting the entire Democratic majority in the House and Senate against the Honduras coup, including those who hadn't paid it any attention at all. Ha ha. Typical Lanny Davis screw up. Meanwhile, South Carolina's other GOP Senator Lindsay Graham chose today to distance himself from the "crazy" faction of his party, in particular the "birthers" and Glenn Beck. He didn't mention his junior senator by name, but with DeMint prancing around with coup dictators, Graham didn't really have to say a word to draw the distinction. In sum: Now the coup supporters have guaranteed their permanent rejection by the Democratic majority House and Senate. Nice work, Lanny! Mil gracias.