Last week, I described a nightmare scenario in which the Republicans won the midterm prompting the president, high on mandate juice, to form the Department of Shut The F*** Up, headed by a sock puppet named Secretary Fiddlesticks.
Now that the Democrats have taken back the Congress and 51+ percent of America finally has a voice in government again, I think it's time to seriously let fly. So at the risk of sounding contentious in this all-too-genuine era (several days) of bipartisanship, here now is a roll call of people who must officially shut the f*** up.
1) Republican trolls who wrap up their anonymous and incomprehensible criticisms of progressives with the phrase, "and that's why your party never wins," need to shut the f*** up.
2) The cowards who so easily disregard our liberties by shrugging off the president's illegal wiretapping; the cowards who shrug off the Military Commissions Act and the death of habeas corpus; and the cowards who shrug off torture with the phrases, "I'm not doing anything wrong, so I have nothing to worry about," or, "You can't [blank] if you're dead," ought to shut the f*** up.
3) Anyone who still believes that global warming is a myth? Shut the f*** up.
4) Rush Limbaugh must shut the f*** up. On second thought, strike that. The more we see Violet Beauregard flapping his arms and mocking Parkinson's patients, the better off the rest of the nation will be.
5) In Ann Coulter's latest column, he wondered when the Democrats would be fitting Senator-Elect Jon Tester with a "leotard." Speaking of tards, Mr. Coulter needs to shut the f*** up. And this order stands for anyone who claims Senator-Elect Tester is a "conservative Democrat." He could very well be the face of the New Progressive Democrat and one of the most genuine lawmakers elected Tuesday. Prediction: if he isn't already, Tester will quickly become a rock star in this party.
6) I think it was Bill Maher who mentioned this but it stands repeating here: neocons who have made multiple rosy predictions about Iraq need to shut the f*** up and are forthwith banned from making any more predictions.
7) Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly and other homophobes who use the "San Francisco Liberal" label for Speaker-Elect Pelosi must... you know. We all understand that it's right-wing code language meaning "homo-values." If that's what you mean, just say it. That is, unless you're not man enough.
8) If you still believe that Karl Rove is a genius, wizard, architect or anything short of overrated, you must shut the f*** up. One popular vote loss, one win, one near loss to a disorganized opponent and one outright loss means one thing and one thing only: mediocrity. Racking up this kind of record by means of dirty tricks, race-baiting and questioning the patriotism of decorated war veterans makes Rove a mediocre hack at best.
9) Ed Gillespie, the man who's just a neck with a mouth, is officially ordered for the last time to shut the f*** up.
10) The devilish wordsmiths who think it's strategic and clever to refer to the Democratic Party as the "Democrat Party" need to stop it. Shut the f*** up. The official name of the party is the Democratic Party, with the "ic" at the end. Yeah, I know. Newt Gingrich and Frank Luntz invented the idea of saying "Democrat Party" or "the Democrat leadership" or "the Democrat voters" in order to emphasize the "rat" syllable, leaving a rat-like subliminal hint in the minds of listeners. President Bush, in his so-called "conciliatory" press conference Wednesday, used this incorrect pronunciation several times.
"And while the ballots are still being counted in the Senate, it is clear the Democrat Party had a good night last night, and I congratulate them on their victories."
"This morning I spoke with Republican and Democrat leadership in the House and Senate."
"...we'll begin consultations with the Democrat leadership starting Thursday and Friday."
"...and now work with Democrat leaders in the Congress because they control the committees and they control the flow of bills."
"We got some tax cuts passed with Democrat votes."
11) And finally... Mr. President. Saying that you're going to work with Congress and compromise for the sake of the nation doesn't mean shoving your unconstitutional Terrorist Surveillance Act and your bellicose anti-U.N. U.N. ambassador through a lame duck session. So if you don't really intend to be bipartisan, then shut the f*** up. You pride yourself on letting people know exactly where you stand and, despite the fact that you routinely stand on dangerous principles, there's at least some cold comfort in knowing what you're up to. But it's clear that that President Bush is long gone -- replaced by a man who can't even be honest with his own base about things like the Iraq War, subsequently leaving his allies alone, confused and scrambling to assuage the anger of an increasingly hostile constituency. This last part? Keep it up, thank you.
And that's the roll call. I've spent the last several days not only breathing in the sweet aroma of real-life governmental checks and balances, but I've also been evaluating where we go from here. Clearly Speaker-Elect Pelosi and the Democratic leadership have the daunting task of working with the White House to not only push through vital pieces of legislation, but they also must do so in a way that doesn't raze their chances for further pickups in 2008. It goes without saying that any misstep in the face of this Republican Party (and its media lapdogs) could spell disaster. So they have to play nice in some ways, but you and I are best served by remaining on the attack and never hesitating to tell those who deserve it to shut the f*** up.
UPDATE: I've been told that Joe McCarthy was the first to use the "Democrat [sic] Party" misnomer. However, its use became much more pervasive when Gingrich and Luntz practically made it mandatory in the ranks of the GOP.