Occasional blogging, mostly of the long-form variety.

Friday, February 12, 2010

"They're Not Embarrassed"

This is a home run by Maddow on the stimulus bill and Republican hypocrisy. GOP politicians have loudly attacked the bill, and claimed it was a failure (most every expert deems it a success, and say that if anything it was too small). Then they've turned around and taken credit for the federal funds sent to their districts and states. If you don't follow politics that closely, this will get you up to speed on why it's so hard to get anything productive done:

Steve Benen has been tracking this specific sort of hypocrisy for months, and Obama described it when he met with the House Republicans. I've read some astoundingly counterfactual political analysis pieces by supposedly neutral and savvy reporters in the past few days. If most reporting was half as good as this piece, we'd be in much better shape. If the headline-mugging, "gotcha" journalism reporters practiced was this substantive, versus the gossipy sort they dish out, politicians wouldn't lie or screw over their constituents nearly as often. For instance, Joe Lieberman could be pushed on why he opposed policies his constituents favored and experts endorsed, and why Democrats, Republicans and Independents in Connecticut all disapproved of his job performance. Most congressional Republicans could be shamed on a daily basis, for lying, for hypocrisy, for laughable bullshit and (most importantly) screwing over their constituents. The press likes to sell conflict and scandals, and there would be plenty to cover- if only they cared about policies and how they affected American citizens.

I often wonder about the stupid-to-evil ratio of this or that political player. I don't doubt that many movement conservatives truly believe the demonstrably false dogma they preach (in private, some really don't believe that global warming exists). But being a zealot, a liar, and a scumbag are not mutually exclusive. And hell, I give the GOP too much credit at times for being more stupid than evil. It's obvious to anyone following politics that the GOP is obstructionist. But sometimes, I think they really don't understand how destructive and reckless they're being. Maddow builds an ironclad case not only that these people are acting in bad faith - they're doing things they know will hurt their constitutents. It'd be great to have reality-based discussions with smart people with different perspectives. Currently - and for some time now - the Republicans have been sociopaths. I don't see how anyone who follows politics for a living could miss this - or excuse it.

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