Today’s opining on the public discourse.
The motto of the GOP seems to be, “If what you’re doing is an utter failure, try again. And again. Repeat endlessly.” Here’s the latest example of stubbon-stupid Con jackassery:
For a few months now, conservative cries about the White House and “socialism” have been as common as they are ridiculous. The absurd rhetoric hasn’t had much of an effect, unless you count the surprising and new-found popularity socialism seems to enjoy.
But for Republican Party leaders, the answer isn’t to come up with a new approach. To undermine the president, they want to see the GOP double down on an attack that doesn’t work.
Republican state party leaders are rebelling against new Republican National Committee Chairman Michael S. Steele for failing to dub President Obama and the Democrats as “socialists.” And the rebels insist that the label matters.
Even though Mr. Steele has called his Democratic adversaries “collectivists,” at least 16 state leaders say the term lacks the pejorative punch needed to sway public opinion and want all 168 members of the Republican National Committee to debate and vote on it. […]
“Just as President Reagan’s identification of the Soviet Union as the ‘evil empire’ galvanized opposition to communism, we hope that the accurate depiction of the Democrats as a Socialist Party will galvanize opposition to their march to socialism,” [Indiana RNC member James Bopp Jr. wrote Wednesday in an e-mail to the full RNC membership].
Putting aside the obvious fact that the president is not a socialist, and overlooking the evidence that these attacks haven’t worked at all, what’s striking is that these state Republican leaders seem to think the RNC hasn’t been irresponsible enough in its rhetoric.
Well, that rather seems to be the ongoing theme lately. They seem to have a pathological aversion to sanity.
All this has given Michael Steele a chance to show his chops as a negotiator:
The ever crafty Steele has figured out a middle ground. An RNC spokesperson just confirmed to me that Steele does generally agree with party members who say Obama and Dems are socialists. But he doesn’t want the RNC to designate Dems socialists as a matter of official policy.
“He agrees with the notion that Obama and Democrats are taking us down the road to socialism,” the spokesperson told me. “But his opinion is that having specific resolutions to change the way we talk about Democrats is not the right message to be sending.”
What a brilliant compromise! “I agree with your insane rhetoric. I just don’t think we should make it official.”
One can hardly blame him for the latter. Think Progress has the wording of the resolution. Make sure all beverages are swallowed before reading:
RESOLVED, that we the members of the Republican National Committee call on the Democratic Party to be truthful and honest with the American people by acknowledging that they have evolved from a party of tax and spend to a party of tax and nationalize and, therefore, should agree to rename themselves the Democrat Socialist Party.
That’s right. They’re trying to get the Democratic party to officially change its name. As a political tactic, I think even the phrase “This is the dumbest fucking thing I’ve ever heard” comes close to describing it.
They’re probably inordinately proud of themselves for coming up with that little gem. After all, they’re the kind of people who are proud of infantile tricks like this:
Yesterday, at a hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Rep. Joe Barton (R-Exxon), the committee’s ranking member and former chairman, asked Energy Secretary Steven Chu how Alaska got oil and gas. Presumably, he meant geologically. Chu paused briefly, laughed, and tried to explain the science to the confused lawmaker.
Shortly thereafter, Barton tweeted, “I seem to have baffled the Energy Sec with basic question – Where does oil come from?” Indeed, when Barton’s office posted the clip to YouTube, they included a message at the start of the video: “Where does oil come from? Question leaves Energy Secretary puzzled.”
This is what I meant by “misplaced arrogance.” Barton seems awfully pleased with himself for having asked a foolish question and not understanding the answer. Chu paused before answering the question, not because the Nobel Prize winning scientist was “baffled” and “puzzled” by the Republican’s inquiry, but because Chu quickly realized he was responding to a lawmaker with the sophistication of a junior high-school student.
Barton obviously can’t tell the difference between genuine bafflement and amazement at his own stupidity. That’s generally the case when stupid people try to stump very smart, sophisticated people.
Speaking of stupid, hysterical fuckwits who don’t realize how idiotic they are, check out Rep. Shimkus:
Yesterday, Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) described President Obama’s energy plan as “the largest assault on democracy and freedom in this country that I’ve ever experienced.” Speaking at a hearing on the Waxman-Markey Clean Energy and Security Act — which caps global warming pollution to build a clean energy economy — Shimkus said that he feared this legislation more than the Clinton impeachment trials, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001:
I think this is the largest assault on democracy and freedom in this country that I’ve ever experienced. I’ve lived through some tough times in Congress — impeachment, two wars, terrorist attacks. I fear this more than all of the above activities that have happened.
You know, sensible people would see that as a bit of an overreaction to simple cap-and-trade legislation. I don’t quite see how clean energy initiatives equate to the deaths of thousands of people. I guess I’m just not nuts enough.
Can someone tell me when, exactly, clinical insanity became a requirement
g a Con?