January 24, 2013 6:46 AM

One of our political parties is insane. Guess which one it is?

“I think my role is to uphold support and defend our Constitution,” he said. “…The Constitution I uphold and defend is the one I carry in my pocket all the time, the U.S. Constitution. I don’t know what Constitution that other members of Congress uphold, but it’s not this one. I think the only Constitution that Barack Obama upholds is the Soviet constitution, not this one. He has no concept of this one, though he claimed to be a constitutional lawyer.”

I try to give people the benefit of the doubt. I understand that some people don’t think as I do. I get that some people live in a world that…well, bears absolutely NO relation to the one I inhabit. That those folks tend to be overwhelmingly Republican should come as a surprise to no one, especially given that today’s Republicans seem addicted to self-parody.

I know what you’re thinking: “Come on, Jack; aren’t you being just a WEE bit hyper-partisan and looking to dump on Republicans?” Well, the answer to that question may very often be “YES!!”, but in this case it’s nothing of the sort, not when I can provide examples of Republicans hoisting themselves on their own metaphorical petard.

When you’ve lost an election and you have NO idea how to stem the tide flowing against you, you can always fall back on “The era of Liberalism is back.” Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has decided to wield the “L” word as if he describing a horrific social disease. While not having a viable alternative in mind himself, McConnell wants to be sure to plant the “Liberals are BAD!!” seed…perhaps because he knows that there’s a significant segment of the American sheeple who’ve been conditioned to believe that. McConnell probably thinks he’s just reinforcing the dominant narrative. After all, you can bet that Fox Noise Channel has his back.

“OMG!!! Barack HUSSEIN Obama’s a LIBRUL with a LIBRUL agenda!!” Except that that the President really isn’t a traditional Liberal, nor should his 2nd-term agenda be seen as Liberal. Left of center, certainly, but if he was truly pushing a Liberal agenda, the weeping and gnashing of teeth would be EPIC. And music to my ears.

I never cease to marvel at the sort of phenomenally ignorant and baseless accusations Republicans toss at the President, as if things like “proof” and “evidence” are Liberal plots. Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA), for instance, is trying to convince us that the only constitution Barack Obama upholds and defends is “the Soviet Constitution.”. The Soviet Union went out of business at the end of the ’80s, and if Obama had been President then Broun might actually have a bit more historical context to lean on. He still would have been way wrong, of course, but at least he could pretend that he knew what he was talking about.

Broun offers no evidence to buttress his claim, nor does he acknowledge his astonishing absence of historical knowledge. Then again, “evidence” and “proof” are for losers and Liberals, right? It’s not about what you can prove, it’s what you can get the American sheeple to believe. Given that a significant proportion of Republicans still refuse to believe that the President was born in the US…well, the bar’s set pretty low, knowhutimean??

[T]o keep the sales tax from being too high, Jindal also hopes to impose steep spending cuts so the state would need less revenue. What kind of cuts does the far-right governor have in mind? Jamelle Bouie reported yesterday that Jindal intends to eliminate the state’s hospice program for Medicaid recipients….

Local hospice officials in Louisiana expressed dismay at the “throw grandma off the bus” attitude of the Jindal administration.

After the 2012 elections, Jindal tried to position himself as someone who could help lead his party in a smarter direction, lamenting “dumbed-down conservatism.” He neglected to mention he hopes to replace it with “callous and cruel conservatism.”

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, memorable mostly for being to principled leadership what Howdy Doody was to children’s entertainment, has decided that in order to balance his state’s budget, compassion is no longer an option. Rather than look for ways to collect additional revenue (Hmm…d’ya think corporations paying their fair share of taxes might work?), Gov. Jindal intends to eliminate Louisiana’s hospice program for Medicare recipients.

Jindal’s plan is actually very much in line with today’s GOP philosophy, which, simply put, is “every man for himself.” To your average Republican, social programs are overhead, handouts for those too shiftless and lazy to do for themselves, and so they’ve become dependent on government to do for them. The concept of the social contract is simply a Liberal justification for providing handouts to those wholly undeserving of them. The idea of being able to die with dignity, which should be basic to any humane health care policy, seems to be lost on Jindal.

Not surprisingly, Jindal’s plan has generated tremendous outrage, which has forced him to back down, if only a bit. His plan originally called for the hospice program to end next week. Because of the protests, Jindal’s announced that he’ll allow the program to continue through June 30th, the end of Louisiana’s fiscal year…when he’ll no doubt try to kill the program quietly.

Memo to Republicans: compassion is NOT a sign of weakness. It’s a sign that you possess a degree of humanity.

And then there’s Rep. James Lankford (R-OK), a darling of the Tea Party willing engage in all manner of conspiracy theories about how the Obama Administration is pushing the “Homosexual Agenda.” Once again, what the “Homosexual Agenda” actually is is anyone’s guess.

Now he’s advocating for the “power of humiliation” as a way to get the LGBT community to see the error of their ways and make the “right” choice about their sexuality. Yeah, so how’s that “small government” thing working out for y’all?

That Lankford’s from Oklahoma is about all you really need to know about his dismissive and intolerant attitude regarding LGBT issues. I suppose that’s easy to do when you don’t view homosexuals as actual people with hopes and dreams and feelings. There’s a large segment of the GOP, of which Lankford is one of the most strident voices, that would quite happily turn homosexuals into second-class citizens…or worse. You might have figured out by now that compassion and tolerance aren’t planks in the GOP platform. Few Republicans personify that prejudice and hatred more strongly that Lankford.

Given the tremendous amount of fear and loathing directed at the LGBT community, one might reasonably wonder if Lankford and his fellow Republicans aren’t secretly afraid of and/or insecure about their own sexuality. Why else focus so much energy on denying others the right to live and love as they choose? What is it y’all are so afraid of?

No list of Republican crazies would be complete without mentioning Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), for whom the word “loon” appears to have been invented. Seizing on the opportunity to grill Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Paul launched into a soliloquy on not only what he perceived as her shortcomings, but also a conspiracy theory involving moving arms from Libya to Syrian rebels. The fact that this sort of thing isn’t the State Department’s bailiwick (or germane to the Benghazi attack) seemed beside the point. The junior senator from Kentucky had a forum, and damned if he wasn’t going to make the most of it.

Paul, never one to pass up an opportunity to pontificate in front of a camera, helped to turn the hearing into a circus…not that this bothered any of the Republicans on the panel. It was an opportunity to embarrass Sec. Clinton in the guise of looking for answers, and Sen. Paul seemed perfectly willing to embarrass himself as well. After all, it’s not like Republicans could pass on an opportunity to damage Clinton perceived prospects of being the presumptive 2016 Democratic Presidential nominee.

And speaking of the Benghazi hearing, it gets worse. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), with a straight face, accused Sec. Clinton of engaging in “theatrics” in order to avoid answering tough questions about the attack in Benghazi. Clearly, as a woman Sec. Clinton is prone to hysterics, right? That Sen. Johnson would play the “emotional female” card is as reprehensible and sexist as it is predictable and unoriginal. Never mind that it has absolutely nothing to do with how Sec. Clinton handled events leading up to and after Benghazi.

Johnson speculated that “she didn’t want to answer questions so she makes a big show of it.” Hillary Clinton has a sense of responsibility, courage, and resolve Johnson couldn’t hope to approach. Her balls (metaphorically speaking, of course) make Johnson’s look like grains of sand. Johnson revealed himself to be little more than a moral midget who cares far less about what happened in Benghazi than in taking cheap shots at a strong, capable woman.

Last, and very probably least, is Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant, who seems to be channeling Mitt Romney these days when it comes to health care. What do you mean that America doesn’t have universal health care? Bryant argues that of course all Americans have access to health care. The poor and uninsured may have to get their health care at an emergency room, but that means they have access to health care, right?

Technically, Bryant is right, but to speak of Obamacare as an unnecessary and massive program is as inhuman as it is fiscally irresponsible. Health care provided by emergency rooms is horrifically expensive and inefficient. Such care is rarely preventative and is normally reactive, provided long after a health issue might have been easily (and relatively inexpensively) prevented.

I suppose one could dismiss my musings as merely a Liberal attempt to ridicule proudly patriotic Republicans, but all I’ve done is point out the silliness. The Republicans I’ve spotlighted have satirized themselves without outside assistance.

And then they wonder why they have so much difficulty being perceived as statesmen? Come on; I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried. If Republicans want to be seen as serious people with serious things to say, then they should conduct themselves in a serious manner befitting their position and responsibility. That they can see their way clear to acting like clowns only serves to prove my point.

One of our political parties is insane and, even worse, beholden to insane people. That’s not exactly a recipe for effective leadership or problem solving, is it?

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This page contains a single entry by Jack Cluth published on January 24, 2013 6:46 AM.

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