Bachmann’s Reich

I saw Michelle Bachmann interviewed by Wolf Blitzer on CNN this morning. She didn’t answer any of his questions. He pressed and pressed for a simple yes or no on any of his several reasonable questions. She talked around him, over him, under him, throwing out Tea-Party talking points as she evaded the subject Wolf was trying to talk about. She contradicted him with a bunch of spurious poll numbers and misinformation to which Wolf could only respond, “Where are you getting this information?” (Which she claimed she had ‘back at her office’).

We have seen Bachmann and other Tea-Party stalwarts take their cues from Palin’s VP-run playbook whenever they are faced with serious disagreement. It is transparently the behavior of someone trying to evade the plain truth by becoming hysterical over left-field distractions and quoting patently imaginary facts and figures—they even rewrite history to push their ignorant (and obviously paid-for) agenda.

In the old days we described this behavior as ‘squirming’ and ‘bold-faced lying’. But today it is viewed by many people as ‘Tea-Party politics’—as if, when red-necks get up on their haunches and shout their frustration at a complicated and pluralist world, they are permitted to be completely nonsensical and wildly untruthful. I think it has something to do with their response to this, which is to charge that everyone else is lying. They even pose as martyrs to ‘gotcha’-journalism (translation: any reasonable questions posed in front of a camera).

But I’m not mad at these poor souls—they are deluded, misguided, and given far more attention and legitimacy than is healthy for the uneducated. I’m mad at us—how did we allow stupidity to become a valid political platform? When did we drop any minimum intelligence limit for people who have a national microphone before them?

President Obama made an address later on this afternoon, in which he pointed out that the House of Representatives has a solemn duty—political kamikaze tactics may be all the House GOP members are interested in, but they have actual responsibilities as well. That they ignore those responsibilities is just another maddening symptom of this new class of politician, the ‘stubborn simpleton’ (Yes, I’m referring to Ted Cruz). The fact that experienced, older GOP members are nearly as dismayed as the Democrats at the irrational and irresponsible behavior of the Tea-Partyers says a great deal about just how far from sanity these people have gone (and taken the rest of us with them).

I’m glad Obama has put his foot down—negotiating with such cretins does nothing to appease them—and nothing anyone else can say can convince them that they are in the wrong—about anything. That’s the surest sign of their mental imbalance—their refusal to face reality.

The only thing worse? That these troublemakers are expected to be re-elected by their constituencies! When seniors don’t get their Social Security allowance, when soldiers in the field don’t get a paycheck to send to their families, when no one can get a loan for the foreseeable future—will those people really re-affirm their faith in this group?  I would do more than merely vote for a Democrat—I’d have them charged with high treason.

They are threatening to break the world, to destroy the United States of America, to ruin everyone’s day for years to come—how can anyone see them as responsible office-holders and elected officials?

S’always Somepin

two points, actually. One: The NRA is one sick-assed concept of an association; and Two: The House Republicans are a bunch of no-good sons-o-whatever.

Since the later would appear to have priority, let’s begin with the GOP Representatives—they include a hard-core, tea-bag-stifled bunch of tax-nothings (magical economics?), a large number of scared-to-admit-it moderates who think it might actually make sense to set our federal financial house in order (especially when that self-legislated implosion of non-decisions-from-the-past is about to go BOOM). Then there are the vanguards—those so enameled by media-coverage, and those ensorcelled by power into irrationality—that nothing they can say or do will result in anything but delay.

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I’ve been kept from my keyboard a couple of days since I started simmering over this, so I’ve retreated from the full boil I had going just before Xmas. But I still want to point out that these officials are elected to represent the will of their electors, the people. Only those forty tea-baggers have the excuse that they were elected by ignorant fools. The other three-hundred-something House members have only the tissue-thin armor of being Dems or Reps, Red or Blue—and at this point, that still doesn’t free them to defy stark reality, or to accept an avoidable wounding of those people who voted them into office.

But that vanguard—well, give me two days with flashes blinding me every time I walk to my car and people shouting at me, and I’ll lose touch with reality myself. The President can’t do anything to help these legislators—because he still feels obligated to produce sensible results as a part of holding his office. And he knows that his name will be attached to this time in history, whether the House GOPs destroy our economy or not. He has to do what he said he would, come hell or high water.

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Plus, there is some evidence that this whole, protracted nonsense over taxes really only amounts to a barely significant fraction of the total being addressed. This gives rise, in me at least, to conspiracy-theory-like paranoia. How do I reconcile my optimistic attitude towards our nation with clear evidence of civilization becoming some monstrous distortion of all our vague notions of freedom, equality, and patriotism. This distortion has but one root cause—ignorance, not just in the young products of public schooling, but in individuals with responsibility for how we run our government and our businesses.

I’m an educated guy. I ain’t no genius, but I can carry on a conversation, OK? So when I see shifty-eyed, mealy-mouthed scam artists behind podiums with a sign over them that says “POTUS” (Thank God that one’s over for now.) or the Pentagon, or the House Of Representatives, or the Senate, or Mayor of AnyCity, USA, or Governor—it makes me mad. It isn’t so much that they are clearly egotistical or of dubious character—I can live with some of that—but that they are ignorant boobs who have no right to be a part of an adult discussion on the issues.

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I’ve told myself not to lean too hard on the evangelical types—there are many quite-mundane morons whose ignorance side-steps religion altogether. The only real beef I have with the former, that isn’t shared by the later, is a willingness to believe in things like ‘the end of the world’ as an ‘appointment’-event, or that harm, in the present, is not as important as quality-of-‘afterlife’, whatever that is.

Still, the down-to-earth idiots are just as dangerous in their insistence on confusing value with worth. These guys (and gals) will see themselves Chair-persons of the most powerful banks and corporations on Earth, even if it takes the destruction of the human race, either before or after the destruction of our very Earth.

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But whatever your (or their) poison, stupidity-wise, there are none so dangerous as those whose job it is to write our laws. Elected ignorance is no joke—but what can we do when we have legitimized ignorance by voting it into office?

Which brings me nicely around to Point One: the NRA—they seem to think that controlling who can or can’t own a firearm is as bad as deciding who is smart enough to vote and who isn’t. I see their point—it is a fact that most of these tragedies end in suicide by bullet or bullets. They are first exposures of the lethal psychosis that these mass-murderers never give a doctor a chance to diagnose. And with the highest frequency psychotic breaks occurring in otherwise normal adolescents and young adults, or in recently-returned service-people, it is also a fact that no legislation against those already diagnosed as mentally ill or mentally challenged, owning a gun would have prevented even one of these horrific incidents.

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Personally, I’m anti-gun. I feel that in such a fragile civilization as ours, people should be encouraged to trust each other, not to defend against each other. ‘Being prepared to fire back’ is a mindset that nearly begs for its own fulfillment. The idea that armed citizens of the fifty states could win an argument with the federal government is charmingly quaint. It’s also a good premise for an action movie. But either way, it is still fiction.

But a regular person wanting to own a gun, for whatever reason, seems like an important part of our heritage. If only the founding fathers had specified ‘flintlocks’ instead of ‘arms’—then folks could still hunt, still protect their home or family in an emergency, but there wouldn’t be any debates over magazine size or semi-auto vs. auto—it’d just be Flintlocks. Just one problem—Old Father George had some cannon, too. Damn! It’s always something.

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