Can't they just pick a screaming point and stick with it for more than a few days? These Cons are so fickle:
Having milked the Department of Homeland Security's report on potentially violent radicals for all it's worth, Republicans have a new manufactured outrage to play with.
Sen. John Ensign, R-Nevada, told CNN Sunday it was "irresponsible" for President Obama to been seen "laughing and joking" with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez at the Summit of the Americas on Friday.
"This is a person who is one of the most anti-American leaders in the entire world," Ensign told CNN's John King on State of The Union. "He is a brutal dictator and human rights violations are very, very prevalent in Venezuela. And you have to be careful."
"When you're talking about the prestige of the United States and the presidency of the United States, you have to be careful who you're seen joking around with," he also said.
This may be difficult for Ensign to understand, but sometimes, U.S. presidents meet foreign leaders we're not fond of. Once in a while, U.S. presidents even negotiate with foreign leaders who are clearly our adversaries -- Kennedy talked to Khrushchev, Nixon talked to Mao, Reagan talked to Gorbachev.
Are we to believe it's scandalous for Obama to simply shake hands -- not negotiate, not strike any deals, not come to any agreements, just press the flesh -- with the Venezuelan president? That a simple handshake undermines the "prestige of the United States"?
Please. Even for John Ensign, this is foolish.
Yes, well, exponential increases in foolishness seem to be something of a GOP specialty these days.
Speaking of manufactured outrages, the NRA's happy to oblige:
The NRA has gotten pretty much everything it's wanted in the past decade, and has to figure out how to maintain the membership rolls--and keep those all important dues flowing in. Too many successes, and it ceases to really need to exist, but it's got staff to maintain and offices to keep and Congresspeople to intimidate. So it has to manufacturer a new issue, by recycling an old one.
And with the Bush administration in cahoots, doing its utmost to lay landmines for the incoming Democratic crew, they dredged up an old Reagan administration rule to make the new bogeyman for gun owners. Yup, Ronald Reagan put us on the slippery slope to the UN confiscating everyone's guns in order to impose one world order by ruling that people couldn't take their loaded, concealed weapons on their national park vacations. They could only have their unloaded, safely stowed weapons with them. And how could people protect themselves and their guns from the marauding hordes of international troops coming to take their guns away while they are on vacation in a national park if there gun was unloaded and in the trunk?
This is really just about the least real gun issue imaginable. Really. Ronald Reagan put the regulations in place. Can they really be that much of a threat to America's gunowners? That must have been what the court was thinking when it granted an injunction to stop the rule from going into effect. That and the fact that the rule had been pushed through with none of the required impact studies.
So we're back in the middle of a wholly manufactured, and ridiculous, gun fight. The NRA's executive vice president Wayne LaPierre spent all of the campaign season insisting that Obama was going to take guns away, and the organization has been stoking those fears since the election. That's resulted in a surge of millions of paranoid, and gullible, people buying guns. But hey, think of all the new revenue in membership dues for the NRA to spend more money on more Congresspeople for more unnecessary legislation!
Who more likely to jump when the NRA snaps its fingers than Western law-makers? Entirely predictably, legislation has been introduced in both the Senate and House to undo by law Ronald Reagan's gun restriction.
I believe these people need a twelve-step program for getting over unhealthy gun addictions.
In the meantime, John Boehner's waving the banner of flatulent cows to ward off climate change reality:
You know, sometimes it's hard to keep a straight face when I watch the Sunday shows. Did a Republican strategist actually come up with this one? Case in point: Rep. John Boehner used cow farts to defend global warming deniers' spurious claims that carbon emissions do not cause climate change.
I believe that's what he meant, anyway. In this segment, he is incoherent as ABC's George Stephanopoulos tries to get him to explain to the American people what the Republicans will offer -- if anything -- on the energy problems our country faces.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So what is the responsible way? That's my question. What is the Republican plan to deal with carbon emissions, which every major scientific organization has said is contributing to climate change?
BOEHNER: George, the idea that carbon dioxide is a carcinogen that is harmful to our environment is almost comical. Every time we exhale, we exhale carbon dioxide. Every cow in the world, you know, when they do what they do, you've got more carbon dioxide. And so I think it's clear...
STEPHANOPOULOS: So you don't believe that greenhouse gases are a problem in creating climate change?
BOEHNER: ... we've had climate change over the last 100 years -- listen, it's clear we've had change in our climate. The question is how much does man have to do with it, and what is the proper way to deal with this? We can't do it alone as one nation. If we got India, China and other industrialized countries not working with us, all we're going to do is ship millions of American jobs overseas.
I see, John. So. Since cows fart and America refuses to take the kind of leadership position on global warming that might encourage other countries to follow the leader, we should just give up. What a brilliant solution. Cut a fart and run.
Awesome, these Cons are.
But not quite as awesome as some of the schmucks hoping to win elections next cycle:
On Friday, Steve Schmidt offered some very good advice to his Republican Party about the right's temptation to shape the GOP through religion. "If you put public policy issues to a religious test, you risk becoming a religious party," Schmidt said. "And in a free country, a political party cannot be viable in the long term if it is seen as a sectarian party."
But there's at least one notorious culture warrior who believes Republicans have to be a sectarian party -- and he'd like to be governor of Alabama. Remember Roy Moore, the disgraced Ten Commandments Judge?
Moore, the former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice best known for his fight to keep the Ten Commandments in public spaces, told the AP that he's "seriously considering" another gubernatorial campaign and that he plans to announce a decision on June 1.
"Right now I'm very inclined to enter. I feel there is a need, and I feel I'm well qualified for the position," Moore said.
"Qualified" is something of a subjective term. Moore was elected to the Alabama Supreme Court on a vaguely theocratic, Taliban West-like platform. He used the state court to endorse and promote his faith, which prompted inevitable lawsuits. Court rulings demanded that Moore honor the First Amendment, but Moore refused, insisting that he had the authority to ignore federal court rulings he didn't like. Moore was, not surprisingly, subsequently thrown from office.
Interesting qualifications, those. I hope he goes for it - the entertainment potential would be limitless.
Meghan McCain's attempting to diagnose what ails the Con party, and she thinks she's put her finger on it:
In an address to the Log Cabin Republicans yesterday, Meghan McCain said that her recent public disagreements with conservative figures including Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham have reinforced her belief that most “old school Republicans” are “scared shitless” of the future.
You know, she could be absolutely right. Scared people do incredibly stupid things. And the Cons have been doing incredibly stupid things.
Meghan is actually one of the only people giving me hope for the Cons' future. She sounds remarkably sane. Here's hoping she rounds up like-minded friends and stages a coup. It would be nice to have a sane opposition party again.
But I'm not holding my breath...