First, Steve Benen explores their remarkable ability to remain oblivious to glaringly obvious contradictions:
'Tis.There's an old joke that goes something like this: my neighbor went to public schools before joining the military. He went to college on the G.I. Bill, bought his first home through the FHA, and received his health care through the V.A. and Medicare. He now receives Social Security.
He's a conservative because he wants to get the government off his back.
I mention the joke because a surprising number of right-wing activists don't seem to appreciate the humor. We talked the other day, for example, about a radical libertarian activist who encourages his allies to throw bricks through the windows of Democratic offices to protest the Affordable Care Act. He hates government involvement in the lives of citizens -- but his main income is taxpayer-financed disability checks sent to him every month by the federal government.
This is not uncommon. The NYT reports today on some of the well-intention folks who've been caught up in the Tea Party nonsense. Take Tom Grimes, for example.In the last year, he has organized a local group and a statewide coalition, and even started a "bus czar" Web site to marshal protesters to Washington on short notice. This month, he mobilized 200 other Tea Party activists to go to the local office of the same congressman to protest what he sees as the government's takeover of health care. [...]"If you quit giving people that stuff, they would figure out how to do it on their own," Mr. Grimes said.When Grimes lost his job 15 months ago, one of his first steps was contacting his congressman about available programs that might give him access to government health care. He receives Social Security, and is considering a job opening at the Census Bureau. But in the meantime, Grimes has filled the back seat of his Mercury Grand Marquis with literature decrying government aid to struggling Americans.The same article noted the efforts of Diana Reimer, considered a "star" right-wing activist in her efforts against government programs, a campaign she describes as her "mission." Reimer, of course, currently enjoys Social Security and the socialized medicine that comes with Medicare.
The cognitive dissonance is rather remarkable.
I'd like to try a little experiment. If someone wants the government to stay out of their business, let's do that. Let's have government get right out of their lives. They won't even have to pay taxes. Of course, they'll lose any and all government benefits, including but not limited to not being able to drive on taxpayer-funded roads, enjoy police and fire services, receive unemployment and/or disability benefits, eat government subsidized food, etc. etc. and so forth. I give it about 3.1 seconds before they start screaming for government intervention.
As for their screaming about the joys of limited government and howling that they just want us to all live by the Constitution, well, so much for that idea:
Just take a moment for that one to sink in.Yesterday’s Tea Party rally in Searchlight, NV, for instance, was filled with imagery of the Constitution. Protesters carried signs that read “I honor the Constitution” and “What about the Constitution don’t you understand?” Rally attendee Norman Halfpenny, a 77-year old retired Marine Corps veteran, said, “We need to get our Constitution back.”
In her speech at the rally, Sarah Palin of course paid homage to the Constitution. “Our vision for America is anchored in time-tested truths that the government that governs least governs best, that the Constitution provides the path to a more perfect union — it’s the Constitution,” she exclaimed. And so it’s extremely puzzling that Palin introduced this new attack line against President Obama yesterday:In these volatile times when we are a nation at war, now more than ever is when we need a commander-in-chief, not a constitutional law professor lecturing us from a lectern.Ironically, the crowd cheered wildly at Palin’s line.
So, Cons in Congress have to pull some pretty ridiculous stunts to appease these self-contradictory imbeciles. Such as this one:
That's right. Cons in the Senate are so reflexively anti-Democrat, so whipped by the Teabagging masses, that they shoot down even common-sense, troop-loving measures.The new health care law has an individual responsibility requirement, meaning that every person must have health coverage (or receive an affordability waiver), otherwise he/she will be subjected to a fee. While the Affordable Care Act doesn’t explicitly state that TRICARE — the military’s health program — will meet the individual responsibility requirement, everyone from the chairs of relevant House committees to Veterans Affairs officials to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has asserted that TRICARE would meet the requirement. On March 20, the House — out of an abundance of caution — unanimously passed separate legislation affirming that TRICARE will not be affected, and Jim Webb (D-VA) introduced a companion bill in the Senate.
[snip]The TRICARE fix still isn’t law because Republicans have held it up in the Senate. On Wednesday, Webb asked unanimous consent to approve his bill. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), however, objected. “Let the American people understand the Republicans objected to a matter that could have been fixed by law tomorrow,” said Webb.
That's one example among countless ones, of course. And then there's their upset at the recess appointments their blind obstructionism forced Obama to make. They loved them some recess appointments when Bush was in charge. They also don't mind voting for Obama's nominees when their dumbshit holds and filibusters are overcome. But now their screaming because Obama got tired of their antics.
As always in such matters, Cons have shot themselves right in the foot:
There are, alas, probably nine Dems in the Senate spineless enough to round out the fifty, but it's still a nice little message sent, there. I have to say, I'm very much enjoying the President treating Senate Cons like the terrible two year-olds they are.It's worth fully appreciating the extent to which the president's move reflects deep animosity. Kevin Drum explained the context of the National Labor Relations Board move, in particular.Years ago, after Republicans filibustered a Carter nominee to the NLRB, the two parties made a deal: the board would have three appointees from the president's party and two from the other party. So after he took office Obama nominated two Democrats and one Republican to fill the NLRB's three vacant seats and got support from a couple of Republicans on the HELP committee for the entire slate. But when it got to the Senate floor John McCain put a hold on Becker, and his nomination -- along with the others -- died.Fast forward to today and Obama finally decides to fill the board using recess appointments. But what does he do? He only appoints the two Democrats. This is not what you do if you're trying to make nice. It's what you do if you're playing hardball and you want to send a pointed message to the GOP caucus. You won't act on my nominees? Fine. I'll appoint my guys and then leave it up to you to round up 50 votes in the Senate for yours. Have fun.
There's no working with people this fundamentally fucked in the head. There's no meeting in the middle when you have people who will throw their own ideas away the instant you express an appreciation for them. There's no way to hold a discussion with people who can't understand that accepting government largess is fundamentally at odds with claiming there should be no government largess given to anyone. You can't talk rationally with irrational dumbfucks.
The sooner everybody who's still nominally rational understands that, the sooner we can leave these morons babbling among themselves and get on with the serious business of governing.