Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Republican Clown Car

Our news media forces itself to make “all things equal” when reporting on politics and policy.

The frequent stupidities of the pols on the Republican side are downplayed and underreported. If they were all reported it would make the mainstream media appear biased. Can’t have that. And the rare occasion when a Democrat goes slightly left of center calls for a media-wide news alert. Democratic stupidity is as rare as Republican stupidity is commonplace, but it’s the job of the media to balance the two, to make the two parties appear equally intelligent and equally right about everything.

It’s always best to err on the side of judging Democrats more harshly. It’s become a national habit. There’s a mindset that says Republican = Grown Up and Democratic = Radical. That hasn’t been true since we learned how radical and unevolved Nixon was and how consistently Democrats are on the right side of nearly every pressing national issue.

Here are a few bits I saw in the news stream today:

Lindsey Graham’s announced that he would order drone strikes on American citizens in this country if they “even thought about” getting involved with a terrorist group. "I’m not going to call a judge. I’m going to call a drone, and we will kill you.” He did not specify whether he thought the biker gangs who shot up that restaurant in Waco were terrorists. It would be safe to assume he’d restrict his drone kills to Muslims and persons of color. Senator Graham is running for president.

As reported at Slate.

Reported at Talking Points Memo.

David Brooks is the Right Side talking head in just about every two sides panel on radio and television. It’s his job to disagree with any policy proposed by any Democrat and to justify every policy enacted by every Republican. Which is why he’s never stopped loving George W. Bush’s War in Iraq.

David Brooks as Salon tries to make sense of him.

When Jeb Bush tried again to explain whether he’d invade Iraq, knowing what we know now, he said No, but carefully explained that his brother’s White House were unlucky and got bad intelligence about Saddam.

Which isn’t really true. Bad intelligence was all that they would accept. All they wanted was intel that told them to invade immediately and that our troops would be greeted as liberators and that it would be a cakewalk. Candy and flowers. (Candy and flowers are what you give your spouse when you’ve committed an unforgivable sin. I put the Iraq War in that category.)

Jeb Bush's very very bad week explained by Mother Jones.

Of course most “serious” news sources are more focused on whether he was able to dissemble skillfully. A well-told falsehood is more admirable than a sound foreign policy. If one Republican makes a fool of himself it’s always necessary to come up with one who didn’t.

The Hill does its best to put Jebbie's stumbles in context. (It's always inside baseball stuff in their minds.)

The really scary thing you don’t hear on the nightly news is this: Jeb Bush’s stellar foreign policy brain trust are the same idiot who brought us the Iraq War. They’re also the same guys who traded arms for hostages with Iran and illegally funded right wing death squads in Central America.

The Washington Post has a very useful Venn Diagram to explain why Republicans keep making the same mistakes and loving the same stupid policies.

And they’re also the same idiots who didn’t see 9/11 coming, even though the CIA was ringing the alarm bells for months.

FirstLook puts its finger on the crux of our problem, the biggest idiot of them all, the eminence grise behind the eight year train wreck we call the Bush presidency. (It should really be called the Cheney presidency.

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