Why Republicans Suck: Part Two

« September 2008 »

Memo to Republicans: YOU ARE DUMB.

And you suck. You suck so much you keep distracting me from talking about how much you suck because you keep finding new and fascinating ways of sucking. But dammit, it's the final day of the RNC, and I'll be damned if I let you slink out of town without a few more rhetorical arrows aimed at your prodigious and pasty asses.

Again, I must insist, this is not about policy differences. Yeah, policy differences are important, but if that's all there were, politics as we know it would cease to exist, possibly bringing about Utopia in our lifetimes. This is about tactics. This is about the rules of argument, the level of discourse, and the willingness to bend and break same until someone calls them on it, and usually afterwards.

On Tuesday we discussed the spite issue, but spite alone isn't particularly efficient on its own. Spite needs a lubricant, or perhaps an enzyme, that lets the spite keep working week after month after year. That enzyme is the almighty double standard, sometimes known by the more derogatory name "hypocrisy".

Stop right there. I know your train of thought. Of course Democrats are hypocrites. Especially Democratic politicians. They're hypocrites a lot. That's not what I'm talking about. Democratic hypocrisy is almost entirely minor-league, individual, and a product of the environment, and more importantly, they have the common decency to at least ACT chagrined when they're called out on it.

But for Republicans, the double-standard is an art form. Institutionalized, internalized, deliberate, brazen, and celebrated. Why? Because they know it works, and they know they won't get in any serious trouble for it. Political benefits without political consequences? Of COURSE they'll keep the most ludicrous hypocrisies in their toolbox. Get a load of this from Lindsey Graham over the weekend. It is, inevitably, about Sarah Palin, but his defense of Palin turns into a criticism of Obama that shows the mighty double-standard in action. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"When you look at her resume as Governor, versus his resume as Senator, he's been gone more than he's been here."

A damning criticism indeed. Sure, Obama's been a senator for more than twice as long as Palin's been a governor, but if he's been spending all his time campaigning for President instead of voting on Senate bills, then that seriously discredits his claims of experience. It's a powerful argument, and it becomes even MORE powerful when you don't actually look at the numbers for both Senators running for President this year:

Barack Obama: Present for 54.5% of votes in the 110th Congress (2007-now).
John McCain: Present for 36.2% of votes in the 110th Congress.

Graham gets a two-fer! First, he's wrong - going by votes, Obama has been there just slightly longer than he's been gone. But if skipping out on votes in favor of campaigning is such a bad thing, why isn't Lindsey Graham even more upset with John "One In Three" McCain? Because that would be a single-standard, and Graham doesn't roll like that. And if you try to tell him he SHOULD roll like that, well, he'll laugh in your fucking face, then go back to the secret Republican clubhouse, tell them what you said, and they'll all laugh at you too.

Why? Because George Stephanopolous, host of ABC's This Week on which Graham was appearing, didn't stop him and tell him he was being a hypocrite. And the next time Lindsey Graham wants to appear on This Week, Lindsey Graham will appear on This Week. His constituents won't know and won't care that he was full of shit. Stephanopolous won't care that he's full of shit. There is no incentive for Lindsey Graham to lower his total shit level.

This plays out CONSTANTLY. I could devote the entire column, every day, to pointing out the contradictions, double-standards, and hypocrisy spewed forth from talk radio all the way up to the White House, but what's the point? They know they're doing it. We know they're doing it. And without a huge shift in the rules of play, they'll keep finding new and more egregious ways of doing it. Because they suck.