Having It Both Ways

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Memo to David Vitter, Ben Stein, and Target: YOU ARE DUMB.

Having it both ways is an American political tradition. Maintaining two or more contradictory stances in front of two or more contradictory audiences, or being willing to make extreme statements while being unwilling to accept extreme consequences for those statements is so commonplace, it hardly seems worth the trouble to comment on it anymore. Which is a shame, because not only is it destroying America at its very core, like a bad case of stomach ebola - it's also a handy concept on which to hang this week's IDIOTS SAY THE DAMNDEST THINGS.

"This attack is ridiculous. I'm not a birther, and I even said the issue is distracting. But I think people should have appropriate access to the courts. Is even that statement unacceptable now to the liberal thought police?" - David Vitter, whining because his diaper needs changing.

I'd actually like to have a chat with the Liberal Thought Police. You guys have been around for decades, and conservatives are still saying things they claim to have thought about. I would think that the claim would still put them under your jurisdiction, even if there isn't any actual thought involved. Maybe you should consider expanding your activities.

What Vitter's got his Pampers in a twist about is that, speaking to a birther-friendly audience, he supported birthers bringing birther lawsuits to try to prove their birther claims. When he was accused of supporting birthers, he tried to pretend that he was just supporting the court system in general, and the right of average Americans to file lawsuits.

But if Vitter's not a birther, then he thinks the claims are frivolous, and if the claims are frivolous, then David Vitter supports the filing of frivolous lawsuits. Which should make trial lawyers, who Republicans have painted as a cross between Darth Vader and a child molester for a long time, both happy and quite rich. David Vitter wants to have it both ways - he wants to be a birther and a fan of the trial lawyers. Oh, and the prostitutes. So that means he wants it three ways. Which I hear costs extra.

"The people who have been laid off and cannot find work are generally people with poor work habits and poor personalities. I say 'generally' because there are exceptions. But in general, as I survey the ranks of those who are unemployed, I see people who have overbearing and unpleasant personalities and/or who do not know how to do a day’s work. They are people who create either little utility or negative utility on the job. Again, there are powerful exceptions and I know some, but when employers are looking to lay off, they lay off the least productive or the most negative. To assure that a worker is not one of them, he should learn how to work and how to get along — not always easy." - Ben Stein, being Ben Stein.

Congratulations, Ben Stein! You've managed to successfully increase your lifetime douchiness index from 499.99997 to 499.9998 with this statement. Guess what the index goes up to?

Obviously, Stein's demonizing the unemployed here, which is a big GOP tactic for shifting the blame for the unemployment rate from the economic rapist to the economic victim. But he still wants to have it both ways. He wants to -generally- paint the unemployed as a bunch of lazy, unpleasant, smelly people, but not YOU. Those other unemployed. You're the salt of the earth in an unfortunate circumstance. It's the rest of them who suck.

And he does this while engaging in enough projection to show Ferris Bueller's Day Off on the moon. When was the last fucking time that Ben Stein did a day's work? He wrote speeches for Nixon, did bit parts playing the same boring guy in a few movies and a lot of commercials, hosted a game show, and for the past decade or so, has penned right-wing puff pieces and collected speaking fees. Ben Stein wouldn't recognize an honest day's work if it came up to him holding a royalty check from his creationist documentary, "Expelled". Not even if it was riding a unicorn, which is a lot more likely than the Expelled royalty check.

"Let me be very clear, Target's support of the GLBT [gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender] community is unwavering, and inclusiveness remains a core value of our company." - Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel, wishing it were so.

But if you really want someone who's trying to have it both ways, look no farther than the head of Minnesota's own Target. Target got caught making a big-ass donation to a group working to get serial drunk driver and incompetent gubernatorial candidate Ron Emmer elected here in Minnesota. It's one of those exciting new unlimited corporate donations the Supreme Court just legalized.

Anyway, it got out that they'd done this, and people complained, because Target has painted itself as gay-friendly, community-friendly, and a bunch of other friendlies that are completely at odds with Tom Emmer's gubernatorial campaign.

I am not surprised. Target's ideal situation is corporate tax cuts AND gay shoppers. So of course they'd support Emmer in secret, and the GLBT community in public. But now that we know about it, I'm afraid you don't get to have it both ways. Support the halfwit Republican because he's better for your bottom line all you want. Best Buy's doing the same thing. It's what we'd expect.

But when you support an anti-gay governor because he'll be better for your profits is the very definition of "wavering", and lets us all know what your company's one core value is. This doesn't bother me, because I'm a cynic, but if liberals and the GLBT community decides to buy their trash bags and flavor-dusted potato chips somewhere else, you'll know damn well why.