It is in that benighted land that irony, reason and hypocrisy are unknown concepts:
In California, Ventura High School Principal Val Wyatt barred the football booster club from selling meals donated by Chick-fil-A at back-to-school night to raise money. Wyatt cited company President Dan Cathy’s opposition to gay marriage as the reason for the ban. Superintendent Trudy Tuttle Arriaga backed up Wyatt. “We value inclusivity and diversity on our campus and all of our events and activities are going to adhere to our mission,” she said.
What could be more “inclusive” than allowing opinion that doesn’t agree with you to “coexist” without forcing everyone to suffer your biases because you have the power? I mean if you’re really, honestly and truly interested in “inclusiveness”. Oh, and what happened to tolerance, Arriaga and Wyatt? What could be more diverse than a community that welcomes all opinions as long as they don’t advocate violence or other forms of coercion? Is there something wrong with having a differing opinion about a subject based on principles that may be different than yours but are certainly shared by much of the mainstream (such as students at this school)? Apparently. Conformity with the opinion in power is the rule there it seems. The irony? This sort of action is blatantly exclusive and it makes a laughing stock of the word “diversity”. It says diverse opinion certainly isn’t welcome if it doesn’t conform with the people in power’s opinion.
Mouthing of platitudes doesn’t change that. Their “mission” has nothing to do with “inclusivity and diversity”. It has to do with ideology. A particular ideology. One that abuses the english language daily as well as our freedoms.
What we all know about liberals is they’re big on “talking the talk”, but when it comes to “walking the walk”, yeah, not so much.
On April 10th, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) filed the forms with the National Labor Relations Board to hold an election to unionize 50 employees working for the George Soros-funded progressive media watchdog, Media Matters for America (MMFA). In response, Media Matters has hired a high priced law firm with experience combating unions to represent the company, indicating that the pro-union MMFA is fighting the action.
Oh, yeah, that’s right … union touting and supporting MMFA isn’t about to let the SEIU (who has donated to MMFA in the past) unionize their shop. Nope. Because, well, unions are bad?
If what the law firm they’ve hired has written about their services is any indication of MMFA’s stance on the subject, then yes, union’s are bad:
Whether directly negotiating collective bargaining agreements, developing strike contingency plans or defending unfair labor practice proceedings, Perkins Coie Labor & Employment attorneys provide employers with decades of experience managing traditional labor law issues. We have been at the bargaining table for some of the largest union employers in the United States and regularly appear before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and in state and federal court on behalf of employers of all sizes. Our depth of employment litigation experience contributes to cost-effective representation in arbitrations under collective bargaining agreements.
As the Obama NLRB continues to issue union-friendly decisions, we understand the attendant challenges that employers face in developing and maintaining productive employee relations and economic sustainability.
So, now that MMFA has “lawyered up” and is fighting tooth and nail against something it advocates and claims it supports elsewhere, what should we conclude about MMFA?
Yup, as with most of the left, they’re the epitome of hypocrisy. The Dons of “do as I say, not as I do”.
Because you’re the “little people” and they’re our “betters”. And we should remember that the elite always know what’s best for the little people, even if they personally want no part of what they prescribe for us.
Truth Revolt lays out a nice little synopsis for us:
- SEIU (a group of left-wing bullies) has donated to MMfA (a group of left-wing bullies) to utilize their bullying tactics against media outlets that challenge union interests
- MMfA employees want SEIU representation to help them gain better pay and work conditions
- MMfA is resisting the move and has forbidden open voting or “card check,” something they’ve advocated for in the past
- SEIU is now trying to publicly shame MMfA (a tactic MMfA uses to silence their opponents) by using MoveOn.org (a group of left-wing bullies) to host a petition
You just can’t make this stuff up.
That, of course is exactly what Obama and, ironically, Kerry, are going to ask US servicemen and women to risk for their tattered “credibility”.
The Syrian rebels posed casually, standing over their prisoners with firearms pointed down at the shirtless and terrified men.
The prisoners, seven in all, were captured Syrian soldiers. Five were trussed, their backs marked with red welts. They kept their faces pressed to the dirt as the rebels’ commander recited a bitter revolutionary verse.
“For fifty years, they are companions to corruption,” he said. “We swear to the Lord of the Throne, that this is our oath: We will take revenge.”
The moment the poem ended, the commander, known as “the Uncle,” fired a bullet into the back of the first prisoner’s head. His gunmen followed suit, promptly killing all the men at their feet.
This scene, documented in a video smuggled out of Syria a few days ago by a former rebel who grew disgusted by the killings, offers a dark insight into how many rebels have adopted some of the same brutal and ruthless tactics as the regime they are trying to overthrow.
Those sorts of executions are tantamount to murder. I’m not saying that Syrian forces are any better, but to pretend that we’re helping out a side which is at all friendly to us or not packed to the rafters with murderous Islamic extremists is to simply blind one’s self to reality. And one has to wonder why alleged death by chemical weapons is somehow more atrocious or horrific than these murders? No “red line” here, huh?
Much of the concern among American officials has focused on two groups that acknowledge ties to Al Qaeda. These groups — the Nusra Front and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria — have attracted foreign jihadis, used terrorist tactics and vowed to create a society in Syria ruled by their severe interpretation of Islamic law.
They have established a firm presence in parts of Aleppo and Idlib Provinces and in the northern provincial capital of Raqqa and in Deir al-Zour, to the east on the Iraqi border.
While the jihadis claim to be superior fighters, and have collaborated with secular Syrian rebels, some analysts and diplomats also note that they can appear less focused on toppling President Bashar al-Assad. Instead, they said, they focus more on establishing a zone of influence spanning Iraq’s Anbar Province and the desert eastern areas of Syria, and eventually establishing an Islamic territory under their administration.
Other areas are under more secular control, including the suburbs of Damascus. In East Ghouta, for example, the suburbs east of the capital where the chemical attack took place, jihadis are not dominant, according to people who live and work there.
While many have deridingly called our potential effort there as acting as “al Queda’s air force”, that does, in fact, hold some truth. There is a well-organized effort among the rebels by Islamists to co-opt the effort if it is successful and turn Syria into an extremist Islamic state. And we want to help that effort? Why?
And while the United States has said it seeks policies that would strengthen secular rebels and isolate extremists, the dynamic on the ground, as seen in the execution video from Idlib and in a spate of other documented crimes, is more complicated than a contest between secular and religious groups.
What nonsense. Why in the world would anyone believe that the incompetent crew that makes up this administration has any possibility of actually being able to accomplish that? One only has to survey the shipwreck that is this nation’s foreign policy under Captain “Red Line” and it is clear that they could no more make that happen than understand that ego shouldn’t drive the use of the US military.
But it apparently is going too. The siren song of “save our president” is being wailed within the Congress and the usual party hacks appear to be lining up to put the men and women of the military in harm’s way because Obama shot his mouth off before doing the very basic work necessary to ensure he could back his words up and now Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines are going to be asked to pull his fat out of a fire of his own making.
Chris Matthews of MSNBC, who served on Capitol Hill for years as a top Democratic aide, put the party’s dilemma in stark terms on Wednesday: “I think the Democrats are going to be forced to sacrifice men and women who really, really don’t want to vote for this. They’re going to have to vote for it to save the president’s hide. That’s a bad position to put your party in.”
“Sacrifice” men and women. What a freaking insult. Matthews likens a political act to a “sacrifice”. Give it a rest you buffoon. He’s apparently more than willing to risk the sacrifice of military lives in order to “save the president’s hide”.
And make no mistake, even a partisan hack like Matthews knows this is a crisis of the president’s own making. And why are they willing to go along? Not because Syria has any compelling national interest to the United States or that it poses an imminent threat to the country. Nope. It’s pure politics:
The Obama administration’s efforts to get Congress to pass an authorization for military force against Syria are going badly in policy terms, but they are looking up in political terms. Even as the administration’s arguments become more strained, the political imperative that Democrats must support their president or risk having him “crippled” for the next 40 months is being drilled into them.
That’s it. Take us to war instead of face the political consequences of Obama’s self-inflicted wound. Apparently there’s much more at stake than a few military lives. /sarc
These are the people who you want leading you?
The man who has used class warfare as a means of advancing his re-election campaign is simply shameless:
Speaking in a dimly lighted, art-filled room, Obama told supporters they would play a critical role in an election that would determine a vision for the nation’s future.
"You’re the tie-breaker," he said. "You’re the ultimate arbiter of which direction this country goes."
Among the celebrities on hand to hear Obama’s remarks were Oscar winner Meryl Streep, fashion designer Michael Kors and Vogue editor Anna Wintour, who moderated a private question-and-answer session between the president and the guests. Broderick, who was starring in a Broadway musical, was absent.
Nice group of one-percenters, Mr. President. Apparently though, this is the “good” 1% (he’s also knee deep in appeals to the “bad 1%” as well, i.e. the Wall Street crowd) who, per Obama, are the “ultimate arbiter[s] if which direction this country goes”.
Really? Anna Wintour? Meryl Streep? Sarah Jessica Parker?
Tell me folks, are George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Reese Witherspoon, Spike Lee, Will Smith, Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres and Cher who you look too for advice or direction on which way this country goes? Yeah, me neither.
Man will say anything for money, won’t he? And then he’ll turn on a dime and condemn the other side for taking special interest money.
The Democrats are a gift that just keeps on giving. Hypocrisy R Us. They make a career out of it. You have a president who can’t get a single vote on the two budgets he’s submitted telling us why one which actually received a majority in one house of Congress is “out of touch”.
Then there’s the holier than thou, “we don’t take from special interests” ban on lobbyists and corporate contributions. Or not.
Democrats give special interests a role at convention
Organizers have found ways to skirt their own rules and give corporations and lobbyists a presence at the national event in September. The situation reflects President Obama’s difficulties in delivering on a vow to limit the influence of money in politics.
This is just wonderful stuff:
Despite the ban on corporate money, for example, convention officials have encouraged corporate executives to write personal checks, according to sources familiar with the fundraising. And they have suggested that corporations can participate by donating goods and services to the convention, and by giving up to $100,000 through a corporate foundation.
They have also quietly explained to lobbyists that while they can’t make contributions, they can help raise money from their clients — by soliciting personal checks from executives or in-kind contributions from corporations. Lobbyists who bundle high sums will get perks like premium credentials and hotel rooms.
Oh, how wonderfully clever. You have to feel all the confidence in the world in an organization that imposes rules on itself and then finds way to skirt them, don’t you? Of course, no surprise – remember how ObamaCare was passed.
Finally, another unsurprising twist:
Labor unions, meanwhile, are not specifically prohibited from giving.
Of course they’re not, because while any reasonable person would easily classify them as a “special interest”, the Democrats have simply decided not to. Why? Well corporations and lobbyists give to the GOP, so making them pariahs is politically expedient (even if they obviously don’t plan on spurning the pariahs they’ve created), but labor unions won’t give to the GOP so they’re left out of the “special interest” equation.
Ethics – don’t look to the Democrats if you’re wanting positive examples.
Stanley Fish lays it out pretty well:
If we think about the Rush Limbaugh dust-up from the non-liberal — that is, non-formal — perspective, the similarity between what he did and what [Ed] Schultz and [Bill] Maher did disappears. Schultz and Maher are the good guys; they are on the side of truth and justice. Limbaugh is the bad guy; he is on the side of every nefarious force that threatens our democracy. Why should he get an even break?
There is no answer to that question once you step outside of the liberal calculus in which all persons, no matter what their moral status as you see it, are weighed in an equal balance. Rather than relaxing or soft-pedaling your convictions about what is right and wrong, stay with them, and treat people you see as morally different differently. Condemn Limbaugh and say that Schultz and Maher may have gone a bit too far but that they’re basically O.K. If you do that you will not be displaying a double standard; you will be affirming a single standard, and moreover it will be a moral one because you will be going with what you think is good rather than what you think is fair. “Fair” is a weak virtue; it is not even a virtue at all because it insists on a withdrawal from moral judgment.
I know the objections to what I have said here. It amounts to an apology for identity politics. It elevates tribal obligations over the universal obligations we owe to each other as citizens. It licenses differential and discriminatory treatment on the basis of contested points of view. It substitutes for the rule “don’t do it to them if you don’t want it done to you” the rule “be sure to do it to them first and more effectively.” It implies finally that might makes right. I can live with that.
It should be shocking, by the conventional narrative, that the White House of a “liberal” president would be a hostile work environment for women, but it is not at all a surprise to anyone familiar with the history of the Democrats and the Left, going back at least to the 1960s, when a prominent Democrat politician got a pass from the media for abandoning a young woman (possibly pregnant by him) to drown in his car. The same man went on to later fame as the top slice of bread in a “waitress sandwich,” and yet was so lionized by the Left that not that long ago, at the time of his death, a woman(!) wrote that Mary Jo Kopechne might have been happy to undergo the terror as her lungs filled with the brackish water of Martha’s Vineyard had she only known what a great legislator he would turn out to be.
To see similar hypocritical Leftist misogyny, we need only go back to the last time a Democrat was in the White House. Whenever a woman came forward with allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct by Bill Clinton, the response of the Clinton defenders, both in and out of the media, was to attack her credibility, character, and virtue. Advisor James Carville famously said of Paula Jones (the young Arkansas state employee whom Clinton as governor had his state police guard procure to his hotel room for the purpose of orally pleasuring him), “Drag $100 bills through trailer parks, there’s no telling what you’ll find.” Evan Thomas of Newsweek dutifully complemented the slander by declaring her on national television “just some sleazy woman with big hair coming out of the trailer parks,” though he later was compelled to apologize in print. (One wonders how residents of trailer parks felt about that, but I guess empathy for them is for the little people.) When Kathleen Willey accused the president of groping her in the White House, and was physically threatened for her trouble, feminist icon and (former) scourge of sexual harassers Gloria Steinem said that it was no problem — he was entitled to a freebie, after which Cathy Young of Reason magazine reported on “the death of sexual harassment.”
It got worse.
And it has. Just take a look at what Simberg said and then take a look at this so-called “war on women” the left has ginned up recently.
Jeff G. at Protein Wisdom explains:
Fish’s single standard, distilled and properly understood, is that liberals are (they’ll claim) morally superior by virtue of their very belief in their own political identities — which identity is tied to an ideology that, manifested politically, privileges governmental theft, sanctioned inequality as a function of tribal identity, and a giant foundational question beg: namely, that moral superiority comes from being on the left, so therefore being on the left means you can really do no fundamental moral wrong. Progressivism (that is, the leftist political home to philosophical anti-foundationalism), as Fish sees it, is the “non-formal” — that is, I suppose, situationally free-floating — antidote to restrictive “conservative” or classically liberal universalism*. That that restrictive conservative/classical liberal universalism is, as we know from the Declaration and Constitution, the foundation upon which this country was imagined and later framed, well, that’s irrelevant. Those documents are hoary totems, and their impulses Enlightenment fantasies. And we can “fundamentally transform” the country simply by denying it its institutionalized powers by force of will.
Or, progressivism (don’t let them continue to coopt the word “liberal”) leads to tyranny because it isn’t based in any moral principles but instead based in power. Its goal isn’t a better or more moral world, modern progressivism is based on doing whatever is necessary, by whatever means they can get away with, to gather and wield power. Progressivism uses the same tactics and means that every tyranny the world has ever seen used to gain control of the political system.
Victor David Hanson points out that the right has handcuffed itself (or allowed itself to be handcuffed) by the left:
Conservatives are put into awkward positions of critiquing liberal ideas on grounds that they are impractical, unworkable, or counterproductive. Yet rarely, at least outside the religious sphere, do they identify the progressive as often immoral. And the unfortunate result is that they have often ceded moral claims to supposedly dreamy, utopian, and well-meaning progressives, when in fact the latter increasingly have little moral ground to stand upon.
Morality isn’t just something based in religion. Essentially “moral” means a concern with the principles of good and bad behavior as applied to everything.
What progressives have tried to do for decades is tie the word to religion even as they denigrated religion unmercifully (specifically Christianity). They’ve made “morality” a bad word, one that causes the public to shy away from those talking about it. We’ve also been indoctrinated by them to believe that intolerance is one of the worst of secular sins (although they’d never use such language) and we have no right to be intolerant. Well, unless we’re a progressive.
Add in moral equivalency (used whenever it is useful to the left) tied to their multicultural riff and their tendency to redefine key words to their own advantage, and the goals of progressivism start to become clear.
Back to Protein Wisdom:
To the progressive, your social and political worth — in fact, your very claim to morality — comes from your various identity politics alliances. That is, your morality is a function not so much of what you do, but rather of where you claim to stand, and with whom.
Progressivism cares not about fairness or equality in the sense those words are used under a political paradigm that adheres to classical liberalism; instead, it seeks to redefine “fairness” and “equality” (and “tolerance”) as based on the outcomes it desires, a deconstructive procedure it then justifies by tying those outcomes to its own self-serving descriptions of what comes to count as moral. It is circular reasoning made perfect. Might makes right. The ends justify the means.
The progressive movement is a tyrannical movement aimed at completely remaking America and taking it away from its foundational philosophy of individualism, equal rights and freedom. Principles that work and made this the most prosperous and free nation on earth.
What the right and libertarians identify as “hypocrisy” on the left is simply what you see described above at work – a principle free attempt to take power by any means necessary. There are no foundational principles at work for them in reality … anything is “OK” as long as it advances the cause. Although they’ll claim they are driven by principles (but their “hypocritical” actions in the wake of those declarations always show them to be false principles), they’re essentially malleable talking points used to take in and gain the support of the gullible. However, as Saul Alinsky taught them, they will use the other side’s principles against them at every opportunity (see the Rush Limbaugh kerfuffle).
What we had, what our founders created, what it stands for, is rejected by this bunch:
“Hopefully, more and more people will begin to feel their story is somehow part of this larger story of how we’re going to reshape America in a way that is less mean-spirited and more generous,” Obama said.
This is the real problem we face in America. Jeff G. calls it “un-American”. In the strictest sense of the word and given the fact that it rejects everything our founders believed in – I agree.
You have to just shake your head at these hypocrites:
Documents published online this month show that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, an organization known for its uncompromising animal-rights positions, killed more than 95 percent of the pets in its care in 2011.
The documents, obtained from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, were published online by the Center for Consumer Freedom, a non-profit organization that runs online campaigns targeting groups that antagonize food producers.
It is amazing to me how they suck in all these gullible celebrities to do their publicity stunts for them and in the meantime they’re slaughtering animals right and left.
Fifteen years’ worth of similar records show that since 1998 PETA has killed more than 27,000 animals at its headquarters in Norfolk, VA.
In a February 16 statement, the Center said PETA killed 1,911 cats and dogs last year, finding homes for only 24 pets.
Really? 24? That’s it? They could only find homes for 24 animals out of 1,935? A .01% success rate.
Yet they have the chutzpa to go after others about the “ethical” treatment of animals?
Next time you see a group of these yahoos, ask them about the slaughter house they maintain in Norfolk, VA. Ask them about the thousands of animals they kill each year.
Don’t expect a coherent or rational reply in return.
OWS continues to expand its litany of hypocrisy almost daily, but this one may take the cake. A protest aimed at Wall Street and bankers, one would think that such a protest would eschew any connection with banks during its protest. No?
Last week, one or more Occupy Oakland protesters smashed the windows of a Wells Fargo branch.
This week, the group’s general assembly agreed — in a near-unanimous vote Monday — to temporarily place $20,000 of the group’s money in an account at the country’s fourth-largest bank holding company, Wells Fargo Bank.
Yes friends, the “general assembly” of a protest aimed at banks and bankers has used a bank to protect their donations. In fact, the vote was 162-8. Apparently only those voting “no” recognized the absurdity of the decision given their position on banks.
But obviously the majority feared the money wasn’t safe in and among the crowd of protesters.
As for the irony of the decision – missed it completely apparently. Some of their supporters, sounding off on Twitter, didn’t:
“I am so disgusted right now. the hypocrisy of it all is just amazing,” wrote @GiveMeThatJuice.
“ARE YOU F—— SERIOUS?!,” wrote @graceface.
“I can see the ad now: ‘People’s money is so safe here at Wells Fargo, even our sworn enemies use us for their banking needs!’” wrote @davidcolburn.
You just can’t make this stuff up. Well, you can, but with this bunch there’s no need.
Remember all the hand wringing by Democrats about the overturning of campaign finance reform by the Supreme Court in the Citizen’s United case? Remember the rebuke President Obama delivered during his State of the Union address which was met by a standing ovation from Congressional Democrats and a wince by Supreme Court justice Sam Alito?
Remember the harsh words thrown around like "fascism" and the attack on corporations which claimed they’d buy elections in the wake of that decision. And, to complete our trip down memory lane, remember the DISCLOSE act Democrats came up with which they claimed would ensure corporations acted in a way Democrats approved and weren’t able to pump unlimited anonymous money into campaigns?
Well forget all that – Democrats didn’t really mean it and besides, they now have … Majority PAC. POLITICO reports:
Top Democratic operatives are quietly building an aggressive campaign machine to battle huge Republican third-party spending and sway critical Senate races in 2012.
The strategists, including pros like longtime advisers to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, are putting the finishing touches on a group called the Majority PAC, a “super PAC” that can raise unlimited money to attack or support candidates. It is modeled on the third-party operation, Patriot Majority PAC, which ran bruising TV ads against tea party candidates like Reid’s opponent, Sharron Angle, last year and mocked one of his prospective challengers, Sue Lowden, for suggesting she would be open to bartering chickens for health care.
The Majority PAC’s emergence comes at a pivotal time for Senate Democrats. Not only do they need to defend 23 seats to Republicans’ 10 this cycle, they also must woo Democratic donors alongside President Barack Obama, who is preparing for his own reelection bid in 2012.
The all-star team, already mapping out prospective targets, could emerge as the key attacker of Republicans in Democrats’ battle to hang onto the Senate in 2012.
While the Majority PAC will be required to disclose its donors, it will be affiliated with an organization that isn’t. So at least some of the money could hail from anonymous donors, a tactic Democrats bitterly decried last year.
Principles are lovely things except when they get in the way of politics. Corporations are evil things, unless you want their money to win in politics. And anonymous donors and unlimited money – well let’s just say that maybe opposition to Citizen’s United was a little over wrought - now that Dems have had time to rethink this.
Hypocrisy? Perish the thought, and revisit the point about principles.
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Personally I think of Steve Benen as a bit of a lightweight when it comes to political analysis. But he can be counted on to faithfully repeat the left’s talking points, or absent that, come up with some off the wall theory (sometimes involving conspiracy) to try to explain and demonize the right. A recent wig out involves a vast conspiracy of right-wingers who want to see the economy stay sickly for political purposes. And it is all because, as he implies, the right-wingers "actively dislike the United States".
NONE DARE CALL IT SABOTAGE…. Consider a thought experiment. Imagine you actively disliked the United States, and wanted to deliberately undermine its economy. What kind of positions would you take to do the most damage?
You might start with rejecting the advice of economists and oppose any kind of stimulus investments. You’d also want to cut spending and take money out of the economy, while blocking funds to states and municipalities, forcing them to lay off more workers. You’d no doubt want to cut off stimulative unemployment benefits, and identify the single most effective jobs program of the last two years (the TANF Emergency Fund) so you could kill it.
You might then take steps to stop the Federal Reserve from trying to lower the unemployment rate. You’d also no doubt want to create massive economic uncertainty by vowing to gut the national health care system, promising to re-write the rules overseeing the financial industry, vowing re-write business regulations in general, considering a government shutdown, and even weighing the possibly of sending the United States into default.
You might want to cover your tracks a bit, and say you have an economic plan that would help — a tax policy that’s already been tried — but you’d do so knowing that such a plan has already proven not to work.
Does any of this sound familiar?
Does any of it sound familiar? In the context you’ve presented it, Mr. Benen – uh, no. It sounds contrived and fanciful – a wish a political hack would love to be true so he could use it to brand the opposition as unpatriotic and evil. Not that it being untrue will stop Mr. Benen from using such implications – this article is proof of that.
But you really have to suspend disbelief and pitch logic out the window to end up where Benen is with this particular piece. Cherry pick things that support your hare-brained thesis, give them a conspiratorial twist and bingo, you’re on your way to branding the opposition with something you’ve wanted to put on them for quite some time.
Benen then brings out some supporting fire:
Budget expert Stan Collender has predicted that Republicans perceive "economic hardship as the path to election glory." Paul Krugman noted in his column yesterday that Republicans "want the economy to stay weak as long as there’s a Democrat in the White House."
Got to love the hard hitting "Republicans "perceive" economic hardship as a path to election glory." Pure unsubstantiated speculation (unsupported by anything credible – certainly not Benen’s conspiracy theory nonsense). Always fun to see a Democratic operative speaking about “Republican perceptions”, something I’m sure he’s absolutely tuned in on.
Certainly the state of the economy has worked to the detriment of the Democrats, but concluding a continuing poor economy is of value to the Republicans completely misses the message of the midterm election. And as Benen demonstrates, as does Krugman for that matter, he missed the message too. Not that anyone should be surprised. The Democratic Congress missed it as well (see lame duck legislative priorities) as did the President.
Benen also turns to Matt Yglesias, a truly objective source, to give his batty theory some legs:
…I know that tangible improvements in the economy are key to Obama’s re-election chances. And Douglas Hibbs knows that it’s key. And senior administration officials know that its key. So is it so unreasonable to think that Mitch McConnell and John Boehner may also know that it’s key? That rank and file Republicans know that it’s key? McConnell has clarified that his key goal in the Senate is to cause Barack Obama to lose in 2012 which if McConnell understands the situation correctly means doing everything in his power to reduce economic growth. Boehner has distanced himself from this theory, but many members of his caucus may agree with McConnell.
Which is just to say that specifically the White House needs to be prepared not just for rough political tactics from the opposition (what else is new?) but for a true worst case scenario of deliberate economic sabotage.
Then it time for the cherry on top – liberal commenter Jonathan Chait:
Establishing motive is always very hard to prove. What’s more, the notion of deliberate sabotage presumes a conscious awareness that doesn’t square with human psychology as I understand it. People are extraordinarily deft at making their principles — not just their stated principles, but their actual principles — comport with their interests. The old Upton Sinclair quote — "It is difficult to make a man understand something when his salary depends upon him not understanding it" — has a lot of wisdom to it.
I don’t think many Republicans are actually trying to stop legislation that might help the economy recover because they know that a slow economy is their best route to regaining power. I think that when they’re in power, consequences like an economic slowdown or a collapsing industry seem very dire, and policies to prevent this are going to sound compelling. When you’re out of power, arguments against such policies are going to sound more compelling.
Really? Or is it, as has been the case with most of the legislation the 111th Congress has passed or attempted to pass, just abysmally bad law? Occam’s razor, Mr. Chait. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. In the case of the legislation passed by the latest Congress, sometimes crap is just crap.
But back on point, does anyone see what’s going on here? It is "victimhood" time on the left. They will still control the Presidency and the Senate next year, but they’re already setting up the "Republicans are evil and are really in control of the government, so whatever happens isn’t our fault" meme. Benen seems to realize that the current Congress and President have done an awful job with the economy. In fact, other than quickly throwing a few trillion dollars we don’t have at it (and which has seemingly had no measurable positive effect) they’ve ignored it for their ideological agenda items. And, because of that, and the obvious probability that the economy will not be in the shape necessary to give the President and Democrats a leg up in 2012, it is time to start switching the narrative and project the blame on the usual suspects.
And what better way to do that than to start yelling conspiracy theory (well sorta, kinda) and cobbling together disparate facts and fanciful rhetoric into dubious implications for a new narrative?
Premise: The Republicans are evil, only interested in regaining power (one assumes to finally destroy the nation) and will do whatever it takes to secure that power, to include sabotaging the economy. Why? Because they “actively dislike the United States”.
This from a group of people that actively worked for eight long years to sabotage (no conjecture here, the record stands on its own) a Republican Presidency and flat had tantrums if you ever questioned their patriotism or motivation.
But, as they say, that was then and this is now. And now, of course, it’s “different”.
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