Monday, February 16, 2009

Republicans behaving badly

This week's exciting installment features self-deception, hypocrisy, and dishonesty. In other words, business as usual for the Grand Ol' Party.

First up, the Volunteer State legislature makes the news in a way that lets all of the other states' legislatures make fun of them, even Florida's.
Four Tennessee state representatives, all Republicans, have signed up to be plaintiffs in a lawsuit against President Barack Obama, aimed at forcing him to prove he is a United States citizen by coughing up his birth certificate.

Let me just say what all the world is now thinking, including their fellow Republicans on the Hill: This is dumber than a box of rocks.

Tennessee Reps. Eric Swafford, Stacey Campfield, Glen Casada and Frank Nicely now have a giant "G" on their foreheads for "Gullible."

You have to admire the courage and tenacity of this four in daring to take on the Global Muslamopinkofascist Conspiracy and its allies the Men in Blackhelocopters and the Alien Shapeshifters in order to pursue a suit that has been thrown out of every court in the land and repeated debunked. I hope the local Democrats are taking notes for the next election.

Next up, Don Young demonstrates the ethical and logical skills that led me to name him the stupidest man in congress over twenty years ago.
Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, ... had nice things to say in a press release.

Young boasted that he "won a victory for the Alaska Native contracting program and other Alaska small business owners last night in H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act."


Yet later in the day Young — who recently told McClatchy that he would've included earmarks, or local projects, in the bill if it had been permitted — issued another statement blasting the overall measure.

"This bill was not a stimulus bill. It was a vehicle for pet projects, and that's wrong," he protested.

As an extra bonus, it looks like other Republicans have been taking lessons from Don.
Rep. John Mica was gushing after the House of Representatives voted Friday to pass the big stimulus plan.

"I applaud President Obama's recognition that high-speed rail should be part of America's future," the Florida Republican beamed in a press release.

Yet Mica had just joined every other GOP House member in voting against the $787.2 billion economic recovery plan.

Okay, maybe Florida still has something to worry about.

Bad behavior isn't limited to Republican elected officials; their pundits are also in on the act. Over the weekend, George Will, one of the supposed intellectuals of the conservative movement, wrote a column pushing one of the movement's articles of faith, i.e. that anthropogenic climate change is a myth. in it he said:
According to the University of Illinois' Arctic Climate Research Center, global sea ice levels now equal those of 1979.

This provoked a quick response from the University of Illinois' Arctic Climate Research Center.
We do not know where George Will is getting his information, but our data shows that on February 15, 1979, global sea ice area was 16.79 million sq. km and on February 15, 2009, global sea ice area was 15.45 million sq. km. Therefore, global sea ice levels are 1.34 million sq. km less in February 2009 than in February 1979. This decrease in sea ice area is roughly equal to the area of Texas, California, and Oklahoma combined.

It is disturbing that the Washington Post would publish such information without first checking the facts.

Finally, if we needed any other evidence that the modern Republican party has become completely unmoored from reality and sense, consider this: Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia, the chief arm-twister responsible for the House Republicans' unanimous rejection of the stimulus bill, says he's looking for inspiration and tactical advice from disgraced former speaker Newt Gingrich. Newt, as we all know, prevented millions of Americans from getting health care fifteen years ago, led shutdown of the government that was disastrous for his party in the following election, managed the pointless impeachment that deeply increased public cynicism about government, and laid the groundwork for many of the conservative policies that have wrecked our economy, destroyed our international credibility, and undermined our national principles and institutions. But he brought the Party out of the minority and into the majority and that's all that matters to people like Cantor.

There've been plenty of other outrages this week that I could have listed, but this is enough to get your blood pressure up for the start of the week.

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