Friday, November 18, 2005


The GOP's Manufactured Outrage

To watch the rabidly overwrought Republican reaction to John Murtha's speaking truth to power, you'd think he'd done something really heinous. You know, like he might have used false information and pretexts to invade a country and kill 120,000 people in the process? But as I listen to the House and Senate Republicans make asses of themselves in the most hilarious of faked expressions of theatrical "outrage", and watch as people like John Kerry use this opportunity to remind us that Dennis Hastert (who called Murtha, who happens to be highly-decorated Korean and Vietnam War veteran, a "coward" who wants to "cut and run") is a chickenhawk who somehow managed to avoid his chance at a lovely 1960s vacation in Southeast Asia, I am struck by this: Trying to shout the media and the Democrats into submission is the GOP's favorite pastime. But now that the Democrats have found their spines again, this doesn't work as well as it once did. However, I think that the Republicans in Congress have another reason for their prolonged yammering. It goes kinda like this: The more time the Republicans spend promoting their counter-resolution to Murtha's original resolution to bring the troops home, and the more time the Democrats spend promoting Murtha's original resolution, the less time there is to vote on such atrocities as the feed-the-poor-to-the-rich budget bill (the House and Senate have two different versions which have yet to be reconciled) or the various extensions to the "Patriot" Act. (Not that Bingaman's amendment is really an atrocity, unlike the various Republican amendments. But the best thing is simply to allow the sunset provisions built into the Act to take effect at the end of this year. Well, actually, the very best thing would be to vote to repeal it in toto, but that's not going to happen just yet. But I digress.) Could it be that the Congressional Republicans -- who know better than anyone else just how unpopular they are -- are looking for some sort of way out from having to vote "yes" on either the budget bill or the PA amendments? Would this be why they seem so intent on wasting so much of the time left before December 31st? (Especially considering that the Thanksgiving and Christmas recesses will take big chunks out of that time?) That would explain a hell of a lot, wouldn't it? [UPDATE: Senator Feingold reports that even as the country's attention is focused on the GOP House's bizarre swift-boating of Murtha, Senate Republicans have quietly decided to give up on any attempts to make the "Patriot" Act even worse than it already is. Told ya. ;-)]

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