Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Republicans Are Fools Who Believe That Americans Are Fools And Have Their Own Election Victories To Show For It

Steve Benen ruefully notes that rather than struggling to find a way to a compromise that would prevent a government shutdown -- with all the painful failures in the provision of vital services and incredible well-understood waste that will certainly result from this shutdown -- that Republicans are frantically spinning the issue to avoid blame, gaming out ways of re-branding and soft-peddling it, sending out trial balloons, calling the impending event a "slowdown" or a "partial shutdown" and so on.

I don't know why anybody would be surprised (if indeed anybody really is in the first place) that a party of people elected on an incessant "I hate government" platform would manage to shut down hated government within weeks of coming into power. I don't know why anybody would be surprised that a party of people who actually modeled the lies and timing of their selling of the illegal immoral catastrophic invasion and occupation of Iraq on "bringing a product to market" are once again demonstrating that they prioritize marketing over governing.

This is who the Republicans are. More to the point, this is the debased disastrous world we live in. People are always selling and it is always right to exaggerate, bamboozle, massage, deceive when you sell. Short-term parochial profit-taking is its own justification. The complete suffusion of public discourse with the norms and forms of marketing and promotion is robotically cranking out its thought-killing death-dealing results.

Of course, passage of the Republicans' flabbergastingly facile "Government Shutdown Prevention Act," which Benen also discusses in a post today should be seen as of a piece with the Republican marketing and promotion and spinning of policy failure as a product to sell and sell hard -- the shutdown to slowdown hoedown.

As is usual in marketing magical thinking, naming it just so makes it so! Remember when the Republicans just as embarrassingly monikered their quixotic spitball at repealing healthcare reform the "Repealing the Job-Killing Healthcare Law Act" as if calling it that is enough to make it true somehow that healthcare reform -- whatever its deficiencies -- diminished employment even though it factually doesn't? The magic is no less tired when it is forever slapping New! Improved! Zazz! on the status quo of commodities for sale as if that is enough to really, truly make it so that fraud is novelty, that repackaged crap is change, that hype is progress…

Of course the Republican "Government Shutdown Prevention Act" doesn't and can't prevent the government shutdown they are forcing upon us, and indeed this egregious infantilism was formulated and proposed taking up valuable time that might otherwise have been devoted to the sorts of negotiations and problem-solving that alone could prevent the utterly preventable shutdown of government, which doesn't, after all, seem to happen except when Americans foolishly elect a sizable tribe into government who hate responsible governance and want to shut that down as a matter of "principle."

Of this grotesque Republican effort to peddle a "Prevention Act" that functionally prevents action Benen says the following true but actually depressingly beside the point things:
Today, House GOP leaders unveiled [their] new gimmick, which qualifies as creative, in a painfully absurd sort of way. After voting for spending cuts that have already been defeated, the new measure would say the already-failed budget plan would automatically become "the law of the land" -- even without Senate approval or the president's signature -- just because House Republicans would say so. Cantor, who apparently never saw "Schoolhouse Rock," thinks is a great, "serious" idea that could prevent a shutdown next week. It's as if the country elected children -- slow, dimwitted, ill-behaved children -- to run the U.S. House of Representatives. Keep in mind, GOP leaders could be spending time right now on finding a solution to the budget mess. Instead, they're spending time on a gimmick that makes it look like they're finding a solution to the budget mess. They must seriously believe Americans are fools.

Quite so, quite so.

It is hard to take much comfort in this culminating evocation of a wholesome corrective America consisting of people who are not fools, inasmuch as these are the same Americans who elected (or refused to participate in elections in a torpor of disinterest or even in fit of pique with the consequence of facilitating the election of) these slow, dimwitted, ill-behaved children to government, after a long, loud campaign season in which the Republicans mostly behaved precisely like slow, dimwitted, ill-behaved children, and despite being incessantly warned that these were indeed the slow, dimwitted, ill-behaved children they have turned out to be, to the perfectly predictable and persistently predicted catastrophic cost to us all.

1 comment:

jollyspaniard said...

I wouldn't be suprised to see a climb down on this position.

There should be a progressive counter to this. Where's the campaign to call for cuts in military spending?