Persons less congenial than I, should such persons actually exist, surely would not bestow a classification so genteel as cognitive dissonance on what surlier types may be tempted to call ugly hypocrisy. But that’s just the kind of guy I am.
It’s been a booming week for inner contradictions bursting at the craniums of our beloved Republicans with inflammatory consequences surely. John McCain and Lindsey Graham may have two of the bigger migraines now tormenting the Republican brethren. Recently famous for grouchy and ungracious expressions of gratitude to various parties, including France and Qatar, for contributions to the victory of the Libyan rebels, they pettily avoided praise of our own president and his obviously successful strategy, throwing in some sophistry about the victory taking longer than otherwise “due to the failure of the United States to employ the full weight of our airpower.”
This sort of piggish sulking has become the lingua franca in Republican political circles, but this was a conspicuously churlish reaction to an indisputable presidential success. Now it turns out, revealed in cables from the American Embassy in Tripoli uncovered by Wikileaks, that McCain and Graham in their visits to Brother Moammar and his fine sons in Libya a mere two years ago spent a lot of time buttering them up as “an important ally in the war on terrorism.” The cable includes this juicy paragraph:
Senator McCain assured Muatassim that the United States wanted to provide Libya with the equipment it needs for its [a Libyan security program]. He stated that he understood Libya’s requests regarding the rehabilitation of its eight C130s [a transport plane] and pledged to see what he could do to move things forward in Congress.
Conspicuously absent in the diplomatic overview are any disparaging words to Gadhafi or his boys about their treatment of their own people. Needless to say, Graham and McCain getting on their high horse about Obama and his Libya strategy shows them up as hypocritical buffoons of the first order…or in kinder terms, men with heads hurting from the contradictions cohabitating within.
Another prominent ass and reliable blowhard, Senator John Cornyn of Texas has spent a lot of time of late lamenting the perfidy of big government and spraying crocodile tears about apocalyptic government spending and debt. He’s a vocal member in good standing of the Gut Social Security and Medicare Before You Lay a Hand on a Wealthy Person’s Pocketbook club. So given that the Republican Party has been a wholly owned subsidiary of the aerospace-defense industry for sixty years at least, it was unusually precious to hear Cornyn promoting a big boondoggle for Lockheed Martin in Texas while touring their plant today, and pitching the sale of a F-16 fighters to Taiwan. This is the same spending-horrified Cornyn who made a spectacle of himself in 2009 advocating that congress spend a zillion on a new set of F-22’s so unreliable even the Pentagon didn’t want them (Believe it or not, the jets had trouble functioning in the rain).
But the best part of his visit today was hearing a “government can’t create jobs” Republican say that not approving the sale would, “be a blow for a crucial U.S. ally and could cost 2,300 jobs at the factory.” Now he tells us. Better late than never to admit government can create jobs.
At this point, calling out Michele Bachmann for idiocy or hypocrisy seems almost entirely unnecessary and beside the point, though I’ll do it anyhow just for fun. In one of the worst exercises in spin since Roger Ailes attempted a pirouette, Bachmann said about her stint working at the IRS, “I went to work in that system because the first rule of war is ‘know your enemy. So I went to the inside to learn how they work because I wanted to beat them.” Regrettably, if anyone’s supporters could at first glance be suspected of being stupid enough to fall for this it’s hers.
But is Michele, who has been quoted as saying, “the government can’t create jobs” aware it created one for her? Did she consider it something other than a job when she was doing it? Was she paid in script or Monopoly money that could not be spent by her as a consumer to buy goods, and hence buoy the economy, and create jobs? Attempting to answer these questions no doubt would create dissonance that risked a cerebral hemorrhage, so let’s not ask.
And finally, there is notice for a heartbreaking performance of staggering hypocrisy at the ensemble level that involves the entire Republican congressional delegation. Republicans, who never met a tax cut for the wealthy they didn’t adore are deeply troubled that Obama may want to extend the payroll tax reduction from 6.4% to 4.2% as part of the stimulus plan. Paul Ryan, deficit Cassandra extraordinaire and would-be death angel of Medicare says, “It would simply exacerbate our debt problems.” Now he tells us. Loss of revenue can increase deficits. Dave Camp, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee said, “I don’t think that’s a good idea.” Best of all is the equivocating of the self-proclaimed Zorro of tax-cutting Grover Norquist, who said, “One would have to see the final legislation.” Well, only if one can’t subtract 2.2% from 6.4%.
Of course, this isn’t so much hypocrisy as it is putrid philosophy, the prevailing disregard for the middle-class and working class expressed in the big Orwellian Republican lie that giving everything to the wealthy results only in economic goodness (Three decades of empirical evidence proves it doesn’t), and money going in the direction of the middle-class is wasted (Six or seven decades of empirical evidence proves the reverse is true). And this gets to the point one simply cannot make often enough: if you’re a member of the middle-class and you cast a vote for the Republican Party you’re stupid. I’m sorry, but it’s the God’s truth.