Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Open Thread: Awash in Stupid

The “empowerment” of the Right since the election of President Obama has brought new relevance to old arguments for xenophobia, bigotry and prejudice.  In a few short years our public discourse has declined, one might say devolved, into a number of unbelievably petty and small issues which exercise our emotions more than our reason.  As much as this reinforces “end-of-empire” theorising it has to be wondered what legislative Republicans, among others, could possibly be thinking:

The right’s singularly intelligent strategy is, I guess, to drive all of us as mad as the right is – to embroil us all in the right’s juvenile distractions, its adolescent food fights, its infantile diversions from whatever is truly important. In time, or so the strategy goes, the civilized intelligentsia will walk away in resigned disgust, as will barely interested independent and moderate voters, leaving the political arena almost entirely to the right.

P M Carpenter – To Michelle Goldberg, I tip my hat 15 May 12

Is that it?  If so one fails to see the distinction from a drunken adolescent who threatens to burn down the house because they’re denied the keys to the family car.

Recently the infamous Heartland Institute, who commissioned billboards associating climate science with the Unabomber, decided to “spin off its insurance research project effective May 31.”  The reason?  Climate change scepticism makes impossible meaningful actuarial work on insurance.  Sheesh.  Brace yourselves for another summer of diligent hammering away at the ethical and social foundations of the Republic.


  1. DTOzone

    if Walker wins the recall in two weeks. I shutter to think.

    They seem to already be using the DNC as their scapegoat to take the fall for a recall Democrats probably never had a chance in except for a few months a year ago.

  2. Shaun Appleby

    This Fischer Senate primary win in Nebraska is pretty crazy:

    A Fischer win, of course, would be an act of cannibalism on a par with the nomination of Richard Mourdock in Indiana, and a further indication that there is very little room within the party in which Willard Romney can “pivot to the center.” On the state level, the party is a tight, hard crystal of pure crazy. Given the right combination of circumstances, any Republican can fashion any other Republican as being of “the Left” or “the Establishment.” If done successfully, this can render the targeted candidate unelectable in a primary. In this case, she would demonstrate that a candidate endorsed by the Club For Growth (Stenberg) and another one backed by both the Tea Party Express and Citizens United (Bruning) can be rendered insufficiently conservative. This leaves the state party on the ideological scale somewhere to the right of an Uzi.

    Charles P Pierce The Rise of Deb Fischer and the Grifter Conservative Esquire 15 May 12

    This is a major win for Palin within the party but it looks a lot like a Christine O’Donnell replay to me.  Except we have Buckley’s chance of winning.  Wait ’till the Senate is full of these people.

  3. Shaun Appleby

    The guys who wrote the refreshing Washington Post Op-Ed that went viral late last month and which dropped the false equivalence narrative long enough to single out Republicans as obstructionist Visigoths have written a book on much the same theme.  This duo are well known in Washington circles, as Ezra Klein notes, as a “brand;” but do you think they can get on Sunday talk shows?:

    It turns out neither man has been invited on to the Sunday shows even once to discuss this thesis. As Bob Somerby and Kevin Drum note, these are among the most quoted people in Washington – yet suddenly this latest topic is too hot for the talkers, or not deemed relevant at all.

    I ran this thesis by Ornstein himself, and he confirmed that the book’s publicity people had tried to get the authors booked on the Sunday shows, with no success.

    Greg Sargent – Only one party’s to blame? Don’t tell the Sunday shows. Washington Post 14 May 12

    As Pierce says, the media is a whorehouse with 500 piano players.

  4. Shaun Appleby

    Did legislative Republicans get their collective heads handed to them last session over the debt-limit debacle?  So it seemed:

    Whether or not he can make it stick in any meaningful way, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) revealed on Tuesday that Republicans still have an appetite for debt limit brinksmanship – even after the last round nearly crippled the economy, and left the GOP’s congressional approval ratings in the sewer.

    Brian Beutler – Why Republicans Are Flirting With Debt Limit Debacle 2.0 TPM 15 May 12

    Crikey…  The leader of the majority House, the man who would be Prime Minister in a Westminster parliament, is nothing more than a hostage to a radical minority cohort of his own party whom frog-march him out to the microphones to deliver polemic ultimatums intended to threaten the Republic.  I’ve been reading the history of John Calhoun recently with more than a little foreboding.

  5. The right’s singularly intelligent strategy is, I guess, to drive all of us as mad as the right is – to embroil us all in the right’s juvenile distractions, its adolescent food fights, its infantile diversions from whatever is truly important.

    …asual observers will not be able to tell you apart.

  6. fogiv

    Will Smith and his son Jaden recently had a close encounter of the presidential kind.

    While the Smiths were visiting President Barack Obama as part of Easter celebrations in April, Jaden, now 13, could not withhold a pressing question he had for the leader of the free world. Will Smith, who stars in “Men in Black 3” (in theaters May 25), explained during a recent interview with BBC Radio 1: “I was at the White House with my family and we were getting a tour and, you know, Barack and Michelle and Sasha and Malia… And it’s me, Jada and the kids and we’re walking through the White House. And the night before Jaden had said to me, ‘Dad, I got to ask the president about the aliens.’ I was like, ‘Dude, no.’ It’s not cool. It’s not cool. It’s embarrassing.”

    The Obamas led the Smiths to the Situation Room — the White House’s “nerve center” where Obama and his senior security team famously observed real-time updates during the U.S. mission that killed Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Apparently the room inspired Jaden to strike out against his father’s wishes: “…Jaden gets the look in his eyes and he leans over and says, ‘Dad, what’s my punishment?’ And I was like, ‘Jaden, do not.’ And you know, Barack is talking about the Situation Room and Jaden says, ‘Excuse me, Mr. President.’ I was like, ‘Hey, Barack, man…’ And Barack said, ‘Don’t tell me.’ And in perfect form, and this is why he’s the president, and he stopped and looked at Jaden said, ‘The aliens, right?'”

  7. Shaun Appleby

    The revelation that Trayvon Martin had small amounts of THC “in his system” is being misrepresented by the usual suspects.  According to the California branch of NORML, THC or THC metabolites can persist in the human body for seven to one hundred days depending on type of test and subject usage.  I have yet to see this mentioned in any news report on the subject.

    Given that the analysis was clearly post mortem one assumes it was a blood test with a seven day horizon but even this is not apparent from the “reporting” on the subject.  America, get a grip.

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