Monday, January 17, 2011

And Now, Back To Your Regularly Scheduled Stupidity…

If you've been paying attention to politics and the media lately, you know that a there was an unusual amount of attention devoted to civility and responsibility last week by nearly every media source, including us.

What you may have missed - if, for instance, you were hosting guests over the weekend, or you were busy hanging around with family - was that the temporary truce between the chronically stupid and the rest of us has apparently already ended.

It began with a town hall-meeting edition of Christiane Amanpour's "This Week" for ABC News, recorded last week.

One of the victims of the shooting tragedy in Tucson was not just allowed, but asked to attend the taping of "This Week" - along with the leader of the Arizona Tea Party. Contrary to the denial some folks we know still suffer from, the Arizona Tea Party has been one of the more militant branches of that vague political movement. In case some of you had forgotten, the Arizona Tea Party includes folks who came to a speech by the current President of the United States carrying assault rifles.

The nearly inevitable reaction of explosive anger by a victim of the Tucson shootings, when the Tea Party leader spouted off some of his rhetoric, should have surprised no one. As veteran media observers, we're willing to bet the "This Week" producer who asked the victim to attend was, in fact, hoping for just that kind of "bonus" media coverage for their show.

The shooting victim was immediately hospitalized for mental evaluation, and has since apologized to the Tea Party leader for that outburst. To his credit, the Tea Party leader doesn't want the victim jailed but rather wants the victim to get the mental health care he needs. Unfortunately, the Tea Party leader still insists his organization is in NO way responsible for inciting ANY kind of violence via incendiary rhetoric.

Sadly, the slide back into the regular levels of stupidity has also already reached Washington, DC.

Republican Eric Cantor and other members of the GOP chastised the Democratic House for not putting forth a budget just a few months ago. Now they have already demonstrated their inability to lead - even though they're now in the majority - by refusing to put forth their own budget .

Yes, instead of proudly taking up the mantle of "Majority" party in the House, the GOP House "leaders" are already claiming they don't really have any power and insisting that the President must put forth a budget BEFORE they do. That way, the Republicans can simply stand on the sidelines and lob rhetorical water balloons at the budgetary decisions of the President.

Many of those same Republicans are also putting forth a great deal of bluster, claiming they're going to repeal health care insurance reform. It doesn't seem to matter to them that the majority of the American public actually wants the law to be MORE expansive, not repealed.

Regardless of how much sound and fury Republicans attempt to whip up on this issue - or any other - the facts still don't change. The GOP House has to pass a budget, they'll have to pass the debt ceiling, and if they want to get anything at all passed into law over the next two years, they'll have to work TOGETHER with a Democratic Senate and a Democratic President, who has the power of the Veto.

In the spirit of last week, we're not going to beat you over the head with more facts that further prove our point. We'll simply remind those in Washington (and elsewhere) who are already attempting to go back to their old divisive ways, to not be surprised when their false fury and needless stupidity meets the cold, hard reality that the only way forward is together.

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