Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Zombies & Head Cases

The old axiom about insanity - that it's doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results - has been attributed to many different people over the years, including both Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein.

While we've used the maxim many times over the years, we've long ago given up on trying to track down exactly which person said it. Unlike so-called leaders in both the NFL and the GOP, we're not insane.

Unfortunately, like some kinds of zombies, both professional football and the Republican Party seem to be returning to their abnormally insane equilibrium, even in the face of mounting evidence that it doesn't take a genius to understand.

For football, even as the "off-season" ramps up, football addicts are getting ready for the arena football season. Even as the President expressed his concern for the increasing level of dangerous injuries in football last week, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell insisted there is really no problem - and certainly no coverup - of brain damage from playing football. Goodell, in fact, insisted that his entire industry has been attempting to make the game safer, as though his words would make it so.

Doctors and scientists, however, from places like Johns Hopkins University continue to cite the scientific facts that prove Goodell is either woefully uninformed, completely incompetent, or lying to himself about the dangers of continuing to do things the same old way.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor must have been taking tips from Goodell.

On Tuesday, Cantor scheduled what he and others on the right were billing as a major announcement about how the Republican Party was going to be rebranding itself as a better, happier, smarter party.

It might have helped Cantor's credibility on the rollout of this "new" GOP if he hadn't scheduled his announcement at the same time as President Obama's Tuesday media event. It also might have helped if Cantor and the Republicans were actually willing to change their zombie-like policy directions, from dead stupid to something vaguely resembling what Americans really want.

We will give Cantor credit for gently and indirectly endorsing the principles of the DREAM Act. A sign that at least he may not be completely brain dead, even if tea party House Republicans today held a meeting where they insisted no such immigration reform were needed.

Meanwhile, the clock kept ticking today - another day closer to the Sequester cuts that continue to threaten America's growing economy and shrinking deficits under President Obama.

While President Obama called for a logical short-term extension to push off the economy-harming cuts that some Republicans favor, Republican Speaker John Boehner insisted Congressional Republicans were not going to stop the cuts. Senate Republicans insisted they were going to filibuster more Obama nominees, especially to agencies that oversee parts of the economy, like the Treasury and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Maybe now you can see why we thought of zombies and insanity today.

We don't expect any of these intellectual zombies to change anytime in the near future - so just like in football, expect the hits to just keep on comin'.

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