Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Stupid Party

Governor Jindal certainly has it right when he suggests the Republican Party has been the Stupid Party, whether he is the person to make it less stupid is questionable as he signed a controversial law permitting the teaching of creationism in Louisiana schools. But it seems clear to me that the Republican Party has been pretty stupid of late.
Consider a Republican attempt in Arizona to forbid a rape victim from having an abortion because that would be “tampering with evidence.” Or how about the Tennessee Republican who wants to cut family welfare benefits by 30% if their child does not do well in school? And of course there are “nullification” efforts going on in several states that would make enforcement of Federal laws a felony (I guess they never heard of the Civil War). And don’t forget the claim that silencers for guns are useful because they protect children’s hearing, and perhaps the greatest and most stupid comment ever, “If slaves had been given guns from the beginning perhaps there would have been no slavery.” Nor should we forget to mention the claim that in “legitimate rapes” the female body had mechanism to prevent pregnancy, or that if a baby is the result of a rape it must have been “God’s will.”
These are only a few of the most recent stupid comments coming out of the mouths of Republicans. I think they are merely in the best tradition of the Republican tradition of stupid comments. The Republican Party has not always been the Stupid Party. I’m sure history would give us many examples of Republican stupidity, but I doubt there has been any extended period of time for Republican stupidity that would rival the past roughly forty years. I think it is convenient to begin with Ronald Reagan when reviewing the question of Republican stupidity. Surely his absurd claim that “Government is the problem” should be seen as one of the most stupid claims (as well as the most damaging) of all time. And of course Reagan was known for other stupid remarks as well, “If you’ve seen one Redwood you’ve seen ‘em all,” and etc.
President George W. Bush was certainly known for stupid remarks, far too many to quote here, but a couple of the best:
"I just want you to know that, when we talk about war, we're really talking about peace." --Washington, D.C. June 18
Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we." --Washington, D.C., Aug. 5,
Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?" --Florence, South Carolina, Jan. 11, 2000
You might argue these are all merely slips of the tongue but I think if you take all of the Bushisms together they are revealing of an underlying at least mild form of retardation.
Of course many of the well known Republicans in recent years have said things every bit as stupid as Bush. Sarah Palin, for example:
"As Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where– where do they go? It's Alaska. It's just right over the border." --Sarah Palin, explaining why Alaska's proximity to Russia gives her foreign policy experience, interview with CBS's Katie Couric, Sept. 24, 2008

Mitt Romney:
Newt Gingrich:
“The idea that a congressman would be tainted by accepting money from private industry or private sources is essentially a socialist argument.”

Rick Santorum:
“There are no Palestinians. All the people who live in the West Bank are Israelis. There are no Palestinians. This is Israeli land.”

I could, of course, go on, but I think these few examples show that, as Jindal said, some Republicans have said really stupid things and that should change. But I don’t believe the current Republican Party can change, stupidity has become an integral part of who and what they are. Making completely stupid remarks is a daily routine for the likes of Republican spokespersons like Rush Limbaugh, Hannity, and others, and apparently there is a large audience of true believers for their stupidity. Many of them continue to believe President Obama was not born in the U.S., that he is a socialist, he will take away their guns, and so on. They continue to try to outlaw abortion and contraception, protect assault weapons, try to do away with Social Security, unemployment insurance, food stamps, steal elections, insult minorities and Gays, and so on even though it is clear the American public is opposed to such attempts. I think this indicates a vein of genuine stupidity in the Republican ranks. Now they claim Obama wants to destroy their party, apparently too stupid to realize they are destroying themselves.

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