Thank Goodness…

for Mark Thoma.

Note: the rest of this post is after the jump due to it’s political nature.

When are Dems gonna figure out that the Republicans won’t stop playing the refs so long as it works? Remember, this is the party which put Mitt Romney – former venture capitalist, former governor of Massachusetts, and former champion of a government health-care mandate – on a stage 2 nights ago where he mocked “elites” and “east coast liberals” and credulously seemed to suggest that Washington was somehow “liberal” after having his party in un-contested power for 6 of the last 8 years. Since then, they’ve simply used their position as the barely-minority party in the Senate to filibuster the upper house to a virtual stand-still, hoping we won’t notice and will just blame the party “in power” for the Republican’s legislative obstructionism. For anyone paying even the slightest bit of attention, the convention in St. Paul was a whiplash of “he said what?!?” moments. Also, some “she said what!?!” head-turners Wednesday night. Indeed, there seems no amount of cognitive dissonance the Republican base cannot swallow hook, line, and sinker. Hearing what sounded like a small, brutish mob drooling at Rudy Giuliani’s remarks made me realize how fully gone the John McCain of ’00 really is. The guy I would have voted for has already been voted off the island. Like the immigration bill he once sponsored but now won’t vote for, I wonder what he now thinks of John McCain ’00. At least The Daily Show was on the case:

Also, the Daily Show’s gleeful juxtaposition’s of conservative commentators tying themselves in knots is truly must-see…well, whatever you call a Flash movie embedded in a page on the interwebs.

For what it’s worth, I listened to both conventions (have radio, not TV) and was off-put somewhat by both party’s looseness with the truth. A rundown of Obama’s speech shows that it’s not all inspiration and high-minded idealism on the Dem side, but while I raised my eyebrows and pricked up my ears a few times during the Obama speech, the Republicans got my blood boiling night-after-night. They laid full-bore into the falsehoods, distortions, and seemingly context-free condemnations. The FactCheck.org rundown on night 3 and on McCain’s speech pick up most of the things that got my goat the most. It really is embarrassing for them how long a list it is.

It’s hard caring about issues and policy and watching what any party does with the facts. Regardless, the just-concluded Republican convention has me convinced that this party is irreparable. A group of people this willing to poison the public discourse deserves no quarter, no matter what their stated agenda.

11 Comments

  1. Posted September 6, 2008 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    Amen, brother. I have the same feelings. Thanks for the Daily Show clip (didn’t have a chance to watch the show lately).

  2. Posted September 7, 2008 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    The Daily Show clip (linked to) was great!

    For some more interesting and incendiary viewing, you can search on YouTube for “Rally for the Republic” and see what was going on down the street among Ron Paul’s supporters. FactCheck.org, unfortunately, didn’t track that event but I have a feeling it was more accurate than the RNC.

  3. Lame
    Posted September 7, 2008 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

    …the same thing can be said about the Dems from the Republican side.

    Why did you waste your time writing this? All it does is piss off 50% of potential Dojo users. I find it annoying

  4. Les
    Posted September 8, 2008 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    I agree with Lame – waste of time.

  5. Posted September 8, 2008 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    @Lame and @Les:
    Couple of things…to begin with, Alex made sure that you knew the post was political in nature; you followed the link with that in mind. So you must have thought it wasn’t going to be a waste of time…and with that in mind, I’d hazard a guess that you lean to the right and not the left.

    There’s nothing wrong with that.

    What *is* wrong with your commentary is that you dismiss a reasonable and intelligent argument about how the GOP has been in the business of deceiving Americans for the sake of power for at least 8 years, simply because Alex’s viewpoints are coming from the left. And in doing so, you reasonably demonstrate exactly how successful they’ve been at it.

    Once upon a time, I considered myself aligned with (what I considered then) the Republican Party–albeit in what used to be a NY way (a friend described it well to me once: socially liberal, fiscally conservative). Even if I hadn’t been trending towards the left, I’d be disgusted with the GOP right now.

    And it’s not because I don’t agree with the philosophies behind it (though that’s pretty high up on my list).

    It’s because they’ve mastered the media, brought into play propaganda techniques most commonly seen in the more repressive governments in the world, and basically played a huge game of deception with the American public.

    In a word, they’ve broken our trust.

    If it weren’t for people like Jon Stewart or factcheck.org, most of us wouldn’t know half of what is real and what isn’t–and I think that’s the point Alex is making here.

    I also happen to think that if the shoe were on the other foot–i.e. it was the Democratic Party pulling these things–Alex would have no problem ripping them for it as well. I certainly would.

  6. agree_with_lame
    Posted September 8, 2008 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    “If it weren’t for people like *Jon Stewart* or factcheck.org, most of us wouldn’t know half of what is real and what isn’t–and I think that’s the point Alex is making here.”

    That’s just idiotic. (ahem, Jon Stewart is a comedian, u know that don’t you?)

  7. Posted September 8, 2008 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Lame, et. al.:

    I hid the primary content of this post from most folks since it’s not apropos to why many people visit, but that said, I’m not sure which “half” I’d be alienating…the current administration’s policies have historically low approval ratings (as does the congress, FWIW).

    As I noted (and as Tom re-iterated), I’m not a partisan for any party, but I do care about policy. On that basis – and that basis alone – I lament what the Republicans are doing to this election. Before their convention, there was a chance that it could be decided on policy, but no more. If it’s really “offensive” to you that I’ve pointed out that the Republicans have re-kindled the culture war distractions which have kept us from serious policy progress in the last 8 years…well, I don’t know what to say. Clearly you think I’m being partisan when I’m simply decrying a lack of seriousness in the part of at least one of the parties contesting this election.

    You might not agree with me on policy, but please, don’t pretend that I’m alienating folks by noting that there are logical incongruities here.

    Regards

  8. Posted September 8, 2008 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    @agree_with_lame:

    “That’s just idiotic. (ahem, Jon Stewart is a comedian, u know that don’t you?)”

    NO! Really?

    Seriously though, yes he is a comedian–and one that I’m convinced is cast in the role of Mark Twain, a sharp wit with the gumption to call it like he sees it, in a way that is both entertaining and critical. That’s a rare gift–and frankly it seems to me that in the past 6 – 8 years, the *only* sharp observations and criticisms that are the backbone of American society have been coming from comedians.

    Think about that and chew on it for a while.

  9. lame
    Posted September 10, 2008 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    @Tom… I think you should read more books and stop watching so much tv.

  10. Posted September 11, 2008 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    @lame: http://blog.dept-z.com/?p=26

  11. Martijn
    Posted September 13, 2008 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    lame, what do you mean with that Tom should read more books and stop watching so much tv?
    And what has it to do with this subject?