Publius makes a very important and provocative point about the Defcon 1 level of Republican pearl-clutching right now over the possible transfer of detainees from Guantanamo to U.S. Supermax prisons:

[T]here’s actually one thing even more disturbing than Republican dishonesty — the possibility that they are sincerely afraid of transferring the detainees. Some critics are clearly lying — no argument there. But it may well be that other Republicans are sincerely worried that the detainees’ evilness cannot be contained by any prison, or that they will brainwash their hapless prisonmates. […]

[W]hat’s truly disturbing is that a sizeable chunk of the public still fears that the Gitmo detainees are so dangerous that they could break out and destroy towns in America with laser beams from their eyes. Some of the detainees are, of course, very bad and dangerous people. But the idea that America is so very fragile and helpless in the face of these overpowering evil forces that we can’t transfer the detainees to another prison (or give them real trials) is absurd.

So let’s hope the GOP really is lying on this one.

I’ve often wondered how much of their own lying bullshit they actually bought into. I mostly just assumed they were craven liars who knew they were pushing positions that weren’t in line with the facts. The truth may be scarier — do some of them (e.g. Michele Bachmann) actually believe some of it? The thought of that really creeps me out.

Steve Benen meditates on Publius’ thought:

[Lying] would be more comforting. Blatant dishonesty for partisan gain is much easier to understand than rampant stupidity among leading federal lawmakers.

It’s hard to say with any certainty, and there’s no doubt some variety within the group — some liars and some fools — but for what it’s worth, there’s ample evidence to support the “blatant dishonesty for partisan gain” theory. The Wall Street Journal reports today that Republicans see the debate over Gitmo as “the culmination of a carefully developed GOP strategy,” which they hope to use as “the beginning of a political comeback.”

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  1. terrasears says:

    I wonder if they know how many people (correction officers) they are undermining and insulting…

  2. vjack says:

    You know, I have asked the question of whether Republicans believe much of this stuff too. In the end, I always come back to religion. If one can truly believe any of the central tenets of Christianity, it would seem that one could believe damn near anything.

    • Metavirus says:

      you make a very good point. there are a lot of synergies between blind religious faith and blind political faith. after all, if you believe in the literal truth of turning water into wine, why not believe that the Fascist Communist Black Nationalist Manchurian Candidate plans to release terrorists into the Mall of America?

  3. Schu says:

    It does not have much to do with religion, but with blunt lying to justify a political stand based on revenge. Torture is never about obtaining useful information, but about gain revenge on someone you control. Christian ethics can allow torture, but in the USA we allow anyone to claim that they are Christian, without having them prove that they are Christians. No I do not support a test to prove that you are a Christian, but I really think that the media should use a grain of common sense when someone says that they are a Christian, but can not act like one. Oh, I’m sorry, brain fart there, media and common sense do not go together.

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