This morning’s Wall Street Journal opinion section contains a lot of what one expects to see. There’s an opinion piece making a big fuss over the fake scandal at the EPA. There’s an editorial claiming that the latest job figures prove the failure of Obama’s economic plan — something I dealt with in the Times. All of this follows on yesterday’s editorial asserting that the Minnesota senatorial election was stolen.
All of this is par for the course; the WSJ editorial page has been like this for 35 years. Nonetheless, it got me wondering: what do these people really believe?
I mean, they’re not stupid — life would be a lot easier if they were. So they know they’re not telling the truth. But they obviously believe that their dishonesty serves a higher truth — one that is, in effect, told only to Inner Party members, while the Outer Party makes do with prolefeed.
The question is, what is that higher truth? What do these people really believe in?
Paul Krugman ponders an age-old question:
I sometimes rely on the Religion Explanation, i.e., They believe in God and all other sorts of unreal stuff in the spiritual realm which leads them to be comfortable believing all sorts of unreal stuff in the physical realm.
Sometimes I just go with the Malevolent Sociopath Explanation, i.e., people capable of constantly peddling fantastical fabrications in the service of some higher agenda are just out-and-out sociopaths, incapable of recognizing the emotional wickedness of their ways.
These theories can feel comforting at times but never seem to contain the whole answer. Is it one or the other? Is it something else? What say you?
Update: John Cole weighs in:
I’m gonna roll with tax cuts, invisible jeebus, and “shut up, that’s why!” But even that isn’t accurate, because we know that most of the right-wing elites don’t even believe in the invisible jeebus stuff (remember when all the folks at the NRO and other right-wing joints were asked about whether they believed in evolution, and they all did- I can’t find the link), they just pretend to be godbotherers and flat-earthers to keep the rubes busy. So what do they actually believe in?
Marcotte dissects the argument behind this historical drivel thusly:
Consider this piece from the first century BCE poet Catullus (Carmen 61:134-141), in which the poet addresses himself to a bridegroom on the eve of his nuptials:
“You are said to find it hard, Perfumed bridegroom, to give up Smooth-skinned boys, but give them up… We realize you’ve only known Permitted pleasures: husbands, though, Have no right to the same pleasures.”
The social history behind this piece is clear: once they’ve experienced sex with other men, Catullus tells us, men are unsatisfied with what their new wives provide them. Notice that the poet is unconcerned about the husband’s dallying with other women—it’s the other men around that threaten the marital union.
Read the whole article.
Okay, let’s see if you can follow this. If men are allowed to marry other men, women will lose out because because they when marry men—which at leas Klinghoffer will concede will still be legal—they will not be able to keep their marriages together because once a guy has tasted forbidden man flesh, he can’t go back to inadequate lady flesh. Men can step out with other women without threatening the main marriage, because apparently it’s just easier for men to close their eyes and imagine that the missus is the mistress long enough to complete his conjugal duties. So if gay marriage is legalized, all the men will want to fuck each other, and women will have no one decent to marry. Women can’t marry each other, of course, because a) Klinghoffer keeps forgetting about lesbians when he’s dwelling on the delicious images of an ancient Roman cornucopia of manflesh and b) just like men, women can’t lower themselves to touching women once they’ve sampled the dudely goods.
Let’s face it. No one wants vagina when penis is available, end of story. You, like Klinghoffer, know that if you ever succumb even once to the urge to reach out and touch a cock, you will forever be ruined, never able again to muster enough pleasure out of a union with a lady to get through it.But what I find really interesting about Klinghoffer’s argument is this—he’s trying to argue against gay marriage. Like many panicked wingnuts, he seems to think that legalizing gay marriage=legalizing dudes fucking each other. What they fail to understand is that dudes can already legally fuck each other.
I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again: We’re in for a long, long winter of complete and utter batshit insanity from the wingnut right.
A Florida Appeals court ruled there is absolutely nothing illegal about lying, concealing or distorting information by a major press organization. The court reversed the $425,000 jury verdict in favor of journalist Jane Akre who charged she was pressured by Fox Television management and lawyers to air what she knew and documented to be false information. The ruling basically declares it is technically not against any law, rule, or regulation to deliberately lie or distort the news on a television broadcast.It’s not like i disagree with the fundamental premise involved here. Fox Noise probably does have a First Amendment right to lie to its viewers. As a lawyer, it’s just interesting to imagine the oral arguments in the case. Here’s how my imagination frames it:
Judge: So, does Fox News lie in its coverage of the news? Fox News Lawyer: Well, of course, your honor, have you watched our network!? But seriously, it’s not as if there’s anything legally wrong with that!Man Droppings has some good thoughts on this:
[T]his cuts to the chase on the old, tired argument I get when I try to trash Faux News to true believers: ‘Oh, but all the news lies, it’s just a matter of their view.’Yes, it is true, in the simplest sense of true, that all news is by definition biased. There can be no truly objective news, because it is presented by humans, who have biases. However, this court ruling shows that Fox News, and Fox News alone, as far as I know, deliberately sets out to distort the truth as a matter of course. And the fact that so many people not only buy into these lies, but actually seek out these lies because they are simple, and straightforward, and don’t challenge the consumer to think for himself–this is what spells our doom as a species. We prefer comfort, we prefer simplicity, and we shy away from challenges. We are soft, in body and in mind, and in my more pessimistic moods, I see Fox News as a stalking horse for a future in which we are ever dumber, and ever more controlled. That may sound a bit apocalyptic, but you have to admit, we are getting dumber. And it is also demonstrable that dumb people are easier to control than smart people, those who ask questions. So does it make sense, therefore, that those who seek to control might wish to deliberately seek out ways to make and keep people dumber? Or maybe that’s just dumb…
“Scientists all over this world say that the idea of human induced global climate change is one of the greatest hoaxes perpetrated out of the scientific community. It is a hoax. There is no scientific consensus. … And who’s going to be hurt most [by ACES] the poor, the people on limited income…the people who can least afford to have their energy taxes raised by MIT says $3100 per family. … This bill must be defeated. We need to be good stewards of our environment, but this is not it, it’s a hoax! …” — Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA)This is just Exhibit XVIII in a long line of evidence showing that the GOP is going to be in the wilderness for a really long time.
Update: Here’s some more reasoned, intelligent debate on the global warming bill:
I rise in opposition to this rule and to the underlying legislation. I’m just not sure to which I’m more opposed. Americans are watching as from Iran to North Korea, the forces of darkness are attempting to silence the forces of democracy and freedom. The irony is on this day, the Democratic process and the nation’s economic freedom are under threat not by some rogue state, but in this very chamber in which we stand. Good people may disagree on the impact or the merits of this bill. But no one can disagree with the fact that the speaker and her rules committee have silenced the opposition.
[A]s DeMint sees it, Americans would be given vouchers — $2,000 dollars for individuals, up to $5,000 for families — to go buy private insurance. Voila, universal coverage.
How would this lower health care costs? DeMint doesn’t say, probably because it wouldn’t lower costs at all. Instead of using competition to challenge insurers, DeMint would instead direct untold millions to insurance companies. He’d pay for it by scrapping TARP.
What happens when TARP money runs out? DeMint doesn’t know. What happens with Americans who can’t get insurance because of pre-existing conditions? DeMint doesn’t know. What’s to stop employers from scrapping their own plans and simply telling their employees to take the DeMint voucher? DeMint doesn’t know. What happens when costs continue to spiral out of control? DeMint doesn’t know.
Andrew Leonard said the South Carolina senator’s “plan” takes us “to a Republican fantasy-land so devoid from any moorings in reality that one is forced, willy-nilly, to admire it, irrespective of its merits. It takes true chutzpah to pull something like this off.”
In a nutshell, proposals like this from DeMint and other ultraconservative legislators would have one primary effect: pouring hundreds of billions of dollars into the pockets of existing health insurance companies without doing anything to address costs.
Sound familiar? Yep, it’s exactly what the Republican-led Congress did under Premier Bush when they gleefully shoveled hundreds of billions of dollars into the pockets of pharmaceutical companies when they enacted Medicare Part D.
Enacting a ridiculous policy like this would be at least a billion times worse than doing nothing.
* WTF is up with politicians from South Carolina!?!
“So many prominent Republicans have been caught in these types of situations lately: Mark Sanford; Larry Craig; David Vitter; John Ensign from Nevada. And you want to know why this is happening? The gays. That’s right. They’ve destroyed the institution of marriage and now this is what we get.” — Comedian Jimmy KimmelWhat about the the Democrats? President Obama? Here’s Comedian Rush Limbaugh:
Rush Limbaugh, without a hint of humor, argued that South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R) cheated on his wife, betrayed his family, and abandoned his professional responsibilities to fly off to Argentina … and it’s President Obama’s fault.Remember when conservatives used to say that liberals were opposed to people taking responsibility for their own actions? Good times, good times.
“This is almost like, ‘I don’t give a damn, the country’s going to Hell in a handbasket, I just want out of here,’” Limbaugh said. “[Sanford] had just tried to fight the stimulus money coming to South Carolina. He didn’t want any part of it; he lost the battle. He said, ‘What the hell. I mean, the federal government’s taking over — what the hell, I want to enjoy life.‘”
Limbaugh added, “The point is, there are a lot of people whose spirit is just — they’re fed up, saying, ‘To hell with it, I don’t even want to fight this anymore, I just want to get away from it.’”
A listener apparently sent Limbaugh an email during the program, asking if he was kidding about the White House’s economic policies being responsible for Sanford’s affair. “No!” he said, adding that the governor may have realized, “The Democrats are destroying the country; we can’t do anything to stop it.”
Globetrotting nutjob Republican South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford has just admitted to a steamy Latin extramarital affair:
Here’s the video:
At a news conference in Columbia, S.C., Gov. Mark Sanford has now admitted that he had an extramarital affair with someone in Argentina, as he attempted to explain his mysterious disappearance from the state last week.
He said he had developed a relationship with someone in Argentina during the past year. Mr. Sanford returned from Buenos Aires this morning, after leaving the state capital last Thursday. His whereabouts had become a source of nearly national speculation, with aides first saying they didn’t know where he was, then saying he was hiking on the Appalachian Trail but unreachable.
It wasn’t until this morning that Mr. Sanford’s real location became known when a reporter for The State confronted him as he returned via the Atlanta airport.
Mr. Sanford also said he would resign from his position as head of the Republican Governors Association.
Earlier: Globetrotting Nutjob Mark Sanford Back From Argentina
Update 2: Wonkette makes a great catch. Fox News has thrown Sanford out of the Republican Party!
“The bottom line, though, is I am sure there will be a lot of legalistic explanations pointing out that the president lied under oath. His situation was not under oath. The bottom line, though, is he still lied. He lied under a different oath, and that is the oath to his wife. So it’s got to be taken very, very seriously.” [Sanford on Livingston, CNN, 12/18/98]
“We ought to ask questions…rather than circle the wagons for one of our tribe.” [Sanford on how the GOP reacts to affairs, New York Post, 12/20/98]
“I think it would be much better for the country and for him personally (to resign). I come from the business side. If you had a chairman or president in the business world facing these allegations, he’d be gone.” [Sanford on Clinton, The Post and Courier, 9/12/98]
“The issue of lying is probably the biggest harm, if you will, to the system of Democratic government, representatives government, because it undermines trust. And if you undermine trust in our system, you undermine everything.” [Sanford on Clinton, CNN, 2/16/99]
Sanford has also been an opponent of same-sex marriage, saying in 2004, “As Jenny and I are the parents of four little boys, we’ve always taught our kids that marriage was something between a man and a woman.” [The Post and Courier, 2/11/04]
This is not a mistake. Fixed News does this all the time.
Update 3: I agree with Steve Benen:
I’d be remiss if I neglected to add that while sex scandals are always going to generate public interest, the significance of Mark Sanford’s efforts to screw over his own constituents with his neo-Hooverite economic policies is almost certainly more offensive than anything he had going on in his private life.Update 4: Thanks to my friend Andrew for pointing this one out. Sanford has apparently been hastily deleted from the website of the Family Research Council’s Value Voters summit. I almost feel sad for them — the potential list of speakers is growing smaller by the day!
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