Calm Before The Storm
An editor’s note: this post was researched and drafted late Saturday morning (CT), with the tweets on which they were based sent by me around noon. And then, after a dash to the laundry room, I turned on the TV and heard the news.
The title you see here was initially chosen because of the fact that — as the first draft put it — “a Nor’easter full of wind, snow and stupid is due next week when they bring up the (oh, dear) ‘Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act.'” But, of course, that vote isn’t going to happen next week, given what has happened. And yet the title remains on this post, unchanged; to some extent, it still seems apt, in a very odd way.
The Psychometer was launched in the last week as a way to call attention to the fact that House GOP members sometimes lose their grip, in a way that allowed for audience participation, and was fun in general. But maybe, now, it will serve as one of thousands of canaries in a coal mine. (If it continues at all — that discussion can also happen, and perhaps should.)
Everybody is swearing-off hyperbolic, emotionally-loaded language now. They’re saying that they’re going to be more civil, to “disagree without being disagreeable.” But you watch how long that lasts. And, in its way, the Psychometer will watch too, if in fact it remains a going concern.
Will, for example, Ted Poe (Tex.) take it down a notch? If you don’t know him yet, he’s entering his fourth term, and was a judge from the Gulf Coast north and east of Houston. He was one of those judges who handed out Scarlet Letter sentences — sandwich boards saying “I’m a thief” and such. Also, he has this adorable habit of closing every speech he gives by saying: “…and that’s just the way it is.” Perhaps it is an homage to Jim “BEAM ME UP!” Traficant. (Or, perhaps, he’s just a fool.)
Anyway: he had several rants this week — a couple about border security, and one on the plight of a guy who flew the American flag but got hammered by a homeowner’s association. (To be fair: homeowner’s associations are a bunch of suburban busybodies who are obsessed with perfection. Screw ’em.) But, those comments didn’t make the cut in my eyes. What did get nominated? This:
T Poe calls HCR “totalitarian” act of “oppression,” placing “chains on the American people.” CR 1/6, H50
Now that’s some Grade A Crazy. Slavery and dictatorship in the same breath, almost. So the question is this: does this sort of statement get made after what happened yesterday? If so, how soon from now, and to what level?
That discussion continues post-jump, together with Mike Pence giving himself a stump-speech talking point at the expense of ladybits, and Steve King, twice, on health care, and a possible expansion of the criteria beyond House GOPers to cover clueless press hacks.
So, like I said: Mike Pence came with something last week on ladybits….
M Pence is coming after Plnd Parenthood federal $$ (bill: HR217). Running for POTUS, you know. CR 1/7, H124-5
As you can see, there’s an actual, honest-to-God bill attached. But the focus on Planned Parenthood was intense. “Planned Parenthood” is like ACORN, or the ACLU — it’s a buzzword that makes the wingers foam at the mouth, and is perfect for presidential runners and riders on the GOP side.
Now, I don’t want to put too fine a point on it. But: if this shooting in Arizona is precisely what we think it is, then this sort of rhetoric has to come under some scrutiny.
Steve King, our old friend, also came with two worthy entries.
S King: pre-x cond, after HCR repeal, to be addressed by “free market approach.” Just like before. CR 1/7 H129
S King goes Galt on 18-to-26 mandate. Kid flipping burgers can pay for his own insurance, dammit. CR 1/7 H129
A late suggestion from someone else has come in, in relation to the Tuscon shootings:
R Mansour, for Palin to T Bruce: Crosshairs were “like you’d see on maps,” “surveyor’s symbol.” Right. http://politi.co/fhNFPh
The Rules, set forth earlier this week, limited nominations to House GOPers. There were good reasons for that — the fact that the GOP is only in charge of the House, the limitation on statements for the record with a single, unimpeachable source (the Congressional Record), etc. But Rebecca Mansour’s attempt to dance away from The Cross-Hair Target Map tells me a few things. (1) Sarah Palin, Ltd., knows that this event is an unqualifed BAD THING for them. (2) The attempts by them to step away from culpability are, thus far, not working at all. (3) Rebecca Mansour is nuts.
So: do we change the rules to add Becky’s statement to the pile? Does the limit to House GOP statements for the record, for feasibility issues if nothing else, make the project nevertheless too narrow? And the broader questions: do our five nominees merit permanent enshrinement in this particular Hall of Shame? Talk about it in the comments, please.