Rapt attention

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Never the twain shall meet

Republicans used a "blue slip" procedure to hold up 42 judgeships during the Obama administration. Now the hypocritical GOP is threatening to change the rules so that they don't get a taste of their own medicine. Typical.
“We can’t allow Democratic senators to continue to obstruct this president’s agenda. If they’re just arbitrarily not returning blue slips, we have to consider changing that tradition." Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR)
Hard not to puke when faced with such double talk. The behavior of the Republicans during the last administration was nothing if not an exercise in continual obstruction, judicial, legislative and otherwise.

I usually write a story about a current political event in a similar fashion, first with a broad brush hypothesis and then I try to surround it with both supportive and non supportive facts and information, hoping that people holding opposite views will at least consider their position after my onslaught. But no more. Because people from both sides of the spectrum are largely incapable of critical thinking.

I read a good comment in the Huffington Post about the recent Montana body slamming incident by a Democratic official from the state.
“The lesson here, and I think frankly even around the country, is that it’s too soon for there to be a backlash,” said Jacquie Helt, a vice chair of the Montana Democratic Party and the state director of the Service Employees International Union.
“It takes a while. People want to dance with who brung them,” Helt added, referring to her fellow Montana voters. “They also, I think, are reluctant to admit that they made a mistake.”
Perhaps the incident even lifted Gianforte's numbers. It is said that his post slamming votes were even higher than the absentee tally. A culmination of a long battle against the press, orchestrated by the President himself, an attack that has brought cheers from GOP officials and loyalists alike.
"I feel like, it's all just propaganda, you know what I mean, it's hard for me to believe anything the media tells me," said Nathaniel Trumper, who cast a vote for Gianforte at a polling station in Helena.
The commenter said that the body slammer failed to change voter's minds, at least the ones that had not already voted by mail, because to do so would be an admission that they were wrong about Trump.
"The body-slamming? Ah, yeah, it just seems a little too good to be true to me," said Chandler Ortman, who works in the restaurant industry in Bozeman and voted for Gianforte. "I guess I'm just gonna say he's innocent until proven guilty."
James Baker, a lobbyist in Bozeman who also voted for Gianforte, said, "Sometimes I think a lot of reporters get aggressive, and after the heat of a long campaign people can lose tempers."
Debbie Warriner of Kalispell called the reports "a crock of baloney."
"I mean, that story — it's possible it's not even true," she told Montana Public Radio.
Shaun Scott, a computer science professor at Carroll College in Helena, said the assault charge was barely a factor in his decision."If you have somebody sticking a phone in your face, a mic in your face, over and over, and you don't know how to deal with the situation, you haven't really done that, you haven't dealt with that, I can see where it can ... make you a little angry," Scott said Thursday. 
I think that the failure of egregious displays like this to move the meter a tick just show that people are not capable of being shamed anymore, let alone consider the propriety or basis for their beliefs.

Everything is excusable. Trump could literally shoot somebody in the street and his followers could find a justification and roll merrily along. America is in two camps and never the twain shall meet.

I can see the candidate going ballistic on the reporter. While inexcusable, people do get angry and fly off the handle.

What is most pernicious and disgusting is how fast Gianforte's press team went live with a knowingly false and concocted story that the reporter had somehow initiated the physical contact. Ironic that a Fox team served to rebut the bullshit. They'll never get work on the network again.

Saw that John Daly went to bat for his buddy Donald Trump the other day. The golfer was responding to the threats of an anti Trump protest and had this to say:
“I just ignore them,” Daly said. “I think that’s the thing you got to do.He’s the President of the United States; I think people need to get on his wagon and ride with him and let him do what he’s doing and leave him alone. It’s not going to change for at least, you know, this year and three more."So, it just seems like the Democrats always have a problem when a Republican gets in office. Republicans seem to kind of put up with the Democrats sometimes, we just go along with it. But I think they just need to leave him alone and let him do what he’s doing. I think he’s doing a hell of a job. I really do."I followed up by asking if Daly has any concerns about all of the investigations and allegations that have enveloped the Trump administration.“No, I mean, if anything’s wrong then we’ll see. But I don’t think so. I think we still need to worry about Hillary (Clinton) and what her and Bill did all these years. That’s the ones we really need to worry about.But she’s not in office.“I know that, but there’s been a lot of things going on with the Democrats that people just want to ignore now. They don’t, they just want to pick on my buddy. Let him do his job and just see what he does. He’s doing great so far.”
Now John Daly is entitled to his opinion, as we all are. He has had his share of problems but who hasn't?

But it is also fair to judge a person, or even a President by the company they keep.

Surprised that Daly isn't miffed for missing the family picture and so is Scott Baio, Johnny Rotten and Stephen Baldwin, other prominent Trump supporters. Seems like there is a common thread here. Unhinged?

Jason Chaffetz is a real piece of work. The lame duck congressman was like a nasty bulldog chasing the sins of Obama, Clinton and Co. but he will retire rather than hold the present administration accountable.

If the Democrats had done a tenth of the things Trump is doing, from collusion and Flynn, to secret channels to Moscow and ethics violations at the hotels, we would never hear the end of it.

But Chaffetz, Gowdy and their ilk have been so passive quiet about the potential sins of the new regime. Amazing the lack of integrity these people show and occasionally admit.

Senator Rand Paul said it best:
“I just don’t think it’s useful to be doing investigation after investigation, particularly of your own party,” he said. “We’ll never even get started with doing the things we need to do like repealing Obamacare if we’re spending our whole time having Republicans investigate Republicans. I think it makes no sense.”

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