Most of this year’s election coverage has been focused on the GOP presidential primaries. Now that The Frothy One has dropped out, making Willard Romney the presumptive nominee, the media will move its focus on the general election and the battle between him and President Obama.
But it may be control of the Senate that will determine the course the country takes beyond the next four year term of the presidency. Nothing that passes in the House has a chance of becoming law without the Senate’s approval. And the Senate’s effective veto power over judicial nominees at both the district and supreme court levels constrains any president’s choice in making the third branch of government reflective of his own judicial philosophy.
Ergo, pronouncements from the Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell, must be given due consideration. In our original post on the subject, McConnell In Wonderland, we likened his denial of the GOP’s War On Women to a hallucination worthy of Lewis Carroll’s hookah smoking caterpillar. We concluded with a preview, casting “McCatterpillar” in a new Wonderland role, that of Humpty Dumpty, or Mitch McDumpty, if you will. We quoted the Carroll character as follows:
“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master — that’s all.”
Just whom “is to be master” is the primary goal of the GOP and the billionaires who love and finance them, the rest of the country be damned. This was made perfectly clear in the infamous interview by author Ron Suskind of someone described as “a senior Bush official aide,” widely believed to be Karl Rove:
The aide said that guys like me were “in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who “believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” … “That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he continued. “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.“
— October 17, 2004, The New York Times Magazine
Six years later, on the eve of the 2010 election, Mitch McDumpty seconded the emotion, announcing that “the single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” Again, the rest of the country be damned. Every rise in the unemployment number, every home foreclosure, every set-back in the economy was cheered as proof that the Obama Administration was an abject failure; that only the GOP (the very people who did so much to crash the economy) was capable of restoring it.
With the country’s largest cable network, Fux News, and the 90% of the talk radio market dominated by right wing radicals like Rush Limbaugh weaving an ant-Obama narrative 24/7, the danger to the Rethugs is that they are starting to believe their own fictions. They’ve been smelling their own toxic emissions for so long they think they’re perfume.
Take their attitude towards legislation designed to limit women’s access to preventative healthcare. Over 1100 bills have been presented or passed in various state legislatures, including the US Congress, over the last two years. The spin meisters reject the conclusion that this amounts to a War on Women. Instead, they are attempting to reframe the issue as an economic one; that women are more concerned about economic issues than they are their own health and freedom to determine just when, where, and how they exercise their reproductive options. A false dichotomy if ever there was one.
Their desperate attempt to reframe the issue in way that supports their overarching campaign narrative of superior economic leadership is risible on its face. The Rethugs opposed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 in droves; only three House and five Senate Republicans voted in favor, including Alan Spector, who switched parties shortly thereafter. And it was less than a week ago that Wisconsin Governor, Scott Walker, repealed the state’s 2009 Equal Pay Enforcement Act.
Perhaps it is because we have become so accustomed to their false dichotomies and framing fictions that the Rethugs have taken the next logical step, outright lying. Consider the following article from
Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY) laid in to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in a letter delivered last week for misleading their mutual constituents about the facts and benefits of President Obama’s health care law.
And in a follow-up interview, Yarmuth again attacked McConnell, his former ally, for putting partisan politics before representing the people of his state.
“I’ve known Mitch for 40 years,” said Yarmuth. “We were political allies at one point. I was a Republican ‘til 1985. In recent years, as I’ve said publicly before, he has a considerable knack for being scrupulously accurate and rarely honest.”
In this instance Yarmuth is referring to an op-ed McConnell wrote in the Louisville Courier-Journal. In his letter, Yarmuth calls into question five claims McConnell made in the op-ed. And he wants McConnell to address his concerns.
“He’s just become such a total reflexive partisan politician, he’s playing a different role, and it’s not necessarily being a senator from Kentucky,” Yarmuth said. “He’s become totally detached from any obligation to be remotely fair and honest.”
Color me shocked. As The Urantia Book says:
It sounds well always to claim success, but the end results are appalling. Such a technique leads directly to the creation of a world of unreality and to the inevitable crash of ultimate disillusionment.