Welcome to today's RedState Morning Briefing Summary (RMBS FAQ).
Obviously the Sanford affair is a major centerpeice, so I'm spending most of today's RMBS responding to Erick's post in which he is shocked — shocked! — and dismayed to discover that he was wrong yesterday when he defended Sanford.
If you haven't read it, liberality responded to E Pluribus Unum's rant on the subject. That rant isn't in the Morning Briefing, so I'm only going to touch on it in passing.
Sigh. Yes, Erick, there are some lessons to be learned here, but you're never going to learn them. Let's take a look at what happens when a "teachable moment" occurs to someone who is utterly incapable of learning.
Well, what I wrote yesterday was wrong. Sanford’s lies spread through his office and out to the rest of us.
Lesson #1: Wingnuts have the critical thinking skills of a 3-year-old.
Yesterday's bullshit? Those were Sanford's lies — the fact that Erick is an imbecile had nothing to do with his being wrong. When Erick's first post was written, we did not know where Sanford had gone, but with the shifting cover stories and the steadily-firming story of Sanford being spotted at airports, it was pretty obvious where Sanford wasn't — he wasn't hiking the Appalachan trail. Let's revisit Erick's conclusions:
First, we need to be clear on the facts — not the media speculation:
- Sanford did tell his staff and family where he was going.
- Because he was traveling without a security detail, it was in his best interests that no one knew he was gone.
- His political enemies — Republicans at that — ginned up the media story.
- When confronted by a pestering media, things went downhill.
- Again though, at all times there was no doubt that Sanford’s staff and family knew where he was.
Anyone who was paying attention knew that none of these claims were factual. Now that we know that for certain, it's all the fault of Sanford's "lies" — it's not that everyone was lying to cover for the Governor, it's that they were faithfully repeating misinformation they took in good faith. Yeah, that's the ticket!
We've heard this before.
You may remember a lot of stories about a guy named Saddam Hussein who was a grave and immediate threat to America because of his enormous, yet secret, stash of WMDs? You may also remember what happened when it became inescapably obvious that no such WMDs existed: Bush hadn't lied, he got faulty intelligence. Nevermind the fact that no one outside the Bush administration thought that Iraq had WMDs in the first place. Nevermind the mountains of evidence showing that Bush and Cheney were hell-bent on invading Iraq regardless of the facts. The wingnuts still claim — to this day — that "everyone believed the intelligence reports."
It doesn't even stop there. It happens with every scandal involving a Republican. The flimsiest of evidence is held up to support the righteousness of the Republican until it becomes impossible to deny reality any longer. Then the story is that no one could be faulted for believing the story about the unicorns stealing the pixie dust even though it turned out to be a complete fabrication. After all, there were dozens of op-ed's by geniuses like Mark Steyn and Bill Kristol supporting the unicorn-and-pixie-dust scenario!
Perhaps you remember a post by Erick on March 23, 2006:
Ben Domenech deserves our full advocacy and defense. He has done nothing wrong and does not deserve urban legends about his wrong doing solely because of the lies of those who are jealous of his success. Should the other side win, they will be emboldened. And should they win, one of our own who has done no wrong will be immeasurable hurt by the hate, lies, and jealousy of those who would just as easily do it to you or me.
We must defend Ben.
When Erick wrote this, the evidence of Domenech's plagiarism had been laid out for the world to see. Just like with his post on Sanford from yesterday, Erick militantly ignored these facts and spun the whole episode as the work of "political enemies" out to destroy someone who had done nothing wrong.
True to form, Erick's bloviation was immediately followed by a confessional apology from the totally innocent subject of Erick's fevered defense:
I want to apologize to National Review Online, my friends and colleagues here at RedState, and to any others that have been affected over the past few days. I also want to apologize to my previous editors and writers whose work I used inappropriately and without attribution. There is no excuse for this - nor is there an excuse for any obfuscation in my earlier statement.
Do you see the pattern here? I will guarantee that Erick doesn't and never will.
One of the claims that the wingnuts have been advancing is that they "have a long history of punishing and purging our leaders who prove unworthy of trust." They probably believe this because they are unable to distinguish between leaders they should trust and leaders they shouldn't. How was David Vitter punished? What happened to Ronald Reagan due to his illegal activities in Iran/Contra? When are they going to wake up to Bush and Cheney's lying us into Iraq? The "teachable moments" keep coming and nothing changes with these losers.
The remainder of Erick's post is a bunch of smarmy religious talk about how we "live in a fallen world and we ourselves are fallen," an so forth. He mentions his Bible study group and finishes with this bumper-sticker wisdom:
Blessed is the Lord God Jehovah who brings forth bread from heaven, water from rocks, and men like Mark Sanford from the dust of the earth. His will be done.
liberality cited Matthew 7:5 in his diary, so I'm going to cite the next verse, Matthew 7:6 (Message translation):
Don't be flip with the sacred. Banter and silliness give no honor to God. Don't reduce holy mysteries to slogans. In trying to be relevant, you're only being cute and inviting sacrilege.
Oh, snap. Nice one, Jesus.
Remember how that asshat Mark Sanford tried to reject South Carolina's stimulus? Remember how I was just talking about how David Vitter suffered no loss of status in the Republican party for consorting with prostitutes and issuing bald-faced lies about it?
Well, here's an op-ed by David Vitter defending state and local governments who reject stimulus money. I'll be you didn't know this much irony could be packed into one measly Morning Briefing.
Go ahead and read the rest. It's pretty dull — both in the sense of being not entertaining and not particularly intelligent. Paying down the debt is probably the least effective use of public money that we could do right now.
Awesome. The first stimulus was anaemic, at least if you listen to credible analysts such as Krugman. Krugman, among others said the stimulus was too small, so maybe Obama had planned all along to break it into politically-feasible chunks. Maybe he just figured out that he didn't go far enough. Either way, bring it on, Barack.
That's obviously not what RedState thinks:
The deficit is headed to levels unimaginable a few months ago, investors are speaking of the inevitable return to high levels of inflation, and the nation has lost 16,000 jobs per day since the ’stimulus’ was signed into law. Yet Obama seems to think that things are going so well that we might need to spend a whole lot more. And according to Paul Krugman, most of Obama’s economic team supports the effort. Krugman seems to be the intellectual father of the ‘more stimulus’ movement, with his call for nearly doubling what has been spent so far.
The "unimaginable a few months ago" link comes from Instapundit, so this essay is on shaky ground to start. The author, Brian Faughnan, then quotes some generalizations by Obama Administration insiders to dismiss the value of stimulus:
But if Obama is tempted to request another trillion or so in spending - an act which would split his Congressional majority - then all he need do is look to his own economic advisers to see why that’s a bad idea. Recall what Budget Director Orszag said about fiscal stimulus bills, before he came to the Obama administration:
Practically speaking, however, public works involve long start-up lags. Large-scale construction projects of any type require years of planning and preparation. Even those that are "on the shelf" generally cannot be undertaken quickly enough to provide timely stimulus to the economy.
Orzag is right, except where he isn't. We're not talking about "on the shelf," we're talking about "shovel ready" which is a different situation. In fact, due to budget shortfalls, thousands of projects are waiting only for funding. I've seen road crews at work already on stimulus-funded projects here in Missouri, so while Orzag might have a general point, it's clearly false in certain cases. While some projects are already under way, those projects that Orzag needed some startup time are going through their startup.
Well, it's good to see that Pete Sessions have figured out that elections have consequences. I guess he needs yet another "teachable moment" — 2006 and 2008 not having "worked" — to learn that America is tired of wingnuts. Just in today's Morning Briefing, RedState has established that "your values" are hypocrisy, faux piousness, and fiscal ineptitude. Slap warmongering onto that shitpile and you have the values that America just isn't going to elect any more.
Pete's not going to let reality stop him:
But to achieve a majority we need to retain our current Republican numbers before adding to them. That is where the Patriot Program comes in to play. The Patriot Program’s goal is to work with incumbent Republican Members of Congress to provide them with the necessary support and organization to win reelection. It is imperative we limit the number of incumbents who fall victim to the Democrats and their far-left money machines such as ACORN, Big Labor and Hollywood. Even though some of these Members are in tough districts and know they will be targeted by the Democrat attack machine, they stood by their conservative principles and courageously voted against the trillion dollar boondoggles. It wasn’t an easy vote to take and they’ll be attacked for it – so we need to give them the defense they need.
Well, RedStaters, you heard the man. Get out your checkbooks. Oh, and if Sessions gets a clue and backs moderate Republicans who can win — but you hate — well... just think about that before you send the check. Think about Charlie Crist. Go ahead, get angry. Let your anger flow through you. Your hate will make you strong. True power is only achieved through testing the limits of one's anger, passing through unscathed. Rage channeled through anger is unstoppable. The dark side of The Force® offers unimaginable power! Pout with the dark side, Anakin!
OK, enough of that.