The parade of folly, and abuse and disregard of the weak for the benefit of the rich and powerful, continues.
What? I don't know that guy: GOP Rep. Don Young of Alaska is attempting to distance himself from a militia leader now accused of multiple firearms violations and of a murder plot targeting state troopers and Federal judges. To be fair to Young, he is not accused of any formal affiliation with the group; instead, he publicly signed a pledge circulated by the group, the "Alaska Peacemakers Militia," calling upon "sovereign Americans" to alter or abolish any government that tries to further tax, register, or regulate firearms.
However, Young should certainly have been aware that the "sovereign citizen" right-wing movement openly espouses the 'right' of citizens to ignore Federal laws that infringe upon what the movement defines as citizen's rights. And that when you call for 'altering or abolishing' a government, that's pretty strong stuff. In fact, most folks would interpret a call to 'abolish' a government as inviting armed conflict with the government - 'abolishing' is not the same as 'replacing government members through free elections.' It is curious that so many on the right somehow demand that the Second Amendment be interpreted as allowing no restrictions on gun ownership, when there is literally no other Constitutional right - including those to free speech and freedom of religion - that has ever been interpreted in such a broad manner (you don't have the 'right' to commit libel or slander, or to perform human sacrifice as a religious ritual).
We want benchmarks (IF the President is a Democrat): Rep. Boehner now complains that the Obama administration has failed to clearly define the U.S. objectives in Libya and the U.S. role in achieving those objectives. Furthermore,
Boehner also wanted to know how much the military action would cost, which allies would be taking the lead after the U.S.-led air strikes this week, when that would occur and whether there were clear lines of authority and a chain of command. If the coalition of allies dissolves, will the U.S. military step up its role, and if so, how long will that continue, he asked.
"The American people deserve answers to these questions," he concluded. "And all of these concerns point to one fundamental question: what is your benchmark for success in Libya?"
Now, let me be clear that I don't in fact disagree with Boehner about any of this. I too would like to know the answers. For what it's worth, I think President Obama went a long ways toward providing them in his address to the nation. But what deserves the Hypocrisy Award in this episode is the total about-face the Republicans have made since the launch of the Iraq war by President Bush. Remember how the GOP stridently demanded that Bush clarify the mission, explain its costs, and provide benchmarks for success? Me neither. But I do seem to remember Democrats being portrayed as near-traitors, providing aid and comfort to the enemy, and failing to support the troops, all for asking EXACTLY the same questions about our involvement in Iraq. Apparently Boehner believes we all have very short memories - or he believes that the GOP despise Obama so much that they do not care how much hypocritical their representatives become in the quest to undermine and embarrass the President.
Health care = a tumor: Rep. Steve King has graced these weekly reports before. Now he has set a new standard for despicable rhetoric: he has taken to referring to the health care reform law as a "malignant tumor" in the body politic. Not surprisingly, people who have actually had malignant tumors are somewhat bothered by this.
It is an astonishing commentary on the Republican mindset that a law that increases access to health care - and has already begun to benefit Americans, as various provisions start to take effect - can be so callously dismissed by such extreme rhetoric. Sadly, it does not surprise.
Good morals = good jobs: But King wasn't satisfied with denouncing access to health care as a cancer. Oh no. He has deep thoughts on the economy too. Specifically, that the economy will improve if people in the U.S. will just follow the high moral standards advocated by the GOP. You see, it is "social moderation" that is part of the problem here, creating government debt. As opposed to, oh, say, huge tax cuts for the wealthy; huge tax loopholes for corporations (such that a company like GE, with literally billions in profit, can pay NO corporate income tax); or hugely expensive and open-ended overseas wars.
Actually, with his track record, I wouldn't be surprised in Rep. King imagines that he's positioning himself for a run at higher office. Because it seems as if any serious Republican candidates must now outdo each other in cultural and economic extremism to have shot in their party primaries anymore.