Jeb's stood by dumber things.
No, President Obama is not "closing America's embassy to the Vatican." You are stupid. Oh, but the polite thing to say would be
you are in error
or something like that, we mustn't upset the delicate political balance of having respect even for people that go off promoting whatever batshit conspiracy theories they last heard, but there's a difference between being in error
on something and being a Great Gullible Git
Why would our President close our Embassy to the Vatican? Hopefully, it is not retribution for Catholic organizations opposing Obamacare.
Jeb apparently got the notion from the National Republican Senatorial Committee, i.e. actual party leaders devoted to Lying Badly For Money
“The media is reporting that President Obama plans to close the U.S. Embassy to the Vatican. This is just the latest anti-religion pursuit of this administration, a slap in the face to Catholic-Americans around the country that weakens America’s position as a global leader. Sign the Petition telling President Obama to leave the American Embassy at the Vatican.”
– petition campaign by the National Republican Senatorial Committee
Which is entirely untrue, in every respect, and Jeb either was in on the professional Republican lie or he's just one of the willing rubes. (Honestly, take your pick on that one, six of one and so on. I've never been impressed by constant media assurances that Jeb is The Smart One.)
What is actually happening is that the physical location for the embassy to the Vatican is moving. That's it. It's moving into very nice building in a larger compound that also houses the embassy to Italy (they will remain two separate embassies, with two separate ambassadors, buildings, entrances, and staff) primarily for security reasons, because as Jeb and the NRSC may have heard there has been a bit of a row about embassy security of late, and for budget reasons, because as Jeb and the NRSC knows we Americans must do everything we can to not spend any money on anything because Congress doesn't like that sort of thing.
There's very little possibility that the National Republican Senatorial Committee didn't know this, which means that they were almost certainly peddling a known-false conspiracy theory of "closing the embassy!" on purpose, which is the sort of cheap grift that would get you fired or get your once-friends to talk about you badly in any other profession other than politics, where the pundits and reporters who are supposed to act as public watchdog over possible miscreancies among our elite will still lick your important-sounding face and hump your important-looking leg even after it's long been established that you lie to them for money. That the group quietly wiped the claim from their website after a week of public humiliation indicates at least some possibility for shame, but there's no indication that anyone involved will take this as the learning experience it really could have been.
I've said it before: the Republican Party leadership is intertwined with the conspiracy theories of the worst of their base. The two are no longer separable; the grumblings of militia members warning about ammo bans and United Nations plots and creeping sharia and secret Kenyanism and all the rest of it can't be dismissed as ravings of the fringe when each of those things get peddled by actual Republican House and Senate members and the national party structures built to support them. They are a party that no longer knows the difference between conspiracy theory and reality, or at least no longer cares. If you're a pundit and you think you can still get by in happy faux-neutral land by not acknowledging the great reams of conspiracy-addled falsehoods being shoveled into the public discourse even by top Republican groups, you're not neutral. You're part of the problem.
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