rage versus rationality

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The GOP's mass shooting hypocrisy is fueling its cancerous rage, writes Digby in reference to the horrific San Bernardino attack where 25 people were shot, and 14 of them died on the scene:

When they [mass killings] happen, the country tends to divide along the familiar political fault lines. Since most of the carnage from these dramatic massacres is carried out with guns, the left always pushes for a restriction on the easy availability of firearms. And most of the time the right shrugs its collective shoulders and says that this sort of violence is the price we have to pay for freedom.

"It's like a hurricane or an earthquake," writes Digby, "just something we must live with and then try to put the pieces back together when it's over. Because we are free:"

There is an unusual twist to this tiresome dynamic, however, when the perpetrators of this violence are motivated by Islamic extremism. Last week, the left reacted the same way as it does to all such events, with calls to restrict the easy access to guns like the ones the San Bernardino killers used. The right, on the other hand, rather than their usual blase acceptance of the unfortunate necessity of massacres in a free society, are hysterical demanding that the government step in and do something about it immediately.

This sort of hysterical overreach is seen in Trump's previous remarks about torture: "Would I approve waterboarding? You bet your ass I'd approve it, you bet your ass -- in a heartbeat." Digby continues:

It was hard to imagine how he could top that for shocking pathological malevolence. But San Bernardino has changed the campaign and Trump is the field marshall leading the charge. He went on Fox News last Friday and said, "We're fighting a very politically correct war. And the other thing is with the terrorists, you have to take out their families."

Ted Cruz's "bold show of incoherent rage and manly aggression," as Digby called it, was no better:

According to Trump and Cruz, making it a little bit more difficult for killers to get their hands on deadly weapons is impossible. But registration of Muslims, closing mosques, torture, "taking out" wives and children, carpet bombing civilians into oblivion and even possible nuclear war are now on the menu.

Unfortunately, it's almost certain that we will have more mass killing before the election next year, motivated by a variety of homicidal and suicidal urges and enabled by a culture awash in firearms. But unless it's perpetrated by a Muslim extremist the Trump party will be too busy beating their chests and issuing bellicose threats to even notice. They have lots of lurid suggestions about how to exact retribution on our enemies but they have absolutely nothing to say about how to lower the body count in this country.

Steve Benen notes a similar situation with Fox's use of crude language and bogus condemnation of Obama:

It was clear last night that the right wasn't pleased with President Obama's Oval Office address on terrorism, but a Fox News analyst took Republican satisfaction to a noteworthy level this morning.

"Look, Mr. President, we're not afraid, we're angry, we're pissed off, we're furious! We want you to react, we want you to do something!" retired Lt. Col. Ralph Peters said on Fox Business's "Varney & Co."

"You're afraid!" Peters continued. "I mean, this guy is such a total p***y, it's stunning." [* see note]

Not surprisingly, writes Benen, "Ralph Peters doesn't appear to have any idea what he's talking about." Benen explains at length:

Shortly after the conservative's outburst about the need for the president "to do something," the Obama administration confirmed "the death of the Islamic State's senior leader in Libya, known as Abu Nabil, who was targeted in a Nov. 13 U.S. air strike carried out by F-15 aircraft on a compound in the city of Derna."

And shortly after that, the Obama administration said a U.S. military strike also killed a senior leader of al-Shabaab in Somalia last week.

These strikes come on the heels of U.S. forces taking out the al Qaeda operative "in charge of suicide bombings and operations involving explosives," which followed U.S. forces also killing the top official in al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. [...]

I'm reminded again of this piece in The Atlantic from last fall, in which Jeffrey Goldberg, hardly a liberal, wrote, "Obama has become the greatest terrorist hunter in the history of the presidency."

And yet, lazy Republicans still run around whining that the president is "a total p***y," not because it's true, but because it seems to make the right feel better about itself. [...] They find it vastly easier to believe Obama doesn't agree with them on word-choice, which is vastly more important in their minds than an actual counter-terrorism policy.

They're so "preoccupied with questions about 'toughness,' semantics, and whether or not the president thumps his chest enough" that rationality escapes them:

In the meantime, Obama - the one we're supposed to think is too "afraid" to effectively combat terrorists - keeps ordering strikes that kill terrorists. It's tempting to think someone should let Republicans and their pundit allies know, but I get the sense the truth would only confuse them.

* Also worth mentioning is the fact, in just over six years, the Fox/GOP crowd has closed the gap between Jon Stewart's parody and reality.

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on December 7, 2015 4:26 PM.

paroxysms of paranoia was the previous entry in this blog.

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