Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Dopes in Suits

Wowwiewow!  That’s dumb.  Hullabaloo’s Poputonian cites a Hardball transcript featuring Congressman Cantor of Virginia, the man I hope is the dumbest person in Congress.  I hope…

Sample quote:
…the Constitution gives the commander in chief the right to send our troops into battle.

When his Democratic counterpart, Congressman Israel (D-Sanity) insisted that the Constitution clearly gives Congress the authority to declare war, Cantor responds “Absolutely not.”

Ok, the guy’s clearly dumb.  This is basic stuff that would get him laughed out of any history or civics class, even going down to the elementary school level.  But he does have a point.  Presidents do seem to be taking these authorities on their own, while using Congress as a rubberstamp for whatever they do; so it makes sense why he’s confused.  But that rubberstamp shouldn’t be confused with a non-existent one, which is what Cantor seems to believe.  As if asking Congress’s permission is a mere nicety, rather than a requirement.

But I suspect that this is how they’re trained.  The Republican leadership didn’t want smart Congressmen who ask questions.  They want dopes who can raise money and win office.  And they do that by doing what they’re told and saying what they’re told to say.  That’s a big reason why Republicans were so successful.  Because they recruited dopes in suits who wanted to be told what to say and do.

And so that’s what they do, and that goes from everyone from minor Republicans in state legislatures all the way up to the big guy in the Whitehouse.  Not that every Republican politician is like that, but mainly the new guys who gained office in the last decade or so.  Wikipedia tells me that Congressman Cantor was first elected to Congress in 2000, which I don’t find surprising at all.  He’s typical of the post-9/11 Congressman.

What I do find slightly surprising is that Cantor is a lawyer, which you’d think would make him a little more aware of how our Constitution was set-up.  But looking at his picture, he seems just like the empty suit kind of guy who could say and believe anything he’d need to in order to get by in life.  Whether it’s a law class, the bar exam, or a television interview; he doesn’t care what he says, he just wants something to say.

And so the Republicans fed him all kinds of stupid stuff to say, and he’s saying it; completely oblivious to how utterly stupid it makes him look.  Before his bizarro lesson in separation of powers, Cantor continued to miscomprehend Chris Matthews’ question about whether he thought we should go to war in Iran, before finally blowing Matthews’ mind by insisting that the decision was up to the “commanders on the ground and those in our military…”

But I don’t think he meant that at all.  He had a talking point, but wasn’t really sure how to use it.  And he used it horribly.  The same with his belief that the President has the authority to declare war.  It’s not necessarily that he believes that.  He was just misusing a talking point that he doesn’t really understand.  Frankly, I almost think it’s better to have this dope in Congress, than to allow him to continue lawyering in the real world.  After all, he’s just one vote in Congress, but in private practice, he’s a loose cannon.

But this isn’t just Cantor, but all the empty suits the Republicans have been filling for the past decade or so.  Especially the empty suit in the Whitehouse.  They don’t understand what they’re saying.  They’re so dumb they don’t even understand that they don’t understand.  They repeat what their betters tell them and just imagine themselves to be the cleverest people in the world.  It’s like they’ve been handed their own team of math nerds to cheat off of all the time.  Finally, someone’s giving them the answers they’ve been waiting for.  

Just like Bush and The Pet Goat; these people are helpless little nobodies unless they’re told what to do.  Not to be given orders, per se.  But to have all the infinite options paired down to a small list of two or three; and one of the options must look obviously better than the others.  They don’t want to be told what to do, but they hate choices and haven’t the intellect to make heads or tails of what’s going on around them.  But explain it to them in black and white, tell them that they have or haven’t powers that they do or don’t want; and they can take it from there and imagine themselves to be deciders.

“I like good,” so they choose good.  “I don’t want to make that decision,” so they give it to somebody else.  It’s that easy.  And I understand that and do it myself.  At a restaurant or an ice cream parlor.  If I make the decision to have a banana split, I hate having to decide what ice creams will go on it, or what toppings go on my waffle cone.  I’ll just screw it up.  Limit my options; I’ll go with what the experts say.  

And unfortunately, we’re led by people who are stuck doing the same with our country’s future.  They’re helpless little kids who were never given the tools to allow them to grasp reality on their own; and that’s exactly why the Republican leadership picked them.  They were just empty suits ready to be filled.  And they looove the talking points; even if they don’t know how to use them.

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