Wednesday, July 27, 2011

"And we’re going to hurt some people"

Movie quotes that apparently motivate GOP huggy times:

"House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), the party's vote counter, began his talk by showing a clip from the movie, "The Town", trying to forge a sense of unity among the independent-minded caucus.

One character asks his friend: "I need your help. I can't tell you what it is. You can never ask me about it later."

"Whose car are we gonna take," the character says.

After showing the clip, Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.), one of the most outspoken critics of leadership among the 87 freshmen, stood up to speak, according to GOP aides."I'm ready to drive the car," West replied, surprising many Republicans by giving his full-throated support for the plan."

One of the things that always struck me about how the GOP presents their policies is the frequency in which they rely on the idea that the ends always outweigh the means (the most glaring example of this, in my opinion, is the propaganda leading up to the Iraq War, in which the 9/11 heartstrings that were tugged and the misinformation regarding the threat that Saddam Hussein posed was all really in the name of regime change rather then making the US "safer"). Now, for the most part, this is intentional: The Iraq War was hard enough to sell to the public as it was, and the idea that we needed to go bomb a country that had nothing to do with our current state of affairs probably wouldn't fly except among the most tribal of the GOP's party. If your ends and your means are both useless and damaging, you probably aren't going to get a ton of takes. So "trust me" becomes the only option.

But even if you assume it's a genuine sentiment, that sometimes you just have to shut up, not ask questions, and just go along with the scheme because in the end it will pay off, it still doesn't really follow when you look at the GOP's own dogma. Essentially the GOP is asking their members to pipe down and go along with it because the GOP establishment knows what's best for them, and assumes everyone else is too stupid to understand the complicated means that take us to a desirable end, so just trust that your betters have your best interest in mind and will take care of you.

Which, as astute observers of political rhetoric know, may be fine if it's Republicans, but could you even imagine the screeching that would take place if this sort of "Trust us, we are doing what is best for you" rhetoric was manifesting on the left? All our favorite talking points about liberal elitists would be rampaging across the internet and various opinion columns of Very Serious newspapers.* We've heard that type of accusation before, in fact, it's a major staple in the rhetoric that paints the GOP as the defenders of the little guy, the people, against Washington busy-bodies (and conveniently masks that they are really the party of the aristocracy). So I can't help but be a bit amused by a party that constantly accuses Democrats of being composed of elitists that yearn for a nanny state to control the masses and thumb their noses at those stupid American folks because they are just too simple-minded to understand what's at stake here, then turns around and actually supports just such an effort, and probably for dishonest means and ends to boot. Once again, the GOP shows itself to be a master at psychological projection tactics**.

And all this is just an observation assuming the movie quote from the WaPo is correct. It gets worse, because the WaPo actually misprinted the quote (and if this was done intentionally, we are actually starting to get all inception-like up in this shit here, aren't we?). Here is how Ben Afflick's line actually reads:

I need your help. I can't tell you what it is. You can never ask me about it later. And we're going to hurt some people.

There really isn't much to add to that. No wonder the Republicans are all fired up about it. We are ruled by grifters and sociopaths.

(via MNPublius)

*And should I get started on the Hollywood aspect of this? Funny how liberals and Hollywood are always sittin' in a tree, and warpin' the minds of the folks, yet it seems to only be the GOP that seriously uses movies as political arguments (they did this with the whole "We must torture, because it worked for Jack Bauer" talking point as well). I could seriously do this all day.

**I really need to start a series on this. You can take pretty much any talking point Republicans use to slam Democrats and discover that it's actually something they are already doing themselves, or really want to start doing. It's so predictable at this point that it would almost be comical, if it weren't so damn effective.

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