I have been mulling the ‘ irony’ that the Republicans may be turfed out “not because of spending recklessness, corruption, torture, big government, pork, and a hideously botched war … but because of a sex scandal which doesn’t even have (so far as we know) any actual sex. ” That’s Andrew Sullivan, approvingly retailed by Kevin Drum.
I hate to give up even one delicious irony, but this is not such. The core event in the Foley story is not his hitting on pages but the tolerant, lazy, response of the Republican leadership, and that is not an exception or a bizarre misstep or a sad personal weakness but precisely, exactly, the typical, consistent, morality and practice of the whole gang, right up to the president. I’m referring to their bottomless callous, smirking, willingness to sacrifice the weak for a selfish, petty purpose like
– personal greed, including the orgy of fressing at the trough by contractors and unqualified hires in Iraq
– getting reelected with no visible point except to steal more
– showing Dad you’re not an ignorant, careless wastrel
– shameless, endless shoveling the wealth of the many to the few.
This willingness is not occasional or intermittent, it is the common guiding principle of the whole last six years.
This gang happily sacrificed hundreds of our young people and the fiscal stability of the nation for years to come to a nutty idea that war could be really cheap, and thousands of them and tens of thousands of Iraqis to delaying an awkward confrontation between a soothing bromide and facts on the ground. It threw away the miserable of New Orleans and the desperate of Darfur and the wretched in the public schools and the breathers of the air around power plants and the grunts in the desert and everyone else – everyone – it had a duty to comfort or aid. And it has nothing to do with any real principle, conservative or otherwise: not the farm bill, not the trade bill, not the invasion of Iraq nor the fecklessness in Afghanistan, not the drug bill, not the earmarks: it’s nothing but heartless abuse, in every single case, and without a hint of a suggestion of a moment of shame. These are thugs in shiny shoes who never saw a victim they wouldn’t kick or steal from, and in the end, treating the pages like a candy bowl for casual snacking by one of their own is no different from any of the rest of it.
This meltdown is not ironic, it’s just and proper and about time.