According to one conservative I heard today, the entire swine-flu (excuse me, H1N1*) epidemic was orchestrated by President Obama as a chance to control the news cycle to cover up his "plummeting" approval rating.
It's moments like that that I rub my eyes and wish to God that I had some sort of superpower with which I could simply scrub away the stupidity from their brains, from the inside out. I'm thinking of a sort of frontal-lobe microwave vision.
This was just another case of a yappy conservative spewing his ideas for all to hear - ideas not rooted in reality, ideas spun from starlight and blue sky, ideas created solely for the purpose of widening the ideological divide in this country.
Obama isn't trying to work this up. If anything, he's staying calm about it. Joe Biden on the other hand...well, Joe's known for his stupid moves. This one was just another for the scrapbook. No, this was a media thing. I blame CNN, and MSNBC, and Faux News, and all the other little content providers who needed 24 hours to fill and chose that. Like many others around the world, I believe this has been blown out of proportion, and I'm more annoyed than angry about it.
But to claim the President of the United States is trying to bang the drum to keep it in the press if even more ludicrous. This is the type of ridiculous complaint the fringe right have taken to since Inauguration Day. And by fringe right, I mean just that. These aren't your average Republicans. Your average Republican was Arlen Specter, a man so alienated from his own party that he joined the Democrats. Your average Republican is Olympia Snowe of Maine, a highly-respected Senator who is berated for saying that perhaps, after all, her party is becoming exclusionary.
Your average Republican is my brother; somewhere between one-third and one-half of my friends; and many, many people I respect. For the most part, these people believe in small government, fiscal responsibility, personal independence, and a strong defense.
What they don't believe in is the idea of the USA as a "Christian-only" nation. They don't believe in exclusionary political dogma. They don't believe in policy as written by fundamental Christian beliefs. They don't believe that Obama has an Indonesian passport and is perpetrating the greatest hoax of all time. They sure as fuck don't believe in Sarah Palin as a viable candidate for anything.
And pretty much, they don't listen to Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and the other mouth-breathing, drum-beating, saber-rattling morons of that ilk. They leave that for their looney colleagues in the fringe right.
I find it a little sad that I'm becoming more and more tolerant of the real Republicans and less and less tolerant of the fringe types. I wish I heard more moderate Republican voices, but for the most part, all that's offered on TV and radio, are the shrill yelps from the right-wingnuts.
Let me ask you real Republicans this: how can you stand knowing that your party is absolutely and completely falling apart around you? Do you like the direction you're going? Are you happy with those avatars of stupidity being the voice of your people? Do you really expect that with the current leadership, there will be any ground gained either in Congress or the minds of the American people?
These questions will be shouted into the ether. I won't get any response from the real Republicans. Most of them won't answer, because they don't know the answers. If I get any response at all, it'll be from the fringe right. And all they will succeed in doing is making the case a little stronger.
*Gotta protect the pork industry from swine flu, and the swine from Egypt.**
**Has anyone else noticed that Egypt has functionally taken over Poland's*** traditional spot in jokes? If they can do something in a wacky fashion, they do. Thankfully, what they don't do is read this blog.
***However, I do love the readers from Poland!