Friday, March 15, 2013
Of Guns, Drones and Books ... and Looking Ahead to 2014
In an angry exchange, Ted Cruz tried to "school" Dianne Feinstein on the Constitution, equating the proposed ban on assault rifles to banning books. It seems that Little Ted doesn't know that books are still being banned in school districts and state-supported libraries all over the country. Here are lists of books that have been "challenged" in recent years, with To Kill a Mockingbird and Of Mice and Men still being kept out of some libraries. But, it seems the Tea Party enjoys these rhetorical arguments, even when Ted gets called out on his absurd comments.
This was also the case with Ron Johnson, who offered a whole new spin on how Social Security is funded in a recent segment of This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Paul Krugman took Johnson to task over his factual errors. This led to a fiery exchange with George Will stepping in to point out that you can't reach any kind of budget deal in Congress if you can't agree on basic facts. What made this little episode particularly appalling is that the Republican Congressman sits on the House Budget Committee.
Last but not least, Rand Paul launched a 13-hour filibuster on the use of drones, which brought the nomination of John Brennan as head of the CIA to a halt. The attack was directed more at Obama than it was Brennan, and seems to have vaulted the Kentucky senator to front-runner status in the early straw polling for the Republican nominee for President. Nothing like channeling Mr. Smith Goes to Washington to endear one to voters.
More and more it becomes apparent that Republicans are content to live in their alternative reality, creating their own narratives to further their arguments, no matter how weak they are. It seems the Democrats are finally going to make a concerted effort to go after these Teabaggers in the 2014 midterms. Obviously, there is no moving forward in Congress until the Democrats regain the House, and win a "filibuster-proof" Senate. A tall order in these divided times.