Archive - Nov 2009

November 27th

Purity Balls

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One of the recurring themes of You Are Dumb Dot Net is the overall astonishing ignorance of the media in regards to politics. The media creates the environment in which ideas compete like organisms, and just like carbon dioxide turns the oceans basic, killing corals, the stupidification of the media kills off smart ideas while allowing stupid ones to thrive.

How else can you explain the Republican National Committee developing a Purity Test consisting of ten Purity Pledges, and people taking them almost seriously? The resolution, introduced by an Indiana Republican named, I shit you not, Jim Bopp*, outlines ten policies Republican candidates have to agree with to receive the support of the RNC. Of course, they don't actually have to agree with all ten - as long as they squeak by with 80%, it's OK. Which means Republicans have to be better at purity than Dubya was at Yale in order to win approval. That's harsh.

This is just awesome. The Democrats are trying to get four or five members of their caucus not to join with Republicans on an obstructive procedural vote, and it's the Republicans that are so worried about purity that they're considering putting their candidates up to the Inquisition. And this is accepted as normal and right, even though it actually doesn't make any goddamned sense.

So what does a Republican have to do to get into the secret treehouse fort? First, they have to support smaller government. Well, OK, they have to say they support smaller government. That's not difficult. All Republicans say they support smaller government and less spending, even though what they mean is less government for poor people and less spending on people who aren't themselves. That one won't be a problem.

They have to oppose any health-care reform. They say they support "market-based health care reform", but we've had market-based health care reform for 30 years. What is an HMO if not market-based health care reform? How'd that work out? Anyway, this is basically a Tea Party shot across the bow for 2010 in case Olympia Snowe thinks she can get away with breaking Joe Lieberman's filibuster.

No cap and trade, no card check for unions, no amnesty for illegals, "victory in Iraq and Afghanistan", belligerence toward Iran and North Korea, no gay marriage, no death panels or abortion, and, of course, no taking the guns away.

So basically, it's the Contract With The Crazy Third Of America. It's the political equivalent of a Congressional resolution honoring Milli Vanilli for their Best New Artist Grammy. It seems like a great idea at the time, but a few months from now it's going to be completely dated. It's a snapshot of where the Republican Party is right now - homeless and living on Michelle Bachmann's couch.

Jim Bopp*, to his credit, is furious that his Purity Test got leaked to the public, just like it did during his junior year of college, and everyone made fun of him for weeks because of his bestiality answer. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"I really was not interested in going public. I think somebody is trying to sabotage our efforts by prematurely showing it to the brass to shut down the debate we are having about it." - Yes! How dare someone try to shut down the debate over whether the RNC should use its financial muscle to shut down the debate?

The test is designed to prevent another instance like the New York congressional race, where an impure Republican who the RNC supported was driven out of the race by the Teabaggers, and the Teabagger's choice lost. The lesson the RNC took from this? That apparently, the only way to keep the Tea Party's balls from whacking you in the face is to work with them to make sure those balls are pure.

*If you don't have the Hanson song running through your head right now, you're not old enough to be the audience for this column.