Accountability Check: Blame Yourselves, Conservatives

…twice shy.

The rhetoric, accusations, insults and breast-beating from conservative talk radio and its audience are every bit as offensive as Michael Moore’s bleating that American voters were morons after the 2004 election. No, it is more offensive—that’s right, more offensive than Michael Moore. Conservatives thoroughly disgraced themselves when they had control in Washington, and have barely improved since. They deserved to lose in 2008 because of their unethical conduct from 2000-2008, and that they are still paying for those years in 2012 is obvious and just. If conservatives don’t like the Obama Administration and its policies, if they think the United States is in deep trouble as a consequence, they should stop blaming voters and admit that it couldn’t have happened without their greed, stupidity, arrogance and incompetence:

  • They took over a government that had balanced the budget, and immediately did what everyone knew was irresponsible: cut taxes while launching two wars. It is fiscal insanity to fight wars without raising taxes, never mind lowering them. Obama should take responsibility for his own deficits, but this was irresponsible governance at its worst.
  • They installed corrupt or cynical leadership at every opportunity. With majorities in both Houses, conservatives allowed ethics-free pols like felon Tom DeLay to run the Republican Party and Congress like a criminal enterprise..which, as ex-lawmakers like Duke Cunningham can attest, it often was.
  • Lobbyists funneled money to legislators on the take; dishonest hypocrites like Ralph Reed manipulated  issues and legislation. A child predator was loose in the House, and his party’s members looked the other way.
  • Partisanship trumped integrity in virtually every cabinet department—Justice, Energy, Education. Important agencies and diplomatic posts were stocked with hacks, contributors and sycophants. FEMA’s pathetic Michael Brown was just one we found out about. There were hundreds like him.
  • The government disgraced the nation’s most sacred values by allowing inhumane treatment of prisoners in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay, seeding the international embarrassment of Abu Ghraib and then adopting torture as a means of intelligence gathering.
  • There was no accountability enforced for outrageous failures in execution and policy. Incompetence at the CIA was rewarded. Political corruption at the Justice Department was ignored. Ineptitude or dishonesty at Homeland Security, Defense, Energy, and Education was buried.
  • When President Bush and Senator McCain proposed a reasonable, pragmatic and unavoidable solution to the illegal immigration crisis, the intransigent Right, especially talk radio, torpedoed the effort with screams of “Amnesty!” This alone guaranteed Tuesday’s results.
  • Then of course, when the time came to regain what was lost, conservatives were arrogant, foolish and irresponsible. Don’t blame Nevadans for the despicable Harry Reid making Republicans  miserable—the public wanted to get rid of him and would have, if the Republicans had given them a barely acceptable alternative rather than a Tea Party amateur. Don’t blame Virginia for turning blue with the help of a Democratic African-American bloc that is 20% of the state: it was Republicans who installed George Allen as Senator, watched him disgrace his party and his office by calling a mixed race student a monkey at a public forum, lose a race that should have been a breeze—and then nominated him to lose again in 2012. Christine O’Donnell—Linda McMahon—Todd Akin—Richard Mourdock—the list of unqualified and unelectable candidates nominated by the GOP is frightening. In an honest and probing analysis of what ails Republicans, Tucker Carlson wrote:

 “Candidates who are too bored by policy even to read the newspaper aren’t likely to impress voters. Candidates so verbally inept they can’t talk about abortion without appearing to endorse rape usually don’t win big elections. Conservatives need candidates who can persuade. America isn’t getting any more conservative. It’s no longer sufficient to recite bumper stickers about American exceptionalism and bow to Reagan’s memory, if it ever was. You have to make the case to the unconvinced. Somewhere along the way, many conservative activists forgot how. The tea party believes the GOP establishment is ideologically corrupt. They’re right. But replacing the current leadership with obviously unqualified buffoons is no remedy. Republicans have lost at least five winnable Senate races in the last two cycles because they fielded candidates whose only real qualification was being anti-establishment…the genuine conservatives they find will have to come with political skills, policy smarts and impressive resumes in order to get elected.”

Yes, the news media was as hostile to Bush and the Republicans as they are forgiving of Obama and the Democrats; sure, the financial meltdown was a bi-partisan effort. The fact remains, however, that Democrats would not be in power if the Republicans had been competent, honest, dedicated, trustworthy, and responsible. I don’t want to hear Newt Gingrich, Mark Levin, Rush and Laura Ingraham impugn the American people for being hesitant to trust this crowd again—not until they demonstrate that they recognize and acknowledge their own failings, and accept their fair share of accountability for the disaster that is growing before our eyes.

___________________________

Graphic: Ken Minor

Ethics Alarms attempts to give proper attribution and credit to all sources of facts, analysis and other assistance that go into its blog posts. If you are aware of one I missed, or believe your own work was used in any way without proper attribution, please contact me, Jack Marshall, at  jamproethics@verizon.net.

7 Comments

Filed under Government & Politics

7 responses to “Accountability Check: Blame Yourselves, Conservatives

  1. Man, It truly pains me to say I agree with most of what you said. I’m no fan of Rush Limbaugh, much of his rantings are unreasonable and cause more harm than good. But most of your bullet point comments apply to both parties and I think you should have made more of a statement about that because, after all, there’s really no good that comes from replacing incompetence with more incompetence. And isn’t that really what we’ve done?

  2. While I agree that the Republicans – not the conservatives, please – were terrible in 2000-2008, and that people have every reason to distrust them, I find it interesting that you are still willing to lay blame at the feet of the tea party in your last point. This is the movement that has – nominally – arisen to correct the very faults of the GOP you lament. Sure, they’ve laid out some clunkers of candidates, and need to get better at that – but blaming them for the GOP’s loss this time strikes me as very similar to the argument that Batman creates the villians he faces – if there were no Batman, there would be no villains. If the behavior of the GOP was as bad as you claim (and it was, and worse) then you should be applauding attempts to reform it, and encouraging them to get better at reforming it. Pointing fingers at them and joining the old guard in scolding ‘See? You failed! This is all your fault, now sit down and shut up’ is going to do nothing to correct the problems you lament, and will discourage others from even trying to correct them in the future.

    • That’s not my point, and I don’t see it fairly read into the piece. Requiring base-level competence is hardly unreasonable, and I would say that it is an ethical prerequisite for running for high office. Good intentions aren’t enough. I refuse to believe that there are not legitimate, qualified candidates who will not shove their leg up to their knee into their own mouth. There is no excuse for Akin; none for O’Donnell. There really isn’t any excuse for Bachmann. Carlson was exactly, precisely right. Passion is no substitute for expertise, knowledge, and savvy.

      • There is no excuse for Akin; none for O’Donnell.

        Yes there is: the GOP platform. No exceptions for rape, incest, or the life, let alone the health, of the mother,

        Yes, I know, no-one takes what the platform says seriously, it’s too “over the top”. But some do, and everyone should, if they are.to retain a shred of integrity.

        If you elect someone belonging to a party that has, as one of its principles, something outrageous – such as the re-introduction of slavery – you have no excuse when there are some representatives who actually attempt to implement that policy, even if the vast majority are sane.

        Saying “we didn’t think you really meant it” is no defence when the laws get passed. They warned you.

        • The position that the manner in which a life is brought into being should not change that individual’s right to live is a perfectly defensible and consistent position—more ethical, in my view, then opposition to abortion with rape and incest exceptions. Akin’s offense was ignorance,suggesting that if a pregnancy results, it’s not rape–he supposeedly agrees with the exceptions, but with the “No True Scotsman” (a nickel to tgt) twist. Mourdock’s position is that rape is God’s will, which is per se offensive. I don’t think the GOP platform, which I doubt these dolts have read anyway, is relevant—to anything, really. It’s the ultimate tree falling in the forest with nobody to see or hear it.

          • tgt

            The GOP platform on this issue is based on the same religious argument as Mourdock’s stupid position. Yes, “no exceptions for rape” can be defensible and is consistent, but based on the reasoning that went into putting that into the platform, it makes sense that some of the candidates will actually believe the reasoning.

            I know I’m going to get tuned out when I say this, but the problem here is that parts of the GOP platform are based on nothing more than faith.

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