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 firstname.lastname@example.org.