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The Stupidifier

Saturday, February 14, 2009 by Michael Reynolds

Mild-mannered Barack Obama is . . . the Stupidifier.

It's amazing. Republicans of normal intelligence when confronted by Obama, suffer a sudden 50% IQ drop.

It cannot be explained without recourse to the supernatural. It's kind of miraculous. Many politicians drive people crazy: Obama drives them stupid.

Frank Rich nails it:
Just as in the presidential campaign, Obama has once again outwitted the punditocracy and the opposition. The same crowd that said he was a wimpy hope-monger who could never beat Hillary or get white votes was played for fools again.

Barack Obama just got what he wanted. Almost dollar for dollar. He got the percentage of tax cuts vs. spending that he wanted, almost dollar for dollar. The pundits and the GOP have bet their all on his failure. And then he didn't fail. He didn't fail, he got his way. His support among the people is rock solid, numbers for Democrats are up slightly, support for the stim is still strong, while support for the GOP has actually managed to drop further.

And yet, as Rich points out, the Party Of Stupid thinks it just won a big one:

But the Republicans are busy high-fiving themselves and celebrating “victory.” Even in defeat, they are still echoing the 24/7 cable mantra about the stimulus’s unpopularity. This self-congratulatory mood is summed up by a Wall Street Journal columnist who wrote that “the House Republicans’ zero votes for the Obama presidency’s stimulus ‘package’ is looking like the luckiest thing to happen to the G.O.P.’s political fortunes since Ronald Reagan switched parties.” There hasn’t been this much delusional giddiness in these ranks since Monica Lewinsky promised a surefire Republican sweep in the 1998 midterms.

Here's how this plays out: the odds are heavily in favor of the recession ending at some point in the next couple of years. Even if all we did was sit around playing with ourselves the recession would probably end within Obama's first term of office. Since people tend to credit "something" over "nothing" as a cause of change, Obama will be credited for any turnaround.

The Republicans could have blunted this by helping out. They could have earned credit for an assist. Obama gave them every opportunity. Instead they ensured that they would recieve no credit for a turnaround. But if the economy somehow fails to turn around they'll still take a big share of the blame.

The GOP just bought 0% of success while holding onto at least 50% of failure. Obama is holding 100% of success and at most 50% of failure. Can someone explain to me why this is good for the GOP?

Here's the thing. You're Fred the Carpenter, living in Ohio. You lose your job. Thanks to Obama you get some extended unemployment benefits and although you don't get your job back in 2009, your wife gets a job working on a school remodeling project. And during the worst of it your kids still have health care, and your wife is paying less in payroll tax. Thanks to Obama. So you . . . vote for Republican Senator Voinovich who opposed the creation of the job your wife just got?

Hello?

Possible outcomes:
1) Economy turns around: Obama gets credit
2) Economy stays in crapper: Obama gets credit for trying, GOP gets blame for obstructing.
3) Economy stays in crapper: Obama and GOP split blame.

What in God's name can they be thinking? How can they be this stupid?

Well, I'll tell you how: The Stupidifier. That's how. Obama has used his mutant super-powers to make them stupid. (Well, stupider.)

Still don't believe me? Normally intelligent conservative blogger Rick Moran picks through the stimulus bill and comes up with a long list of spending he finds suspect. Very impressive list. Long list. It amounts to 1.5% of the cost of the bill.

Summoning all his outrage, Moran points to . . . 1.5% of the bill. Moran calls this. " . . .the greatest betrayal of the public trust in my lifetime."

1.5%. One point five percent. Skim outrage.

The Greatest Public Betrayal In My Lifetime.

Say what? Moran is my age. Which means he's lived through Vietnam, Watergate, Desert One, Beirut, Iran/Contra, the Blue Dress, Gitmo/Abu Graib and Katrina, but the 1.5% in this bill is the big one?

Stupid. But it's not Moran's fault, not the GOP's fault. They are mere mortals up against a man with superpowers.

Some superheros have super strength, some have cool gadgets, some can have super speed or power over the elements. But I'm kind of liking this stupidifying thing. I think it could be very useful.

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Republicans: Kind Of Like Spartans if Spartans Were Pussies

by Michael Reynolds

I know what you think. You think Republicans hate America. You think Republicans care more about their own political necks than they do their country.

You are so wrong! I am ashamed of you.

Republicans love America. They care deeply about the American people. You want proof?

Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA), who broke with his party to support President Obama's stimulus package last week, said before the final vote Friday that more of his colleagues would have joined were they not afraid of the political consequences.

"When I came back to the cloak room after coming to the agreement a week ago today," said Specter, "one of my colleagues said, 'Arlen, I'm proud of you.' My Republican colleague said, 'Arlen, I'm proud of you.' I said, 'Are you going to vote with me?' And he said, 'No, I might have a primary.' And I said, 'Well, you know very well I'm going to have a primary.'"
Well. There you have it. Three Republicans actually had the courage to vote for the stimulus bill. And at least one had the courage to sidle up next to Specter and say, "Yessss, my Precious, we loves the stimulus, yessss, gollum."

Do you think only four Republicans have the courage to either openly or surreptitiously support the stimulus? No. I refuse to believe that. I believe rather that many, many other Republicans are willing to whisper their support if they know they won't be quoted. Because they do care about more than their own electoral prospects. They love their country: they just don't want their supporters to know it.

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Sometimes The Artist Says It Best

Friday, February 13, 2009 by Michael Reynolds

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