Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Thursday, April 08, 2021

A word or two more about Gaetzgate

It was pretty funny when Mitch McConnell said that corporate CEOs should stay out of politics, since as everybody who doesn't need a glass navel to see already knows, McConnell has been the political poodle of corporate CEOs for his entire career. Because the basic mission of the Republican party is to transfer wealth from working people to plutocrats, hardly anybody would vote for them if they campaigned on their actual platform. Hence we get Dr. Seuss, Mr. Potatohead, and Family Values™. 

It isn't just the occasional sinner, however, who exposes the basic hypocrisy of the conservative "movement". The are all hypocrites. Because of the WaPo paywall, I'll give you Alexandra Petri via PZ Myers:

I keep coming back to the detail in CNN’s report that this wasn’t something Matt Gaetz did a single time, but repeatedly. Because if it happened more than once — if it happened twice, even — that is because the first time went better than it should have.

To me, this is something you do, ideally, zero times. You never experience the impulse to do it, and you lead a pleasant life. You travel. You eat lunchmeat sandwiches. Maybe you do a marathon, or climb something. You lead a blithe existence for many decades, you die in your bed in your mid-nineties surrounded by your cherished relatives, and in all that time, you never walk up to a colleague on the floor of the House of Representatives and out of nowhere present him with a nude photograph of someone you claim to have had sex with.

But if you can’t do it zero times, then ideally it happens only once. It happens only once, because the moment you do it, the person you show it to responds the way a person should respond. You produce your photograph to your colleague, and your colleague looks at you and says, “Never show that to anyone, ever again. Go home and rethink your life. I do not feel closer to you. If anything, I want to have you removed forcibly from my presence by strong gentlemen whose biceps are tattooed with ‘MOM.’ The fact that you thought this would make us closer makes me question every decision in my life that has led me to this point. Leave now and never come back.”


But no. Not a single one of them said one word. Nobody made a referral to the Ethics Committee, nobody even told him to stop doing it, apparently. But then we have the example of their Dear Leader. (As far as we know, and we can presume this is true, he only showed the pictures to his Republican colleagues.)


Chucky Peirce said...

To its credit our local newspaper printed that excellent editorial.

The apparent unwillingness of any of Matt Gaetz's colleagues to smack him down when shown those nude pictures triggered the uncomfortable feeling I got seeing a crowd of onlookers (including several other policemen) watch Derek Chauvin kill George Floyd yet do nothing more than yell at him to get off his neck.

I'm ashamed to admit that I'd almost certainly have done no more had I been there.

Never the less, it merits a discussion about how deferential we are to the police that we're afraid to take action when one of them is clearly committing murder. It shows we haven't changed much since the infamous 1961 experiment by Stanley Milgram testing how obedient we are to authority figures. (Which may also help explain how a member of the House of Representatives could get away with his tawdry behaviour.)

Sadly, its highly likely that if some brave soul had actually stepped forward at the time and tried to pull Derek Chauvin off George Floyd's neck his action would have galvanized a couple more folks to join in. I believe the actual risk for being the first is quite low. Even if no one else pitched in, the video evidence would later show that he was completely justified. (I'm equally sure that I wouldn't have made that calculation if I had been there.)

So, how do we learn to grow a pair?

Don Quixote said...

When a political party has become totally corrupt, as the current Republican Party has, it meets to be dismantled. There is no saving out at this point, no redeeming it, no chance for “bipartisanship.” There is not a microgram of decency left in the Republican Party. Just rot is left.

Cervantes said...

Chucky, in reality, if anybody tried to interfere the cops would have beat the crap out of him and charged him with assaulting a police officer. Evidence schmevidence, 10 years in the slammer.

Don Quixote said...

Look up the name of Matt Gaetz’s high school for a good laugh.

Don Quixote said...

PS: Regarding my first comment in response to this article (my AI-enabled typos aside), Adam Kinzinger—who is calling for Gaetz’s resignation—is a mensch, and is an outlier as a Republican. Whereas all other current Republicans in Congress are out-and-out liars.