Thursday, January 13, 2011

Pawlenty Of Trouble

Without paying enough attention, evidently, I'd been of the impression that, among potential Republican presidential candidates, Tim Pawlenty was one of the more reasonable. Guess I was wrong. (I'm still having problems embedding Daily Show videos, but it's at the link.)

Now, I'll say this: Jon Stewart, of late, has seemed a little too talky on his side of his questions. Nevertheless, his point wasn't impossible to apprehend: are we really heading toward "tyranny" since the election of Barack Obama; and how is it different from the reign of George Bush? (Arresting US citizens without charges, holding them incommunicado, warrantless wiretapping, undeclared wars, taking over education. Stuff like that.) Try as he might, Stewart couldn't get Pawlenty to admit it might be a bit overstated; in fact, the ex-gov seemed unwilling even to address the question. He preferred the current "I know you are but what am I" approach to the issue. (The tax/spend discussion was a little more reasonable, but, again, he steadfastly refused to consider what pretty much everyone else recognizes: ultimately, the deficit will only be solved by a combination of increased revenue and decreased spending, including defense. That, at least, is standard right-handed stuff. But his unwillingness to reject claims of tyranny says a lot. None of it good.)

Having been thus disappointed by the interview (well, not disappointed, really: brought back to reality -- there are no R candidates who wish to appear reasonable at all, lest the teabaggers undip them) this morning I read the guy wants to reinstate DADT. (And let's not ignore to whom Timmeh chose to make his pronouncement.)

After the president's speech last night I've thought I must be a little less, uh, colorful in some of my writings. But it's not inflammatory simply to point to the truth about people. (Well, yes, the hearing of truth seems to inflame some readers, but there's nothing I can do about that.) The fact is that, on the right, teabaggerism -- ie the need to believe the worst about the president, the need to lash out, the need to cling to discredited policy -- has won the day in the current Republican party and its potential candidates. The guy I mistakenly took for thoughtful at one time can't find it in himself to agree we're not heading toward tyranny just because a president wants to make health care more accessible.

Tyranny. Nope, can't deny it. Can't demonstrate it, can't differentiate it from what went on under the previous president. Can't deny it, though. Wouldn't fly. Not now, not with the RWS™ and the teabaggers pulling the strings and calling the shots. (Oops. There I go, using violent rhetoric.)

Added: true to formless, he's now hit the elitist button.

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