Monday, March 9, 2009

What Goes Unchecked

Think Progress has highlighted an all-too-common moment from contemporary political chatter featuring South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham:

"I voted to take all earmarks out, but I will come back in the new process and put that back in,” Graham insisted, saying that the convention center is important to stimulate the local economy. “I think I should have the ability as a United States senator to direct money back to my state as long as it’s transparent and it makes sense.”
Earmarks are good, declares Senator Graham. Earmarks are bad, declares Senator Graham, only a few seconds later.

As with so much of the verbal offal flowing from movement conservatives, it raises a tangle of questions: (a) Is Lindsey Graham too stupid to realize that he is taking two opposed sides of a very simple question ("earmarks are good" vs. "earmarks are bad") (b) Does Lindsey Graham believe that viewers are too stupid to realize this? (c) Should Lindsey Graham be a US Senator if either (a) or (b) is true?

Granted, under our Constitution, nothing excludes contemptible cretins from serving in the Senate. At the same time, they have no inherent right to be invited onto brand-name, allegedly responsible and serious public forums such as NBC's Meet the Press. So why is he there? I could see a point in inviting such a person onto the show in order to laugh at him and denounce him as a ridiculous buffoon. But this does not happen, as the video shows:



There's a "tough" question here, or what passes for such on what passes for public affairs tee-vee in the contemporary USA. But this level of mendacity calls for more than that. David Gregory has made himself and Meet the Press part of the unfunny joke by allowing this garbage to stand.

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