Charlie Pierce on the dumpster fire that was on the TV last night.
It must be some comfort to the citizens of the city of Flint, Michigan, to know that, as far as the Republican Party and its leaders are concerned, they don’t really exist. Non-existence, while admittedly an extreme strategy, certainly is one way to keep from getting poisoned by your water supply due to the criminal negligence of your state government. I will grant you that there isn’t enough laudanum in the world to erase entirely the memory of how He, Trump discussed the strength of Little Donald in a debate between what were alleged to be the Republican candidates for president. And I will grant you that representative democracy may never recover from the ensuing ass-biting competition between a big bag of feathers, a Tailgunner, a vulgar talking yam, and John Kasich, who hasn’t yet noticed that he’s the principal barker on a carnival midway.
But there are a couple of passages that are worthy of note, because they demonstrate how deeply the non-penis-discussing wing of the Republican Party has dipped into its own supply, and because they also demonstrate that this campaign would be just as unmoored from reality if He, Trump never had eaten the rest of the brood shortly after they hatched.
The first one came when Fox News’ Bret Baier, venturing where no anchor had gone before, asked Young Marco Rubio about the crisis in Flint. We will present Young Marco’s answer in full, because it demonstrates what a big bag of feathers the man really is.
Well, I know I’ve talked about it, and others in our campaign have talked about it, and other candidates have talked about it, as well. What happened in Flint was a terrible thing. It was systemic breakdown at every level of government, at both the federal and partially the—both the state and partially at the federal level, as well.
And by the way, the politicizing of it I think is unfair, because I don’t think that someone woke up one morning and said, “Let’s figure out how to poison the water system to hurt someone.”
But accountability is important. I will say, I give the governor credit. He took responsibility for what happened. And he’s talked about people being held accountable…
… and the need for change, with Governor Snyder. But here’s the point. This should not be a partisan issue. The way the Democrats have tried to turn this into a partisan issue, that somehow Republicans woke up in the morning and decided, “Oh, it’s a good idea to poison some kids with lead.” It’s absurd. It’s outrageous. It isn’t true.
All of us are outraged by what happened. And we should work together to solve it. And there is a proper role for the government to play at the federal level, in helping local communities to respond to a catastrophe of this kind, not just to deal with the people that have been impacted by it, but to ensure that something like this never happens again.
BAIER: Thank you, Senator.
No follow-up. Nothing.
This is beyond moronic, and I include the (APPLAUSE) in that, too. Young Marco Rubio has saved his toughest comments on the poisoning of an entire city for the people who have harshed the mellow of Governor Rick Snyder, whose criminal negligence becomes more plain with every e-mail dump. No Republican “woke up in the morning and decided, ‘Oh, it’s a good idea to poison some kids with lead.'” (I don’t think any of them did, anyway.) But a helluva lot of Republicans woke up on a helluva lot of mornings and decided, “We don’t give a brass-band fck about whether or not kids in Flint get poisoned with lead.” A helluva lot of Republicans woke up on a helluva lot of mornings and decided, “If it gets out that we didn’t give a brass-band fck whether or not kids in Flint get poisoned with lead, we could lose our phony-baloney jobs behind this. Let’s cover it up as fast as we can.” It was political considerations that made the crisis and it was political considerations that made the crisis worse, and all Young Marco Rubio can think to say is that it was a shame that the crisis was “politicized” by Democrats?
Luckily, though, a short time later, we had Tailgunner Ted Cruz to explain to us the history of American industry as explained by a Jack Chick tract. Apparently, Detroit went to waste and ruin as soon as Saul Alinsky was born.
CRUZ: Well, Chris, thank you for that question. Let me start by observing that Detroit is a great city with a magnificent legacy that has been utterly decimated by 60 years of failed left-wing policy.
You know, Henry Ford revolutionized automobile manufacturing and brought automobiles to the middle class. During World War II, Detroit provided—funded the arsenals of democracy to help us win World War II. In—in the 1960s, Detroit was the Silicon Valley of America. It had a population of 2 million people, had the highest per capita income in the country. And then, for 50 years, left-wing Democrats have pursued destructive tax policies, weak crime policies, and have driven the citizens out.
This city now has just 700,000 citizens. There are vacant homes, one after the other after the other. Crime has been rampant, and it is an outrage. And let me say to folks in the media: That is a story that the media ought to be telling over and over again, the destruction of left-wing policies and the millions who have hurt because of it.
You have to admit. It takes considerable legpower to talk about the decline of Detroit while sidestepping entirely the word “deindustrialization.” Also, and this may be special pleading, but it is flat-out crazy-assed to assert that “the media” somehow has ignored the recent sad history of Detroit. In fact, the media has been so omnipresent in Detroit over the past few decades that it is almost ludicrously easy for Dr. Google to discover that, on the subject of the city’s decline, as on so many others, Ted Cruz is as full of shit as the Christmas goose. And that’s not even to mention the destructive left-wing politics that saved the American auto industry.
Torture. Trump steaks. All the rest of it has degenerated into white noise in the brain, but these moments remain as clear as a summer’s day. The prion disease has finally reached the higher centers of the Republican brain. They’ll be eating bugs by the time the convention rolls around.
In a way I’m glad I got a phone call last night and had to go hold the hand of a Friend who is going through a rough patch. I got to miss the clown show.
But you know what the scariest part is? Despite all of this juvenile behavior that would embarrass a sixth-grader, there’s still a chance that the Republicans could win. You know why? Because they vote.