Thursday, February 4, 2010

They Never Learn

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) is now the point person for the GOP and the undie bomber. It really is kind of silly, though, to see her go on TV and get schooled by Andrea Mitchell of MSNBC.

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I don’t object to Sen. Collins having a point of view and toeing the party line. I do object to rank ignorance or deception, especially when there is overwhelming evidence to the contrary of said talking points. Glenn Greenwald adds,

But this right-wing demagoguery (coming from both Republicans and some Democrats) has nothing to do with those debates. For one thing, the accused Christmas Day bomber was captured and is being held inside the U.S. (right-wing fear-mongerers have long argued that we should not bring GITMO detainees to the U.S. because, once inside the U.S., they would then enjoy full Constitutional protections). But more important, the standard rhetorical formulation being used — “extending rights to foreign Terrorists which the Constitution reserves for U.S. citizens” — suggests that Constitutional rights are for American citizens only. That is blatantly false, and anyone making that claim — as Susan Collins and so many others have — is either extremely ignorant or extremely dishonest.

Actually, it’s not an either/or situation; it can be both. You lay the facts out there in front of them and try gently not to humiliate them on national TV with the fact that they’re just plan wrong, and yet they don’t give up. In the case of Sen. Collins, it’s just embarrassing.

It also makes me wonder that if Sen. Collins is representative of the current crop of Republican “moderates,” we’ve certainly moved the needle to the right. (And she was one that the Democrats thought they could win over on healthcare. Wow.)