You will recall -- thinking all the way back to yesterday -- that I wrote about Republican Congressman Tim Huelskamp from Kansas having a crazed meltdown after the State of the Union Address on Twitter, and then on MSNBC being interviewed by Rachel Maddow, accusing President Obama of a range of maniacal abuse of power illegalities, while shredding his oath of office and the Constitution. All because of Mr. Obama saying he would make some executive orders.
As is the case in Republican politics these days, this was the Day’s Memo, and it became the over-the-lunatic-edge talking point about many Republican leaders, right-wing talk radio and the far-right blogosphere. The president, the mantra went, is evil because he is abusing his office and legal responsibilities because of his mad-crazed, illegal, unconstitutional executive orders.
Here are just some examples. As New York magazine reported, "Kentucky senator Rand Paul has accused Obama of acting 'like a king or a monarch.' South Carolina congressman Jeff Duncan declared last week, 'We live in a republic, not a dictatorship.' Mike Huckabee proclaimed that the White House has 'nothing but contempt for the Constitution' and seeks to 'trump ... the checks and balances of power in which no branch could act unilaterally.' Texas congressman Steve Stockman has already threatened impeachment."
That over-the-lunatic edge.
But it's worse than it lunatically appears.
On her show last night, Rachel Maddow showed a chart from New York magazine of all the presidents for the last 115 years and comparing their per-day average of executives. And as you'll see --
President Barack Obama is...last. Last. The fewest executive orders per day by a president in 115 years. And not just the fewest, but the least by a massive amount compared to those at the top.
This is the sort of thing that isn't opinion, but that pesky detail known as "fact." It's numerical. You can check it out and do the math. That is if you care to check it out and actually be honest. And also if believe in science and can do math.
I understand that there will be conservatives on the far-right who don't like this. But that's the tough things about facts. They're...facts. It's the reality. And there's no way to twist it, other than saying, "Oops, we were wrong." The reality is that 0.1 is lower than 0.8, and it always will be. It always has to be. And further, if there's nothing lower than 0.1, then it's the lowest.
Also in my posting yesterday, I mentioned how MSNBC host Chris Hayes interrupted the panel discussion following Rep. Huelskamp's crazed meltdown with Ms. Maddow, and a bit agitated said something along the lines of, "There in a nutshell we have the past five years of politics in Washington. The president makes a speech about raising the minimum wage, saying we should get business leaders together, and how wonderful America is, and the Republican response is, 'What about all the people killed at Benghazi??!!!'"
And that's the point here, too. The numerical, factual proof of what he was saying. In a "nutshell," that chart points to the the past five years of politics, as well.
There are two possibilities with the crazed, lunatic Republic charges against the president after the State of the Union Address -- 1) They were too ignorant to know their own business and not even check to see -- before making their scurrilous charges -- that, rather than being a dictator, Mr. Obama actually had the fewest executive orders per day of any president in 115 years, or 2) they knew and were too craven to care, only wanting instead to score shameless, despicable, gut-wrenching points with their base.
And "base" is the proper word for this.
There are no other explanations that I can see.
And yes, as Chris Hayes noted, there in a nutshell we have the past five years in Washington.
Y'know, as I wrote here, even Glenn Beck of all people admitted regret only last week for being more divisive than he should have been and that "I wish I could go back and be more uniting in my language, I think I played a role, unfortunately, in helping tear the country apart and it's not who we are.”
I never thought I'd write these words, but -- if only the far-right Republicans could learn even a morsel of dignity from Glenn Beck and not keep playing a part in helping tear the country apart.
Not that this will matter, of course. When you're crazed, you're crazed. When you're a racist, you're a racist. When you don't care about the truth, you just don't freaking care.
But a guy can dream...
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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