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Thursday, November 10, 2005

There oughtta be a law

26 October 2005 15:20 EDT Posted by Highlander

I gather that the 'criminalization of politics' non-defense against the various impending Fitzgerald indictments has become the talking point du jour among the right's talking heads -- apparently Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, among others, have been whipping their moronic audiences into a froth by repeating this phrase over and over again. I

'm trying to make sense of this -- not actual sense, because conservatives, especially the mindless masses that make up the right wing base, don't intellectualize things well, and I understand that. But usually I can at least put the latest right wing demagoguery into some kind of consistent emotional context and get a vague grasp on what buttons the big mouths are trying to push in their listeners' heads... and this time, well, you wouldn't think it was possible, but this 'criminalization of politics' makes even less sense than the usual conservative horseshit.

Again, I'm not talking intellectually. On the level of reason and logic, well, any thinking human being understands that a crime is a crime -- you break the law, you get caught, you're going to get in some kind of trouble -- and whether the lawbreaker is involved in 'politics' or not, at the time they committed the crime, is immaterial. Being a 'politician', whether you hold an elected office or an appointed position or you're just a mover and a shaker behind the scenes, does not convey any kind of legal immunity (unless you're the President, but, well, that's not what we're talking about).

But, as I say, I understand that Limbaugh and Hannity aren't trying to come up with anything logical or reasonable. They are trying to whip their audiences into an infuriated frenzy, which means that, like all demagogues, they are attempting to craft an emotional appeal that will overwhelm their target market's rudimentary thinking ability.

But usually these guys are pretty good at it and I can figure out what kind of gut level response they're trying to invoke. In this case, I'm baffled.

See, you don't go to a bunch of Joe Lunchbuckets and start whining about the 'criminalization of politics' and expect any sympathy. To Limbaugh's Louts and/or Hannity's Horde, all politicians are already assumed to be criminals unless proven honest, and 'politics' is already a dirty word. To talk about the 'criminalization of politics' is just going to perplex these guys. Of course all politicians are crooks, and of course all politics is dirty politics.

How many times do you think these people have heard about some sleazy deal in Washington and cursed to themselves over a beer "there oughtta be a law, the stuff they do in D.C. is a crime". They all implicitely BELIEVE that the entire political process is corrupt; Republicans have been coining votes for thirty years by promising to 'get the government off the backs of the average American', with the underlying and fundamental assumption being that government (politics) is inherently BAD.

So I have to think, if Rush Limbaugh starts going on and on about 'the criminalization of politics', even his most avidly mouthbreathing minions are going to be scratching their Dittoheads a little bit. I mean, wouldn't criminalizing politics be a good thing? SHOULDn't we have long since been locking these guys up? Aren't they ALL crooks?

I have to assume, if whining about 'the criminalization of politics', mixed in with a lot of bluster about how Democrats are picking on Republicans and it's just not fair, is the best that Limbaugh and Hannity can come up with, then, well... they're desperate, and they got nothin', and they know it.

This may be a very good weekend.

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