Over the past month or two, the only thing that's been more appallingly ignorant to observe than l'affaire Kim Davis -- complete with its own fake pictures -- is the rolling smear campaign against Planned Parenthood. During yesterday's
Inquisition Congressional hearing on defunding the women's health organization, Cecile Richards made Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Thank Dog Not Texas) pay for his stupidity (or his lies, whichever it was).
As the accompanying video shows, the Utah Republican put a chart on display, purporting to show that over the last decade, the number of prevention services provided by the health care group has steadily declined, while the number of abortions has steadily increased.
Part of the problem, as MSNBC’s Zack Roth reported, is that the information in the chart is misleading [Update: this is what the chart would have looked like if it were honest]. But nearly as important is the fact the congressman presenting the image as devastating evidence simply didn’t know what he was talking about.
When Richards said she’d never seen it before, Chaffetz replied: “It comes straight from your annual reports.”
Moments later, Richards shot back: “My lawyers just informed me that the source of this information is Americans United for Life, an anti-abortion group. I would check your source.”
The Utah Republican lectured the Planned Parenthood chief, certain that the misleading image had come from Planned Parenthood materials. It apparently didn’t occur to Chaffetz to actually look at the darned thing – it literally says, “Source: Americans United for Life,” in all capital letters, on the chart he was so excited about.
This isn't a bug in the conservative hive mind, it's a feature. Look, there's Carly Fiorina's angry defense of her nightmare make-believe video, which expands upon clandestine, hoax, provocatively-edited-for-maximum-shock value videos. But this conservative brain-eating virus isn't contained to women's health issues. There's climate science and evolution and basic math and pretty much everything that Republicans cannot or will not understand that must be argued out.
Watching much of the proceedings, I was reminded of the congressional committee hearings in early August over the international nuclear agreement with Iran. Republicans had months to prepare their best arguments and sharpest questions, but they fired nothing but blanks. Slate’s William Saletan attended all three hearings and came away flabbergasted: “Over the past several days, congressional hearings on the deal have become a spectacle of dishonesty, incomprehension, and inability to cope with the challenges of a multilateral world... I came away from the hearings dismayed by what the GOP has become in the Obama era. It seems utterly unprepared to govern.”
It was hard not to draw a similar conclusion (yesterday). Republicans on this committee prepared for months to grill the Planned Parenthood president, having ample time to organize their thoughts, coordinate their lines of attack, read their own charts, etc.
But the GOP lawmakers, once again, seemed confused, lost in details they didn’t understand.
We can't make even the smallest amount of progress if we're going to have to stop and straighten out the idiots who insist that south is actually north despite what the compass says, and we're doing it wrong because their Bibles tell them so.
If we're going to have Congressional hearings to debate whether or not the sky is blue, which way is up and which is down, or shut down the federal government over defunding Planned Parenthood because some morons think that will reduce the number of pregnancy terminations, then our representatives have long ago stopped doing so. Representing us.
They have, in fact, failed the very conservative morons that elected them. When even John Boehner gives up fighting with the TeaBaggers, maybe that's a sign something's gone wrong for them. When Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn can outwit Ted Cruz, perhaps that should be telling the people who voted for "Poop" as their senator, and support his campaign for president, that they might be off the rails.
I just don't think these pigs can be taught to sing, though. What's Plan B?