Consequences, Schmonsequences: The Republican Culture Of Narcissism Meets Web 2.0
If there’s one thing the past week has taught us, it’s that Republican politicians can’t be trusted to use Twitter without posing a danger to themselves or to others. First Pete Hoekstra used it to violate all known security protocols by repeatedly broadcasting his whereabouts in Iraq, and then Virginia’s GOP Chair used it to sabotage his own party’s attempt to seize control of the state senate.
And before Twitter, there was YouTube. Remember when Patrick McHenry volunteered as a spotter for Iraqi militants by posting that helpful where-the-rockets-hit video on his website? And how two days later there was a much more successful rocket attack (19 casualties) on that very spot? I mean, at least the Twitter twits didn’t get anyone killed.
It’s all part of a pattern: Republican jackass wants to show off what a big swinging insider dick he is, ends up blurting out obviously confidential information without a care in the world for what the consequences might be. Sometimes those consequences are comic, like in Virginia, but more often they’re tragic or have the potential to be. And with the immediacy of the internet, there’s no media filter to stop the dickitude from seeing the light of day.
But this blithe disregard for consequences isn’t limited to the GOP’s early-adopter showoffs. Karl Rove and Dick Cheney didn’t need the internets to blow up an entire CIA operation dedicated to preventing Iran from getting nuclear weapons, just to settle a score with one agent’s husband. And remember when the Bush administration outed an al Qaeda double agent, apparently just to brag about what a great job they were doing in the War On Terror?
Terrorism and Iranian nukes were supposed to be unthinkably deadly threats, and yet the Bushies sabotaged their own efforts against them for the shallowest of reasons. Right now, Congressional Republicans are attempting to block or sabotage the economic stimulus package to score political points, and they could care less if another Great Depression is the result.
The pettiness and irresponsibility of this mindset is simply breathtaking, and it permeates everything the GOP does. They have to have that cookie, and it doesn’t matter if they have to smash through a load-bearing wall to get it.
I wonder, do Republicans care so little for the consequences of their actions because they so rarely have to face any? Would they be more circumspect if they saw other Republicans getting fired or prosecuted whenever they fucked up? Nah, probably not. But I know I’d sure be a lot happier.
UPDATE: I knew Jeff Frederick’s name sounded familiar. He’s the same wanker who made the Osama and Obama "both have friends who bombed the Pentagon" joke while training volunteers for the McCain campaign. That makes his epic fail even sweeter. Call it "Tweetenfreude."