As I write this, I'm wrapping up my Sunday morning ritual. Namely, getting up earlier than I would like, and watching anywhere from one to four of the political talk shows. Here in the Pacific time zone, the schedules are often shuffled, and time slots moved, usually due to sports. But lately, the shows have been slotted so that I can watch three of the shows as they air, and if I'm feeling like a real glutton for punishment, can record the fourth.
That's what I did last week, and today. Little did anybody know last week that NBC's Meet the Press host, Tim Russert, would die before today's show. Needless to say, the entire episode of MTP, and smaller chunks of each of the other three shows discussed Russert and his importance to news and political discourse.
There were only a few other noteworthy things to discuss, so I guess "what I've learned" this Sunday is not much. I learned that Louisiana Governor (and potential McCain running mate) Piyush "Bobby" Jindal is a proponent of "Intelligent Design," which means he is either a) a religious fanatic, or b) disingenuous. I leave out c) he's not very smart, because he's a Rhodes Scholar, so that leaves only a or b.
Intelligent Design is not science and does not belong in science class, period. And if it were allowed, it would have to be acknowledged that there aren't merely two sides of this discussion, there are many, many other religious creation stories. You'd have to present them too. Anyway, throw in a bunch of other hard-right beliefs, and the fact that Bobby Jindal allegedly once performed an exorcism, and I'd say he's at best a long shot to be added to the GOP ticket. Too much controversy.
The other thing I learned was a furtherance of my belief that Republicans will tout their ideology--and slam the other side's--in spite of the facts. Kay Bailey Hutchison was on FOX "News" Sunday, opposite some oil fat cat, and a Democrat with a bad comb-over. The oil guy came off harumphy and spewed the things you'd expect him to. The Democrat laid out the facts: speculators are the heart of the gas price explosion. Oil drilling and exploration are not the root cause, and supply and demand is not the issue, because supply is up and demand is down--the opposite of what is being alleged.
Hutchison, at her turn, basically just tried to lay it all at the feet of the Democrats. Over and over she turned to that tack, that Democrats won't allow drilling in ANWR, and are preventing drilling off-shore, etc. She implied that the whole reason for $4.25 gas was Democrats. This of course, ignores the fact that with rare exceptions, Republicans have been in control of one or both houses of Congress since the mid-nineties. Democrats have had it back for what, 18 months? If they opened ANWR, drilled offshore, built a dozen new refineries. . .none of that would be up and running yet in 18 months! What were Republicans doing for the previous 12 years?
Hutchison isn't the only Republican to do this; attacking the other side while simultaneously using biased talking points. And surely a Democrat or two has employed this tactic (Terry McCauliffe is a prime example). But in this blogger's opinion, this tactic is much morre heavily used by the GOP. More egregious is the use of questionable data immediately after it has been questioned. It was already demonstrated that this is not a supply-and-demand issue. And yet "increase production!" was the cry of Hutchison--and oddly coincidentally--by they oil guy.
What else did I learn? Stuff I already knew; Karl Rove disgusts me, Chris Wallace is vaguely creepy, William Kristol needs that smirk smacked off his face, and Brit Hume is kind of a jerk. That's enough. On with the day!