Everything is culture war, default edition

By Amanda Marcotte
Thursday, July 21, 2011 12:12 EDT
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Increasing numbers of Republicans are making it clear that they think that concerns about the U.S. going into default on August 2nd are just a hoax being played on the public in order to convince Congress to borrow more money to pay for abortion parties and caviar for welfare recipients.  I was deeply alarmed by how widespread this narrative is getting, according to Rachel Maddow's coverage.  

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It's hard to single out the most moronic Republican moron in all this, but I think MVP in the Stupid Olympics should go to Louie Gohmert, one of the many representatives in Congress whose sole purpose in life is to make those of us from Texas wonder when the state turned into Oklahoma. Gohmert's reaction to all this is, well, special.

Max Read at Gawker described the situation:

"[W]e find out the president has a big birthday bash scheduled for August the 3rd, celebrities flying in from all over," Gohmert told Newsmax TV yesterday. "And lo and behold, August 2nd is the deadline for getting something done so he can have this massive, the biggest fundraising dinner in history for a birthday celebration." That's right: This whole "idiot Republicans are taking the world economy to the brink of financial ruin" ferrago is just a way for Obama to raise money… from celebrities. "Isn't that amazing?" Gohmert wonders. "The timing of this?"

Let's think about what Gohmert is saying about the President by saying this.  First of all, he's claiming the President is stupid and doesn't understand the economics of this.  Second, he's claiming the President is deceitful, a casual liar who will bring the nation to a crisis situation with his casual inability to ever speak the truth.  (Sounds like projection to me.)  But most of all, Gohmert is portraying the President as an irresponsible, self-indulgent layabout who tricked the public into electing him so he could have big parties on the government dime.  That move right there is out of the ex-Confederate-responding-to-the-Reconstruction playbook.  Remember, Republican expressions of blatant idiocy, misogyny, and racism are like cockroaches: for every one you see out in public, there are hundreds, even thousands behind closed doors.  

In all the coverage over this, I think one thing that's really being neglected is how much of what's motivating Republicans is culture war. There's a tendency to think this is only about slashing taxes for the rich and pushing the have-nots deeper into economic deprivation, but there's more than that going on.  (As if that wasn't enough, I know.)  The voices of sense continue to point out that if we default on our loans, this will cause economic collapse, and we wonder if Republicans really are being serious when they act cavalier about raining destruction on the country they claim to love.  And the answer is yes.  It's clear their "love" of their country is similar to the love a man has for the wife he murders for leaving him.  As I noted before, the belief appears to be that if they—they being white Christian conservatives—can't have complete control of the U.S., then the U.S. as we know it doesn't deserve to exist. 

Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte is a freelance journalist born and bred in Texas, but now living in the writer reserve of Brooklyn. She focuses on feminism, national politics, and pop culture, with the order shifting depending on her mood and the state of the nation.
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