When Will Republicans Quit Contradicting Themselves?

I’m still hot about this Joe Miller handcuff incident. Maybe it’s because the hair stands up on the back of my neck whenever I hear about people who decide to take the law into their own hands. Then again, it could be because this Joe Miller character is such an obvious mass of lies and contradictions, but is backed and protected by a political party who insists that there is nothing wrong with him. In fact, not only does the Republican Party insist that nothing is wrong with him—they have the gall to further insinuate that it is the media’s fault. A “liberal conspiracy” to take him down.

It’s the same kind of “do as I say, not as I do” methodology that allows the GOP to twiddle their thumbs as candidates like Rand Paul make one wild accusation after another and talks out of both sides of his mouth at the same time. Now Mr. Paul is just shocked that his opponent, Jack Conway, would belittle a college prank in a political ad. Even the guys who do the “flop” after incidental contact in the NBA are better actors than Paul, whose political flop in the face of a personal attack ad has nevertheless drawn a sympathetic chorus from Conway’s Democratic brethren, one of the most nonsensical turn of events I believe I’ve seen this campaign season.  If Republicans are ready to play big boy politics, then I think they need to quit whining so damn much and take the same kind of below-the-belt hits they like to give out.

Since the traditional media insists on placating the Republican and Tea Party crybabies, I’ve decided to feature a medley of their greatest contradictions, excerpted from a list compiled earlier this year by Russell King of Street Prophets that is still relevant in today’s political environment.

You can't vote and scream against the stimulus package and then take credit for the good it's done in your own district (happily handing out enormous checks representing money that you voted against is especially ugly) --  114 of your members (at last count) did just that -- and it's even worse when you secretly beg for more.


You can't call for a pay-as-you-go policy, and then vote against your own ideas. You can't carry on about the evils of government spending when your family has accepted more than a quarter-million dollars in government handouts.


You can't rail against using teleprompters while using teleprompters.   Repeatedly.


  You can't rail against the bank bailouts when you supported them as they were happening.  (It was Bush who came up with that one.)


You can't be for immigration reform, then against it. You can't complain that the president hasn't closed Gitmo yet when you've campaigned to keep Gitmo open.


You can't propose ideas to create jobs, and then work against them when the Dems put your ideas in a bill.


You can't spend more than 40 years hating, cutting and trying to kill Medicare, and then pretend to be the defenders of Medicare.


You can't whine that it's unfair when people accuse you of exploiting racism for political gain, when your party's former leader admits you've been doing it for decades.

The short answer to the rhetorical question the title of this piece poses—when will the Republicans quit contradicting themselves—is "never", partly because they don't see any of these as contradictions or absurdities, but mostly because despite how ridiculous the list of above is, it is working well enough to get their candidates re-elected. To me, the saddest thing of all is how Republican political entertainers like Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh are likely to utter the phrase “American exceptionalism” into their microphones just about every day at some point during their monologues, as if Republicans see the notion of exceptionalism as an ideal to live by.

But what, pray tell, is exceptional about a political party that acts like this?

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