In a posting titled “The Art of the Hissy Fit”, Digby traces ten years worth of Republicans humiliating Democrats with bursts of faux outrage. She starts with Newt Gingrich’s hypocritical “disgust” over the Lewinsky affair–this from the man who dropped his wife, who was dying of cancer, for a younger woman.
The example par excellence is the way Republicans twisted the events that took place at Paul Wellstone’s funeral, accusing those who attended of making political hay out of his death:
[T]hose in attendance, including the Republicans, were non-plussed by the nature of the event at the time. It was not, as the chatterers insisted, a funeral, but rather more like an Irish wake for Wellstone supporters – a celebration of Wellstone’s life, which included, naturally, politics. (He died campaigning, after all.) But Vin Weber, one of the Republican party’s most sophisticated operatives, immediately saw the opportunity for a faux outrage fest that was more successful than even he could have ever dreamed.
By the time they were through, the Democrats were prostrating themselves at the feet of anyone who would listen, begging for forgiveness for something they didn’t do, just to stop the shrieking.
Republicans are especially fond of this tactic to divert attention from their own, their real, sins.
Matt Blunt has watched his elders and mastered the art of the hissy fit. Finding himself on the hot seat for making it standard operating procedure to delete e-mails that should have been saved as part of the public record, Blunt decided to shift the focus to Jay Nixon’s sins. Matt’s minions started frothing about Nixon using his state car and security to travel to political events.
Jay, not wanting public discourse diverted to this non-issue, agreed–after pointing out that he had done nothing wrong–to pay back almost $50,000 for the use of the car and security details. He suggested, furthermore, that Blunt could do the same thing. Certainly the law requires that Blunt use the state security detail at all times, but the law doesn’t require that Blunt take those services free. Mel Carnahan didn’t when he was governor. He paid the state back for using them.
How much more should Blunt be obliged to do so when you consider that his transportation and security cost the state $1.25 million in the fiscal year ending last July. Quite a bit of that one and a quarter mil must have been spent ferrying him between Jefferson City and Springfield because his wife doesn’t like the digs in Jeff City. Poor baby, to have to live in the wrong … mansion.
Blunt’s self righteousness rings false, too, in light of his wrapping his arms around his over-limit campaign contributions and essentially claiming, it’s mine, all mine. Nixon, of course, has offered to give his over-limit money back.
But that’s the way Republican hissy fits work. They assume nobody will notice the hypocrisy because their screeches render thought almost impossible. It’s like trying to multiply in your head with a fire alarm blasting in your ears.
So far, Jay’s been patient with the tantrums from the other side. Fine. Just so he doesn’t grovel. No whining about the unfairness of it all, please. And above all, no apologies.
Meanwhile, by the way, the focus is shifting back to the e-mail issue, because one of Blunt’s top men just revealed he was fired for objecting to the policy of deleting them. Man, did they smear their own guy. Over that, their shrieks have risen into the range beyond the hearing of bats. I look forward to accusations and counterclaims in this crisis of their own making.