I read two articles the other day that seem to be unrelated on the surface, but I see a profound relationship between the two:
- The first was a blog post by someone named Haiku Kitty on how Fox News has changed her parents so that they are no longer reasonable people.
- The second was an article about the House Freedom Caucus and the reforms that they actually want as part of changing House rules and procedures.
Let’s take them one at a time:
The Haiku Kitty Post
This blog post, published on October 8 through Daily Kos, is a sad little story about how the writer went over to her parent’s house for dinner on the day of the Oregon school shootings, and mistakenly said something about gun control, and how her parents started to say just crazy things in response. Her father, who worked for the NSA for 30 years (and therefore knows what it means to make threats against the President) started yelling about President Obama and how he wanted to “kill that nigger,” etc. Her mother was now certain that Obama is a muslim.
Haiku Kitty goes on to note that Fox News is constantly on at her parents’ house. She explains that her parents “remain competent, functioning adults. My mom still works, they both are very computer-literate and active. Yet they believed that Dearborn, Michigan was under Sharia law. They believe that Planned Parenthood is selling baby parts for profit. They believe our President is a Kenyan Muslim Socialist.”
The Article on the Freedom Caucus Reforms
The “Freedom Caucus” is a group of about 42 hardline Teaparty legislators who say that they want to reform the rules and procedures of the House of Representatives. One of their leaders is David Brat, the maverick who ousted another potential Speaker-to-Be, Eric Cantor, in an huge upset election back in 2014. The Freedom Caucus members have been explaining to all who would listen that they want to change the “top down” rules of the House and make it more Democratic.
Which, on its face, sounds completely reasonable.
Only, that’s not what the Freedom Caucus wants.
What the Freedom Caucus really wants is to use the rules to extort concessions from the White House relative to their pet issues – such as defunding Planned Parenthood, defunding the Affordable Care Act, revoking the six-party nuclear agreement with Iran, and revoking Obama’s executive order relative to amnesty for certain immigrants. And they want to use issues like not raising the debt ceiling to force that agenda.
How Do These Two Articles Relate?
I’ve been saying for some time that the Republicans have been drinking way too much of their own Kool Aid, and that is has led them down the path to being both completely unreasonable and virtually ungovernable.
So the common denominator is that someone is electing these amateurs to Congress so that they can become something like the Freedom Caucus. I mean, I was no fan of Eric Cantor by any stretch, but at least he was a professional. David Brat is a complete amateur, and it shows.
And why are people electing these amateurs to Congress? Because they’ve been watching Fox News and have been digesting their propaganda hook, line and sinker.
Anybody who think that Fox News isn’t pure propaganda, well they are . . . how does one put this politely? . . . they are blithering idiots. One analysis found that over half of statements made on Fox News are provably false.
Jon Stewart famously lampooned Fox News for their “50 lies told in 60 seconds.” Politifact went to the trouble of reviewing those 50 lies to see whether the Daily Show was correct, and basically verified every one of them.
And yet, these guys get to pretend to be a news show.
It matters my friends. It really matters. Fox News should be sued by all of as violating the “unfair and deceptive acts or practices” clause of the Federal Trade Commission Statute, that’s how terrible awful they are. And I’m serious about this!
 Cantor then became the poster boy for what happens when you don’t take your opponents seriously in an election, especially one with low voter turn-out.
 The fact that the Freedom Caucus wants to use the debt ceiling as part of this fight goes to prove just what clueless amateurs they really are. The National Priorities Project has put together a short primer on the debt ceiling, for those who want to know why this is a terrible idea.