An amusing “conspiracy” theory

While I may not agree with every detail of her construction, Tina Dupuy offers up a long-overdue theory to the political arena:

It seems everybody gets their own pet conspiracy these days: Birthers, Birchers, Deathers, Truthers and whatever you call the people who won’t get their kids inoculated. According to the theories, nothing is as it seems and everyone is in on it. Following this reasonable assumption, I’ve come up with my own. Here it is: former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, RNC Chairman Michael Steele and Congressman Paul Ryan from Wisconsin are all Democratic plants.

The rest of the article pretty much spells out the theory, and as conspiracy theories go, it’s probably less crazy than Truther conspiracies, and clearly less insane than Birthers. Compared to, say, ufos, it falls in a curious range. There are those who simply believe life exists elsewhere in the Universe. Then there are those who think the extraterrestrials are here. Then, of course, there are the conspiracy theories that the American government hid proof of an extraterrestrial crash. Ryan, Palin, and Steele being Democratic plants falls somewhere between these and the next valence, who get their alien-colonization theories from reruns of X-Files.

The press called her behavior “going rogue,” I call it taking orders from the opposition. So you’re going to run for Vice President and you’re not going to read up on the issues? Putin rearing his head? Wear a quarter of a million dollar donated wardrobe while giving speeches about fiscal conservatism? Use the catch-phrase “palling around with terrorists” while you’re schtuping a secessionist? It’s plain to see: she was working with David Axelrod and David Plouffe to get Obama into the White House.

I would add that she’s not just married to a secessionist, but that her husband belongs to an anti-American political organization backed by Iran. She even publicly praised the Alaska Independence Party’s “good work” while governor.

Irony is one of Palin’s specialties, to the point of drowning people in it. See, that is the thing. Sure, we all heard about Obama’s preacher, who shouted, “God damn America”, yet Palin’s pastor, Larry Croon, was known to exclaim that God will “strike out His hand” against the United States. Or she pitched herself as a real American in touch with real America, even as she revamped her image with high fashion; it’s hard to rail against elitism when you’re trying so hard to be elitist. We might actually recall that Palin, running for Vice President of the United States, argued that criticism against her threatened her First Amendment rights. Sure, that’s an old conservative card, that one’s free speech is threatened as long as another’s is intact, but that sort of thing was usually left to the would-be censors who think that a novel that doesn’t reflect their theology is a violation of their free religion. Brought to the level of a vice presidential campaign, such rhetoric is, as Glenn Greenwald put it, “so dumb that it hurts”.

David Horsey on lowered expectationsAnd what can we say of her co-conspirators, such as Rich Lowry, of National Review, who praised her canned debate performance against Joe Biden because, well, she’s hot. Sex appeal undoubtedly helps, but it is hardly the first qualification for being Vice President of the United States of America. What kind of mockery is the idea of making “sexy” a more vital qualification than “informed”, or even, “in possession of the scantest of clues”?

via Daily KosThen, of course, there is GOP chairman Michael Steele. It is easy enough to pick on what might become known as “Steeleisms”, but something about the chairman’s context just slays me. When he rose to the chair, I sardonically grumbled that we had yet to see whether Steele’s election marked a genuine statement of GOP diversity, or was just a cheap play to African-American voters. And the time since has strongly suggested the latter.

See, here’s the thing. Set aside the offensive notions like “Uncle Tom”, and such, because it’s not really that simple. Nor is it excruciatingly complex.

Luckovich on SteeleWhen I was a teenager, there were these Christian projects intended to make the faith look “cool” for the kids. DC Talk tried the rap game; Stryper postured itself as a “metal” band and wrote love songs to Jesus. It was so deliberate that it just couldn’t be “cool”. And this is what I think of when I see Michael Steele, or hear him talk. He reminds me of an uptight Christian trying to be cool. He seems more a stuffed-shirt expression of a bad stereotype about blacks. His hipness, his street credibility, is so deliberately framed that it is is uncomfortable to watch him embarrassing himself so obliviously. In truth, the best argument against Steele as a Democratic plant is that he is so two-dimensional one might wonder how much of what the Dems were smoking when they fashioned his cover story. Embalming fluid, most likely, and in copious quanities.

That’s how he rolls? Really, it has the same paper-thin appearance of a grinning youth pastor trying to tell kids how “cool” it is to be celibate, ignorant, and conformist.

Dupuy might be overstating the case of Wisconsin’s Rep. Ryan, though. His Paulie-come-lately routine is pathetic and disingenuous, to be certain, but about on par with what I have come to expect of Republicans over the years:

… a serious fix for what ails health care in America will entail far more than merely tweaking the new law of the land; we will need to repeal the entire faulty architecture of the government behemoth and replace it with real reform.

To be clear: it is not sufficient for those of us in the opposition to await a reversal of political fortune months or years from now before we advance action on health care reform. Costs will continue their ascent as the debt burden squeezes life out of our economy. We are unapologetic advocates for the repeal of this costly misstep. But Republicans must also make the case for a reform agenda to take its place, and get to work on that effort now.

Republicans had their chance to take part in health reform, but instead chose pure opposition, instead. A coach might as well stand up in the locker room after suffeirng an embarrassing defeat and say, “That score was unacceptable. That’s why we lost this game. Now let’s go out there and kick their asses!”

There will be plenty of opportunities to smooth out the new system, but the Republicans gave away their opportunity to participate in the general architecture of health reform. They also threw away their credibility with such petulant opposition. One wonders if the 2012 primaries will feature Sarah Palin attacking Mitt Romney as a socialist.

And, in the end, there is an overarching argument that addresses, reasonably well, Dupuy’s conspiracy theory: It’s no conspiracy. This is just how screwed up Republicans really are.

Ockham’s Razor, such as it is.

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