Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Republican Party Cannot Govern Anymore: Part 4

For a long time now I have maintained that the Republican Party is unfit to govern. I have presented arguments that Republican legislators are too caught up in their greed and their zeal for partisan victory that they are losing sight of a fundamental truth: country first, not party.

After the events in Charlottesville, and after hearing and reading comments from Republicans of all stripes who are not in government, it struck me that part of the reason that Republicans should not be allowed to govern is that they have an unusually large number of followers who, not to put too fine a point on it, are as dumb as a box of hammers.

This was brought home to me rather stridently when a Republican of my acquaintance, who shall remain nameless but they know who they are and whom we will call Ahmed, was trying to explain away the attack in Charlottesville as being the result of "antifag" demonstrators hitting James Fields' car with baseball bats while he was driving slowly down the street, causing him to accelerate in panic and run into the crowd. And this is a barely plausible story ... at least, until you start looking at pesky little things called "facts," with which many on the right seem to be completely unacquainted.

First, the car was undamaged when it began its run. I have seen video from multiple angles, and if the car had been hit with baseball bats, as this person claims, then there should have been dents or broken glass. There were neither. I suppose the hits could have been on the parts of the car that were not visible in the videos, and it is highly probably that the car was hit with baseball bats after it began accelerating in a futile attempt to stop it.

Second, he was not "driving slowly" as Ahmed claims. In a video taken from a side street you can see to car go by -- fast -- as it speeds toward the crowd. He was not going slowly and panicking later; this was clearly a deliberate act.

Third, the brake lights never came on. Either a) they weren't working, or b) they were never used. Given that the car is a 2010 and Chrysler electrical systems are generally very reliable, option A seems unlikely. The more likely explanation is that they were never used. But let's say Ahmed's hypothesis is true, that Fields was driving slowly and panicked. Anyone in that situation, when they saw themselves headed straight for a crowd, would instinctively hit the brakes. Fields never did, which implies intent.

Finally, Fields had been taking part in the white nationalist marches the previous night and that day, being caught on camera multiple times.

The current thinking is that he intended to barrel all the way through the crowd and make his escape along the main street at the other end, and that he simply didn't know there were vehicles blocking his way (obviously, a crowd of people standing between him and the vehicles would make it impossible for him to see them). Logic dictates that he had no intention of ramming another vehicle as this would risk completely disabling his, leaving him at the mercy of the angry mob he just tried to kill.

Because of this instinct for apologia, this willingness to rationalize heinous acts, I submit that not only are Republicans unfit to govern, many of them should not be allowed to use kitchen utensils unsupervised. My suggestion is that they go for remedial civics classes so they can relearn what "being a citizen" actually means.

I gotta lie down.

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