‘THEY ARE UNEMBARRASSED’…. If you have some time this morning, I’d recommend taking a few minutes to watch this fairly devastating segment from last night’s Rachel Maddow’s show. It emphasizes a point that I’ve been pushing quite a bit — as Republican lawmakers reject ideas they support, reason has lost all meaning, and the GOP’s descent into madness is nearly complete.

The segment highlights the ways in which Republicans loved their idea for a deficit commission, until President Obama endorsed it at which point the GOP rejected their own proposal. The same is true of cap-and-trade. And PAYGO. And the financial industry bailout. And trying accused terrorists in U.S. courts. The same Republicans who said the stimulus “failed” also say that the stimulus is absolutely fantastic — so long as the money is going to their state/district.

“What Republicans are doing on policy is no longer interesting,” Rachel explained. “It is so thoroughly, unrelentingly, consistently predictable, that anyone who thinks it’s an open question as to what Republicans are going to do about the next legislation that’s proposed just is not paying attention.”

Rachel ended the segment explaining exactly why all of this matters: “Republicans, right now, do not care about policy — by which I mean, they will not vote for things that even they admit are good policies. On policy terms they have been caught bragging on the stimulus as good policy. I have no doubt that some of them think that health reform is good policy. We know they think that things like a deficit commission or cap-and-trade or PAYGO are good policy, because they’re on the record supporting them.

“But they’re not going to vote for them because … screw Policy. Screw what even they believe is good for the country. Screw what even they believe is good for their own districts. They are not voting ‘yes,’ for even things they agree with. For anything substantive. They are not going to vote ‘yes’ for anything substantive that this president supports. It’s not going to happen.

“You’re not going to earn Republican votes for a second stimulus, for example, by pointing out that it’s good policy that creates jobs. We know they already know that. They concede that in their home districts. And they’re still not voting for it.

“And they are unembarrassed about this fact. They are not embarrassed. Charging them with hypocrisy, appealing to their better, more practical, more ‘what’s best for the country’ patriotic angels is like trying to teach your dog to drive. It wastes a lot of time, it won’t work, and ultimately the dog comes out of the exercise less embarrassed for failing then you do for trying.”

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.