GQ did a humorous roundup of some of the craziest politicians in America. They included most of the ones you might expect: Ted Yoho, Joe Arpaio, Joe Barton, Virginia Foxx and the like. Of their twenty politicians listed, seventeen were Republicans.
The New York Post took great offense to this, throwing up an article about supposedly crazy Democrats. But the attempt at false equivalence shows just what’s wrong with the Republican Party–and with those in the supposedly objective press who play the false equivalence game.
Politics is full of exaggeration and hyperbole. Anyone who has seen an NRCC or DCCC fundraising email is well aware of this. It’s not exactly a surprise when a politician overstates their case or speaks in exaggerated metaphor, but that’s what constitutes most of the examples in the New York Post’s list of “crazy”–and why their list includes well-respected Democratic politicians, while the GQ list targets the GOP’s fringe. So the New York Post takes offense over Debbie Wasserman-Schultz saying that Scott Walker “gave women the back of his hand” or Harry Reid’s calling the Koch brothers one of the main causes of climate change. In some cases the supposed Democratic offenses are wisps of nothing, like Bernie Sanders saying the VA provides a high level of care, or Kay Hagan refusing to participate in a debate.
These aren’t really policy considerations, and where they are policy considerations they show Democrats in line with both science and the American people, whether the topic is the minimum wage or the VA or climate change.
The GQ list, by contrast, is about mostly conservative politicians saying, believing and doing truly scary and unpopular stuff: Arpaio torturing his inmates, Barton apologizing to BP and saying carbon dioxide isn’t a pollutant, Rand Paul saying that a “right to healthcare” means enslaving doctors, or Jody Hice seeing signs of the apocalypse from Revelation.
These things are not in the same ballpark, no matter how much conservatives and many journalists would like to pretend that they are. The modern conservative movement really is full of crazy that is unmatched on the other side.
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