I really didn't want to write about the charmless debauchery of House Republicans again so soon, but when acute legislative events mix with the GOP's chronic yahooism, what's a helpless commentator to do?
It was shortly after 5 p.m. Central, and there on the screen was MSNBC's David Shuster quizzing Rep. Chris Van Hollen, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, about the pending economic stimulus vote.
Then to split screen: Van Hollen on the right, the House floor on the left, upon which stood 432 representatives who were, in fact, already voting, as indicated by the superimposed and accumulating number columns.
So, asks Shuster of Van Hollen, what do you think? (The former was unaware the voting had already begun.) How much Republican support will you get this evening? Oh, says Van Hollen -- Republican Nay-to-Yea votes, 117-0, said the screen -- well gee that's hard to say with any precision -- Republican votes, 130-0 -- but I'm sure -- Republican votes, 155-0 -- that we'll get some reasonably respectable level of Republican support -- Republican votes, 172-0 -- because this vote, this issue, these perilous times are so soberingly momentous.
Commercial break, I flip to C-Span: Republican Nays, 177; Yeas, 0.
They had gone and done it; they had gone and shown themselves to be complete asses.
The totality of House GOP swinishness caught everyone off-guard, although it's difficult in retrospect to imagine why. For this is what they've trained and studied for: uniform infantilism, especially whenever the country cries out for mature governance and some -- any -- semblance of bipartisan compromise and cooperation.
Each House GOPer had his or her little militant manual firmly in hand -- their very own prized edition of Mein Dummkampf, penned by the macroeconomically ignorant likes of the party's Rush Limbaughs and dedicated to their stormtrooping baboon-corps of Sean Hannitys.