Palin and Malkin and Beck, Oh Reilly!

OK, here’s the thing: I started out as a Mormon.

It wasn’t my idea but I accepted it because there was no alternative at the time. So I tried really hard to be good at it.

But never, never was I good enough. I was always saying hilarious things that trampled on the sensitivities of my fellow Mormons. I would be shocked and dismayed that I had distressed these good people and I would vow to mind my manners and be a better person.

But never, never was I good enough.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you: America’s right-wing movement of 2010. Everybody who wants to hold the slightest sway with this vast and angry throng must constantly prove their arch-conservative, government-hating credentials.

But never, never can they be conservative enough. Oh, how they try. Ever more outlandish, racist, combative, hateful, disturbing, paranoid nonsense is uttered by people who (one would fervently hope) really do – or at least should – know better.

Don’t get me wrong, I do believe Rand Paul really wants to re-segregate the lunch counter if the good folks at Woolworth think that’s the way to go. And I’m convinced that Sarah Palin is a vacuous, reflexively Obama-hating fembot, thrilled to serve as a useful idiot as long as the media spotlight remains focused on her shining face. But there must, for instance, be at least one Republican in Congress who felt just a twinge, just the slightest pang of regret when he rejected a jobs bill that would have kept families in their homes and food on more tables.

Am I being too generous?

The latest assault on free thought came Friday, when the Washington Post accepted Dave Weigel’s resignation. He had ably covered the Tea Party movement and other rightie crusades for the Post and on cable news, and everybody was happy with the arrangement until some of his e-mails got leaked out. (He had posted some very forthright opinions on an “off-the-record listserv,” as if there was any such thing.) The teabaggers saw some of Weigel’s private thoughts and were AGHAST!

Weigel, for instance, had a real snide quip for Rush Limbaugh when he was rushed to the hospital in January. Quoting Rush talking about Obama’s presidency, Weigel wrote, “I hope he fails. … … … … … Too soon?”

Aw come on, you gotta admit that’s at least a little bit funny.

But Weigel’s ability to have a keen eye and clear mind regarding the shenanigans of right-wingnuts doomed him in today’s political climate. Apparently, at least according to the Washington Post, you have to be ultra-conservative to cover the right wing. And it doesn’t hurt to be bat-bleep crazy, either.

It’s especially cruel for the Post to fire a gifted writer in the middle of this terrible job market.  In the U.S. right now there are five applicants for every job posting.

So, to balance it all out a bit, I’d like to nominate a couple of people for unemployment. I mean, when you see someone being paid well for doing a really poor job, it seems so unjust. Surely there are more capable candidates for their current positions.

Nominee #1: Joe Barton. The Texas Congressman who so famously apologized to BP last week for letting our environment get in the way of their oil gusher.

He could quit tomorrow and fall right into a beautiful job as a lobbyist for the oil industry. He’d make out like a bandit. And in his place in the House, maybe we could find someone who gave a crap about something other than removing all hindrances to BP’s ability to continue to screw over the planet.

Nominee #2: Ben Nelson. This Senator from Nebraska is the lone (alleged) Democrat who defected from a Democratic jobs bill that would have extended unemployment benefits to families who are hurting.

Nelson says he can’t vote for the bill because he’s worried about government spending. I still can’t figure out where these guys were when Bush was dragging us into two unpaid-for wars, tax cuts, and corporate bailouts.

Will Rogers famously joked that “I don’t belong to any organized political party. I’m a Democrat.” So I guess nothing has changed since Will Rogers’s day.

Somehow the Republicans, even in the face of being greatly outnumbered and having a grasp on reality that is ever more remote, manage to march in lock-step toward aparthy and inaction, desperate to prove that government does not work.

The Democrats seem incapable of achieving unanimity. How sad for us all that their lack of unity underscores the Republicans’ point.