Remember the disingenuous display of pseudo-outrage over "You didn't build that"? The Republicans found further excuse for disingenuous pseudo-outrage when Hillary gave her testimony. Indeed, the whole point of making her testify was to open up an opportunity for a pseudo-outrageous soundbite. No More Mister Nice Blog
has it right:
But, of course, the ripped-from-context quote is "What difference, at this point, does it make?" It's already being seized on by National Review and Fox News and The Wall Street Journal and The Weekly Standard and Glenn Beck's Blaze and Michelle Malkin's Twitchy and the Free Beacon and, of course, Breitbart. There's already a popular hashtag, #whatdifferencedoesitmake...
This is an Andrew Breitbart/James O'Keefe tactic, but its use is not limited to O'Keefe and the carriers of the Breitbart torch -- this is a mainstream GOP tactic. The entire party and all its coat-holders are on board.
There's also a new conspiracy theory
When Hillary Clinton postponed testifying before Congress on the Benghazi terrorist attacks due to illness, conspiracy theories popped up on the right accusing Clinton of faking a concussion and subsequent blood clot to avoid appearing before Congress.
Clinton’s testimony before the House and the Senate on Wednesday did not put those conspiracy theories to bed. Instead, it immediately gave rise to a new round of theories claiming the secretary’s show of emotion during her testimony was a ploy to dodge tough questions.
The testimony occurred around 9 AM, while Senator Ron Johnson explained his conspiracy theory to Buzzfeed at roughly 3 PM. That's six hours.
I propose that we recognize a new way to measure political time: The Johnson Unit
. This unit measures the time between any given phenomenon and the creation of a conspiracy theory which explains that phenomenon as a plot by Democrats. (Even a desirable phenomenon may be conspiracized -- for example, volunteering to work in a homeless shelter should be depicted as a Stalinist plot against rugged individualism.)
Thirty minutes = 1 Johnson Unit. If (as in this case) the conspiracy theory appears six hours after the event, the Republicans have achieved 12JU conspiracization. The ideal Republican spokesperson should strive for a 1/3JU conspiracization rate in response to any given event. Conversely, a truly brilliant Democrat would be one who can write and deliver a ten-minute speech with 2JU conspiracy-resistance.
Rule 771 of the internet affirms that any statement, however innocuous, made by a Democrat is ultimately conspiracizable. Rule 771B states that any undesirable event in the physical universe (e.g., the dog throwing up on your rug) is ultimately explicable as a Democratic conspiracy.