Thursday, January 24, 2013

Hillary, Benghazi and the Johnson Unit

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 in town:
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.
Comments:
The right loves to manufacture conspiracies against the left. Too bad the left doesn't look closer at conspiracies coming from the right. If the right wants to look at conspiracies, here is one they can take a closer look at.

Waco Siege : April 19, 1992
Oklahoma City bombing : April 19, 1995
Port Arthur Massacre : April 28, 1996
Columbine Massacre : April 20th 1999
Virginia Tech : April 16th, 2007

I find it interesting that after many of these events there is a rightwing freakout about the government coming to get the guns. Do you think maybe something nefarious out there is using the date April 19,1775 to have a psychological effect? That is the date that the British went to take the American militia's arms cache.

Maybe the righting can take a look and see if there might be a broader conspiracy behind that collection of dates. The leftwing probably ought to take a look too. The net effect of these shootings is to pump more guns and anger into the extreme right, and also to knee-jerk "Big Government" into a reaction calling for more gun laws.. this in turns leads to angry calls to take "action" from the far right.
 
The Republicans are terrified that Hillary Clinton will run in 2016 and wipe the floor with them, again. I watched the testimony off and on yesterday, caught the Johnson and Rand Paul attacks. She slapped Johnson down like a gnat, which is what he is. And Rand Paul: Had I been President . . . yeah, when pigs fly.

Whether people like Clinton or not, she did an amazing job yesterday, sitting through 5+ hours of questioning, never getting flustered and proving she doesn't suffer fools easily. Rubio looked like a schoolboy in comparison.

One of the few times Gingrich has been right is when he announced that if she runs in 2016, the GOP has no one who'd be able to credibly compete. So what else do they have? Conspiracy, accusations, and an attempt to rig the vote. And that's exactly what they're doing. The Johnson comments were ridiculous. He was humiliated in quick order, and then jumps on the airwaves to scream conspiracy, she was acting, yada, yada.

It's same old, same old. They got nothing. Except a bunch of gasbags.

Peggysue
 
The only one of those five April events for which one can make an argument favoring a right-wing conspiracy would be OKC.
 
Most republican johnson units are single digits ... until they enter a gun show men's room,
 
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