Lawrence O'Donnell pretty much covered this well with his usual cheerful nastiness. To recap, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's staff sent a letter to the DoD asking for clarification on a story they'd supposedly read about GI Bill benefits being given to detainees at Gitmo. The story was just that: a piece of satire on the well-known Duffel Blog, "the military version of the Onion."
After making merry with it for about 6 or 7 minutes, O'Donnell then gets serious and makes a good point: The latter day Republican Party has been wrenched so far to the right by the Tea Baggers that what would've been considered a terminable offense 20 years ago, in this case the political version of the Darwin Awards in mistaking satire for reality (as ifthat'sneverhappenedbefore inRepublicancircles), is nowadays de rigueur. The McConnell staff letter betrays the same paranoid, frothing-at-the-mouth hatred for the government that we saw three and a half years ago at Democratic Town Halls during the health care reform debate.
It really doesn't matter to staffers of Republican leaders such as McConnell what the facts are and vetting stories, no matter how over-the-top they are, seems to be an irksome proposition to these people. In a way, Republicans and their Tea Bagger staffers are like the white collar version of terrorist suicide bombers: Their own incendiary initiatives will surely cost them dearly and they may not even be successful at taking out their targets but by God, they're going to try, anyway, and the consequences be damned.
There's no longer any correlation between taxpayer dollars and an expectation of any competence from government, no longer any concern that many people now working for the government are unworthy of taxpayer dollars. According to O'Donnell's much more competent staff, the person who likely wrote that memo to the Department of Defense had just graduated from college last year, which is to say mere months ago.
It brings to mind the 24 year-old moron and college dropout that George W. Bush installed at NASA to censor the reports of actual scientists. In Republican circles, there's no attempt to vet the people whose job it would be to vet and all you have to do is lie about your college credentials to get a job in the corridors of government power.
And it isn't the hoaxes that conspiracy-minded Republicans that we should be paying attention to: It's the hoaxes perpetrated on the American taxpayer for being duped time and again into paying the salaries of these morons and lunatics, these self-loathing bureaucrats who hate the truth and facts so much that unvetted fabrications are preferable.
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