Kevin McCarthy Sells Soul Cheap and MTG & Hannity Want to Make It Illegal for Dems to Vote
"Dilbert" Creator Wants Whites to Stay Away from Blacks, No Voter Fraud Study Suppressed, and More
Book Banning: “Common Sense” Is the Death of Reason
A phrase that irritates me more than “it is what it is” is “it’s plain common sense.” Common sense is used to convince someone that the arguer has the weight of reason and popularity behind them. To disagree with “common sense” is to announce yourself as an outsider to what most people believe. The implied threat behind that phrase is that there are dire consequences to going against the crowd.
But where did the crowd get these “common sense” beliefs? Most were handed down to them by parents and grandparents in a generational game of telephone that leaves all players ill-informed.
Here’s why the phrase is meaningless and immediately announces the user of the phrase as a lazy thinker unwilling to do their homework. Sure, there is such a thing as common sense when it comes to certain physical actions—don’t stick your hand into a running blender, don’t kiss a rattlesnake on the lips (yes, they have lips)—but everything else is up for grabs.
The history of common sense is a toxic dump site of wrong opinions: “Don’t go outside without a jacket. You’ll catch your death of cold.” While cold can lower your immune system a bit, you need virus germs to catch a cold, which you’ll probably find the moment you come in out of the cold at your destination. We don’t lose heat through our heads any faster than we do through our butts. Common sense once allowed husbands to beat their wives (it wasn’t made illegal in the U.S. until 1920).
The problem is that conservative politicians have been promoting “common sense” as a preferable way to form opinions. The reason for this is because they have no studies, no facts, no statistics, and no reputable experts to support many of their conclusions. They then pass laws that they say will fix what they also claim are ills of society. But they don’t prove there is a legitimate problem—nor that their legislation would fix the problem, even if it did exist. “Hey, it’s common sense!” they explain. “Oh, okay, go ahead,” we’re supposed to say.
For example: Voter suppression laws are being passed with the promise that they will fix the voter fraud problem. How do Republicans know there is widespread voter fraud? Because they lost elections. Yet, studies and experts agree there is no problem. But the GOP has been passing laws across the country to fix the non-existent problem. How do these laws fix the problem? By preventing people who don’t support Republicans from voting.
The same “common sense” approach is being used by the GOP to attack the rights of women, children, Blacks, Latinx, LGBTQ+, immigrants, and the poor. “Common sense” is a phrase meant to bully someone from asking pertinent questions like, “What is your proof?”
What have we learned? Common sense that says don’t lick your finger and stick it into a live wall socket: Good. Common sense that says banning books by Toni Morrison because they discuss racism or JK Rowling because the “spells are real”: Bad.
As I look through today’s stories, I see how often “common sense” has justified people saying truly terrible things and doing even worse things.
Politics: Are You Scared Yet? (You Should Be)
SUMMARY: “Top Democrats in Washington cried foul after Kevin McCarthy, the new Republican House speaker, released more than 40,000 hours of surveillance footage from the January 6 US Capitol attack to Tucker Carlson, the far-right Fox News host who has consistently downplayed the deadly riot.
“The Senate majority leader, Chuck Schumer, told colleagues McCarthy’s decision ‘poses grave security risks’ and ‘needlessly expos[es] the Capitol complex to one of the worst … risks since 9/11’.
“But McCarthy told the New York Times he had ‘promised’ to release the footage, apparently as part of dealmaking with which he clinched the speakership after far-right rebels forced him through 15 nominating votes.
“‘I was asked in the press about these tapes,’ McCarthy added, ‘and I said they do belong to the American public. I think sunshine lets everybody make their own judgment.’”
MY TAKE: Kevin McCarthy has already proven himself a detriment to the GOP with the going-out-of-business sale of his soul to the right-wingers in exchange for his speaker job. But now he’s putting the country in jeopardy by releasing tapes without vetting them for security risks to the Capitol complex, which has already been invaded once.
If he really believed these tapes “belong to the American public,” then he would have released them to all the major news outlets at the same time, thereby insuring most of the public would see them. Instead, he sold them to Fox, not for money, but for the money equivalent of positive reporting regarding him and his cronies. Specifically, he gave the tapes to Tucker Carlson, who is to journalism what a barnacle is to an ocean liner. Carlson has openly admitted to lying to his audience, the latest incident being his private condemnation of those spouting election fraud conspiracies, while promoting those theories on-air.
How has this greedy and selfish act helped the country in any way?