John: Hey, Bush is now at 37% approval. I feel much less like Kevin McCarthy screaming in traffic. But I wonder what his base is --
John: ... you said that immmediately, and with some authority.
Tyrone: Obama vs. Alan Keyes. Keyes was from out of state, so you can eliminate any established political base; both candidates were black, so you can factor out racism; and Keyes was plainly, obviously, completely crazy. Batshit crazy. Head-trauma crazy. But 27% of the population of Illinois voted for him. They put party identification, personal prejudice, whatever ahead of rational judgement. Hell, even like 5% of Democrats voted for him. That's crazy behaviour. I think you have to assume a 27% Crazification Factor in any population.
John: Objectively crazy or crazy vis-a-vis my own inertial reference frame for rational behaviour? I mean, are you creating the Theory of Special Crazification or General Crazification?
Tyrone: Hadn't thought about it. Let's split the difference. Half just have worldviews which lead them to disagree with what you consider rationality even though they arrive at their positions through rational means, and the other half are the core of the Crazification -- either genuinely crazy; or so woefully misinformed about how the world works, the bases for their decision making is so flawed they may as well be crazy.
John: You realize this leads to there being over 30 million crazy people in the US?
Tyrone: Does that seem wrong?
John: ... a bit low, actually.
I saw a CBS poll this morning stating that 25% of the public favors the shutdown of the federal government. 80 representatives (that's 18.3%, one third of the Republican caucus in the House and representing roughly 18% of the total population) signed the original manifesto leading to the shutdown. Even if the numbers are a little low, is there any remaining doubt that John Rogers' Crazification Factor remains more accurate and revealing than most of Politico on any given day?
This is what you get when you elect people who don't believe in government to political office. You cannot deal with the Suicide Caucus, because they don't recognize the legitimacy of the rules that the Congress is supposed to operate under (thus the endless parade of funding delays and filibusters over the last seven years). Besides, they don't want to negotiate. They've gotten what they wanted: the government is basically closed for business, and they couldn't be more thrilled about it.
I give you the greatest C-SPAN vote count in the history of mankind:
Ending the first week at CQ. I have joked that if they go on vacation and leave me here without more training, the site will be replaced entirely with Congressional LOL Cats by the time they get back.
It surprises me, frankly, that some politicians would even think of not signing onto the lynching apology resolution currently wandering through the Senate. Sure, it's a blatant political ploy, but it's one with no real political drawbacks and it doesn't even require you to be sincere about it. Refusing to sign is like handing ammunition to your competition, from either party, when the next election rolls around. Still, Steve Gilliard has the list of dissenters. It's no secret that ex-Klansman Trent Lott doesn't like black people very much, but what's with the Republicans from New Hampshire and Ohio? And for that matter, what's with Kent Conrad, D-ND? Que extraño. (Note that Steve's list isn't completely reliable--Americablog and the original source he quotes have updated with different counts, and the measure did pass unanimously. What's in question are people who did not co-sponsor the bill, even at the last minute.)
Of course, David Neiwert says what I and every other liberal policy enthusiast thought when we heard about this bill: wonder when they'll actually do something about the problem instead of making empty apologies? Every time meaningful hate crime legislation makes its way through Congress, the Republican leadership kills it because of homosexual protections offered (although it's perfectly possible that they have help from Democrats of the lowest variety--Zell Miller, perhaps).
Many people don't really understand hate crime legislation in the first place. There's a common argument made that we can't read the mind of the defendant, and even if we could that all crimes are hate crimes by definition. Although it's logically compelling, this argument is limited in scope, and breaks down when we consider the whole picture. In summary, the problem with hate crimes is that they are a form of terrorism--they're intimidation and threats aimed at keeping a population under control. That's what burning a cross, or tying someone to a fencepost, or lynching is meant to do: it's not just a simple murder, it's a lesson to all the other members of the target population. Keep your heads down and play along with our rules, it says, or you'll end up like that.
Maybe there's a good reason that this bill was passed with missing co-sponsors, and after hours with a secret vote. If so, I'd like to hear it. I'm sure a lot of other people would too. Since Congress won't create workable solutions to hate crimes of the present, the least they could offer is a united apology for the sins of the past.