The currently-prevailing Reep worldview has at its core an interesting dual nature:
On one hand, it sees the executive as near unto godlike, and invests in him enormous faith and loyalty. With this comes an expectation that the executive should be given enormous power to intrude upon the lives of ordinary people, without oversight or justification. This is rationalized by vague allusions to the threat of terrorism -- which (we are told) requires the administration to sneak-and-peek, spy on Quakers, detain citizens without charges or evidence, buddy up with brutal dictators, literally lose $billions in a micromismanaged war, et cetera, et cetera.
On the other hand, this very same worldview that embraces the notion of the authoritarian military President rejects the role of government in protecting us in our day-to-day lives. Part of this stems from a natural (and totally understandable) aversion to taxation, coupled with a failure to understand that most of the taxes collected go toward propping up the authoritarian military President, not safety regulations.
What is troubling, however, is the failure to recognize the risks real people actually face every day, risks which the regulatory structure conservatives love to hate was erected to mitigate. The prevailing Reep worldview at this moment is that the government should have vast and indeterminate powers to protect us against the relatively slim chance of dying in a terror attack, and should have no power at all to protect us against the very probable calamities that we face every day.
So, when Scott@MyDD writes:
This morning, it's come to the media's attention that the Sago Mine "was cited 208 times for alleged safety violations in 2005." The Labor Department has said that a whopping 96 of those citations were "significant and substantial." In fact, some of them may have been directly related to the situation at hand.Conservatives appear to be constitutionally incapable of recognizing the argument that this kind of disaster is what the regulatory state exists to prevent -- or else they do, in fact, recognize the argument, but have no response other than to stand up and shred a strawman in its place.
As the AFL-CIO points out in their analysis of the 2006 budget, the President continues to underfund the MSHA, effectively freezing their enforcement budget. International Coal Group, the owners of the Sago Mine, claim they would have closed the mine if it had been deemed unsafe. Obviously, with 208 citations, 96 of them "significant and substantial," it was deemed unsafe. But MSHA has no teeth and they know it, so they had nothing to fear in keeping it open.
So, the response across the Reep echosphere has been predictable. Lisa@2Babes:
They used the natural disasters of Katrina and Rita against Bush and now they are taking a horrible devastating event and spinning it into a web of blame.This from the same party whose VP candidate in 2004 said that if America elected a Dem, we'd be asking for a repeat of 9/11.
I think this is half deception, half delusion. For the first half you have your opinion leaders, who need only to set the tone for the response, which they do quite efficiently, while minimizing their own exposure in the process.
Malkin's entire comment:
The shameless Blame Bush nuts are already starting in. Unbelievable.The Corner manages to be even briefer:
Those 13 West Virginia coal miners? President Bush is to blame.Once the hacks have set the tone, the deluded echosphere picks up the chant, each blogger in their own way repeating the same false summary put forward by the majors, spreading far and wide the notion that liberals are blaming Bush for a mine collapse, effectively shutting down any discussion of the actual issues.
Why? Because conservatives fear that discussion, fear those issues. On some level, they realize that they can't answer the questions that will arise, so they start screaming and wailing, accuse the liberals of being evil and hateful and irrational because it's easier than coming up with a real answer.
On the count of three, Bush worshippers, stick your fingers in your ears and scream it together:
"LA LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU!!!"