It's time for Blood Pressure Crisis Sunday! Today's blood pressure crisis was brought on by a Meet the Press (surprise!) segment with Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and a subsequent and unrelated MSNBC interview with a member of the military.
Frankly, I can't bring myself to re-watch the Jindal interview, so I'll post it without the usual transcript excerpts. If you can make it through the entire thing, you'll see why I was so exasperated:
In short, Jindal did nothing but lie and exhibit his usual hypocrisy. He was asked a direct question about the state of the Republican party, but he refused to respond, instead going off on his usual "privatize and de-unionize" education speechifying, couching his argument in gauzier terms that the non-political junkie might misinterpret in his favor. His idea of the American Dream is a countrywide enforcement of the bigotry and corporate goals of the GOP-- or as he called it "the stupid party."
He also blamed President Obama for wanting to shut down the government. Seriously.
And said we have a deficit problem. Seriously.
Did I mention that phony, self-serving, privatization-happy, voucher-school-loving creationist Bobby Jindal now most unpopular GOP governor in U.S.? Great choice of spokesperson, GOP. Way to go.
Following Meet the Press was Weekends with Alex Witt sans Alex Witt (I can't find the video). The host interviewed a member of the military (apologies for not catching his name, rank, and serial number, but I was listening from another room and popped in only long enough to scream at the Tee Vee Machine). They were discussing Chelsea Manning (formerly Bradley Manning) who was just sentenced to 35 years in prison and announced his intention to transition from male to female.
Putting aside the arguments over whether the military prison in Fort Leavenworth should accommodate her for now, I was struck by the blatant insensitivity and apparent bigotry of the guest. His attitude screamed, "Manning casually decided to be a girl on a whim, tough luck freak, now enjoy your time in the slammer."
No, "sir," actually Manning has long struggled with gender identity, identifies as female, and has "felt that way since childhood."
How about respecting that instead of belittling and willfully making false assumptions, "sir"? Even if he broke the law, he's still a human being. How about educating yourself instead of perpetuating ignorance and misinformation, "sir"?
The increasingly deteriorating discourse and dearth of challenges to what passes for informed commentary fed to viewing and listening audiences are not only infuriating, they're scary... and they are harmful to democracy.