Do Republicans Believe Their Own Bullsh*t?
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It's the subject of perennial debate: when Republican officials repeat obvious falsehoods, are they deliberately trying to deceive, or are they just woefully confused?
While there are compelling cases to be made for each side, once in a while we get strong evidence for the latter. For example, Dick Spotswood, a California-based columnist, visited Washington, D.C., last week, and spent some time on Capitol Hill. He shared this tidbit ( via Kos) from his notebook:
Met with Republican Rep. Mary Bono Mack from Riverside County's Coachella Valley. While a social moderate, Sonny Bono's widow is a solid conservative. Talked to her about Obama's $780 billion stimulus legislation. She's outraged that the plan has "$1 billion wasted on a magnetic-levitation train from L.A. to Sin City" -- all at Nevada Sen. Harry Reid's doing.
After expressing my doubt that the Las Vegas line was actually in the bill's language, Bono Mack directs her staff to "get him the bill, it's right there, show him." A few minutes later, a staffer emerges with a copy and quietly says "it's not in the bill."
Steve Benen is "blogger in chief" of the popular Washington Monthly online blog, Political Animal . His background includes publishing The Carpetbagger Report, and writing for a variety of publications, including Talking Points Memo, The American Prospect, the Huffington Post, and The Guardian. He has also appeared on NPR's "Talk of the Nation," MSNBC's "Rachel Maddow Show," Air America Radio's "Sam Seder Show," and XM Radio's "POTUS '08."