More GOP Insanity

Back in the Ice Age, when I was still Republican, the GOP used to be a party of grown-ups. It is painful to watch what has become of the Grand Old Party–and even more painful to see what it’s doing to the country.

Neil Pierce’s current column is yet another example.  As he reports,

“There’s no sane way to say that America’s criminal justice system is “OK.” It costs over $100 billion a year; it imprisons hundreds of thousands for minor drug possession or sale; overall it’s incarcerating 2.3 million men and woman — the most of any nation on earth.

But that didn’t stop 43 Senate Republicans from recently wielding the weapon of a filibuster to torpedo a proposal by Sen. James Webb (D-Va.) for a bipartisan national commission to undertake a stem-to-stern examination of how we apprehend, try and punish in America.”

The entire column is worth reading, but the essence is that the GOP claims a STUDY of the criminal justice system would be an infringement of “states rights.”

Mull that over for a minute. We have now gotten to the place where simply informing ourselves about what is happening in our country cannot be tolerated. Information has become the enemy.

I suppose I shouldn’t be so stunned; these are the people who deny the existence of global climate change, who insist that evolution is just a “theory” (betraying their ignorance of the meaning of scientific theory), and that people are poor not because they can’t get jobs but because they’re lazy. They’re the people who sneer at educated “elitists.”

So now the party that talks endlessly about the need to cut costs has killed a perfectly reasonable, modestly priced study aimed at determining why we are overspending by billions for a system that is both inefficient and inequitable–a study to help us spend less to make Americans safer.

Welcome to the age of the new and improved “know nothings.”

1 Comment

  1. It’s not insane at all, really. If the criminal justice system was truly subject to the kind of peer-reviewed analysis we expect in other fields of study, actual facts might emerge. Those facts could well contradict well-worn mythology. It might interfere, for example, with the lobbying efforts of CCA and other private prison profiteers to put more people behind bars for profit.

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