The GOP Sets Its Priorities on Stupidity

08/28/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Okay, so let me see if I've got this right.

The United States is in the middle of fighting two wars overseas.

The American economy is in its worst trouble since the Great Depression.

The national debt is $11.4 trillion.

The country is in the midst of a divisive debate on our national health care priority.

And Republicans want to make an issue of the president calling it stupid to arrest a man for breaking into his own house.

We can only hope Republicans no longer wonder why people are fleeing their party in droves.

But, hey, let's be fair. For the sake of argument, let's imagine the very worst and say they're right. Let's say it really, actually, truly does matter that the president called it stupid to arrest a man for breaking into his own house. In this very worst possible case scenario, conjure up all the horrible things this can mean.

Okay. Go. What next?

Honest, I'm waiting. Give me the worst. Just tread carefully, though, because you're up against some pretty big precedent.

Remember: after George Bush said something wrong, like, Iraq has yellowcake we'll be greeted as liberators we know where the WDM are buried bring it on Mission Accomplished the foundation of the U.S. economy is strong heckuva job Brownie -- America found itself mired in an unending, illegal war; had its economy destroyed, and a city was wiped off the map.

When Barack Obama (for the sake of argument) said something wrong, a police department got offended. For a day.

For a day. Because then Barack Obama acknowledged that he didn't speak properly and he invited the two parties for a beer. The police department issued a statement of appreciation. And Henry Gates accepted the beer.

When George Bush was asked to name just one mistake he'd ever made as president, he stood there silently, stumped.

By the way, Republicans were okay with that.

But calling it stupid to arrest a man in his house -- oh, my, horrors!

And this is assuming the very worst. Assume anything else, however, and the likely and rational not only open up before you, but the horror mongers suddenly reveal themselves for what they are.

After all, the 911-caller states that the men have suitcases. And might actually live there. Really!

There's an old rule for lawyers: when you have the law on your side, argue the law. When you have the facts on your side, argue the facts. And when you have neither the law nor facts on your side, pound on the table and scream.

We are seeing a whole lot of pounding on tables and screaming by Republicans these days.

And all this pounding and screaming must be viewed in context with what the GOP has set as its Talking Points Priorities for America.

1. The president calls arresting a man in his house stupid.

Forget that the United States is fighting two wars. Forget that the American economy is the worst since the Great Depression. Forget the $11.4 trillion national debt. Forget health care in America.

1. The president calls arresting a man in his house stupid.

No wonder Republicans have decried the president taking on too many issues at the same time. Apparently all they can handle is the trivial.

Indeed, between being upset at the president for calling the arrest of a man breaking into his own house stupid (charges that were later dropped), and wondering if the president was actually born in the United States, Republicans seem to have their plate full. No wonder they couldn't deal with Iraq, the energy crisis, torture, Katrina and the economy. Teri Schiavo was their limit.

(GOP attention towards "birthers" speaks volumes. That some Republicans actually think Dick Cheney and John McCain didn't use the full investigative powers of the government to find out if Barack Obama was eligible to be president, but instead engaged in a conspiracy to allow him to be elected is at a comic level greater than The Hangover, though equally apt. Join the stupidity.)

How stupid is the Stupidity concern? There's one question in all this I've yet to hear addressed. How in the world could the 911 caller not identify one of the most renowned black scholars in the country who lives on her block?

If there was a national celebrity who lived on your block, I'm sure you would recognize that person. And I don't even know you and your powers of observation. The only alternative is that the caller doesn't even live there, and was making a random complaint.

It fits in with all the stupidity.

In the midst of all these serious problems the nation faces, the GOP has shown America where its priorities are. It's nothing more than trivial obfuscation by the politically desperate.

America is facing deeply crushing problems to its future -- and Republicans want to focus on the president calling it stupid to arrest a man for breaking into his own house. Republicans want to focus on whether the American president is American.

No wonder they think that blocking legislation to give Americans health care is their way to enthrall Americans.

Now, if you really want to talk about stupid...