This Week's Poll from the Lester & Charlie Institute of Forward Thinking!
Wow. Everything, it seems, is outrageous these days. All of it! Not a mouth in D.C. can open up without the sound of outrage spewing.
And it's not just the GOP that's up in arms, this time. Not since New Coke have we as a nation seen a disaster that both sides of the aisle can agree on. That's right, America is now unanimously and officially outraged that the IRS would have the audacity to target political groups -- groups that publicly despise taxes and call for the end of the IRS.
Obama: IRS targeting conservative groups is "outrageous." GOP Senator Susan Collins: Unfolding White House scandals "truly outrageous." Carl Bernstein: AP phone subpoena is "outrageous." GOP Rep. Chris Collins: "Targeting conservatives and Americans who believe in the Constitution is outrageous!" It goes on.
We get it. People are outraged. But pardon us if we neglect to pop that leftover bottle of champagne from the Alvin Greene victory party.
The word "Outrage" is really starting to lose its potency as more and more people justify their outrage of the day with outrageous statements. Like Dick Cheney telling the world he's unable to recall anything in his career that might be worse than the Benghazi attack. Or news anchor Andrea Mitchell calling the current White House troubles among "the most outrageous excesses I've seen" in her entire journalism career. (She covered the Nixon administration and for all we know once interviewed Carrot Top.)
But what's really outrageous is that all that outrage has us agreeing with the Senate's de facto Yoda du jour: John McCain.
"I'm tired of using the word outrageous," he told FOX News the other day.
So there it is. Yes, we agree with John McCain on something. That doesn't happen much. This is the same man whose supposed high-water mark in politics came when he said that Obama isn't a Muslim because he's "a decent family man." The man who gave Sarah Palin a soap box for the world stage.
Having gotten through the drama of last two elections, the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, the passage of Obamacare, and oh... too many other things to count... has it gotten so bad in politics today that something as simple as John McCain saying he's tired of calling everything outrageous feels like a damn good reason to celebrate?
It's enough, at least, to get us fantasizing. What if every politician agreed to stop using the word "outrageous"? What if Grover Norquist got the whole GOP to sign a pledge not to say it? Aaah, bliss.
But this is politics we're talking about. And a political promise is about as thin as a well-used Kleenex in John Boehner's back pocket.
Even if McCain, Norquist or Jesus succeeded in getting Republican colleagues to stop using that over-employed "O" word, one of them would crack. But which one of them would crack first? And how much would it take?
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