How do you fire up a crowd of congressional Republicans to get them to blindly cast really really bad votes? Easy, just show them a clip from a violent movie! HELL YEAH!!
Last night the GOP did just that at their closed-door caucus meeting. The movie of choice was "The Town" starring Ben Affleck as a bank robber with Jeremy Renner as his psychotic, ultra-violent accomplice. The clip of choice was a scene in which Ben Affleck's character asks Jeremy Renner's character to help him beat some people senseless, no questions asked. Apparently the GOP identifies with this in some way.
Here's the transcript. I've taken the liberty of filling in how I'm assuming Republicans are identifying with this situation:
Affleck/Cantor: I need your help. I can’t tell you what it is. You can never ask me about it later. And we're gonna hurt some people.
Renner/GOP Caucus: Whose car are we gonna take?
If you want to know what this clip is really about you can watch the rest of the scene here, in which the duo dons masks, breaks into a house, and violently assaults two people (warning, this clip contains violent imagery and adult language).
Let me say, I'm just so comforted by the fact that this is how the party that controls the House of Representatives views their responsibility to the country. I'm sure the fact that this is how they are engaging in the debt ceiling showdown (which they orchestrated) is great news for the country. We are in great hands.
Basically, the GOP leadership's plea to their caucus is this:
Don't ask questions, don't pay attention to what we are asking you to vote for or what it would do to the country, just vote for it because we are telling you to. Oh ya, this is going to hurt a lot of Americans. Are you ok with that? Great. Thanks buddy.
The result? Well according to The Washington Post, Tea Party favorite Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) was so moved by the clip he stood up and exclaimed, "I'm ready to drive the car!"
Yes, that actually happened.
Great. Well at least we don't have to wonder anymore if Republicans know they are going to hurt a lot of people. Allen West apparently has no problem inflicting some serious pain on the country by forcing the first-ever default on the country's debt, and all indications are that the rest of their caucus is also very comfortable with hostage-taking (only, with the GOP, the hostage is the US economy, not a bank employee like in the movie).
Oh, and funny thing, in the Washington Post article, the "And we're gonna hurt some people" line was conspicuously left out of the quote. I wonder why The Washington Post felt it was necessary to leave out the most shocking line from the GOP's little pep rally clip. No big deal that congressional Republicans are getting fired up to take a recklessly disastrous vote by watching a scene that glorifies hurting people (again, watch the full clip to see where that scene was going). That's not at all interesting, apparently. That must be why The Washington Post quoted the entire clip except the line about how people were going to be hurt by what was about to go down.
Damn that "liberal media bias!"
The Town actually is a pretty good movie, if you are looking for something to watch--It just isn't a very good template for how to responsibly govern a country. I wish congressional Republicans could understand the difference.
Update: Apparently I'm not the only one who sees something a little Freudian in the GOP's choice of a pep rally clip. Senator Chuck Schumer reacts:
Update 2 (7/28): The violent pep rally rhetoric continues. From a speech given during this morning's caucus meeting:
"Put on your helmet, buckle your chinstrap, and knock the shit out of 'em."
Who elected these people?