In graduate school I had a colleague who was forever paying to see really bad movies and then expressing disappointment after the fact. Being blunt and generally unsympathetic, I finally asked her: What exactly were you expecting when you paid money to see these obviously horrible movies? Did you think the Sir Thomas More monologue from A Man For All Seasons was going to show up in the middle of Fast & Furious 4? Ben Affleck was going to channel Lionel Barrymore in Gigli? New cinematography techniques would be employed in the filming of Beerfest? I mean, being disappointed is never fun but at some point you have to reflect on the criteria you're using to decide where to set your expectations when it's happening over and over again.
Right wingers no longer anger or frustrate me because age and experience have taught me what to expect from them. Like a terrible pop country song, I only need to hear a few words to complete the rest of their sentences. Lots of people still get riled up because they share that characteristic that defined the first five years of Obama's presidency – the steadfast belief that Republicans will be Reasonable People if appealed to properly. This logic mimics the compulsive gambler who thinks that the next hand will be the big winner. For my own sanity I decided after experiencing the beginning of the Iraq War that I would never again expect that anything other than their own base self interest and craving for power motivates conservatives. There is no logic, there are no principles, there is no moment of clarity. There is only narcissism. That's why it is ludicrous to expect any consistency in their rhetoric from one moment to the next. Six years ago John McCain's major asset was his status as a war hero; now he's a big pussy because he ejected from a flaming airplane over Vietnam.
Does it make any sense? Of course it doesn't. Why would you expect it to.
Here's a perfect example, courtesy of A Good Cartoon. Recently in San Francisco a non-citizen named Francisco Sanchez fatally shot a young woman who was almost certainly not intended as a victim (details are fuzzy on whether the shooting was a pure accident or if the victim was shot accidentally while Sanchez struggled with someone else). Right wing hack editorial cartoonist was quick to point out that Sanchez was only partially responsible – Obama and Liberal Pussy Immigration Policy both helped him pull the trigger. They literally had their hand on the gun. They are equally culpable.
But if we look back to previous high profile shooting incidents, Ramirez has…a somewhat different message about responsibility.
Remember Jared Loughner, the guy who shot Gabby Giffords and killed a Federal judge?
It was all him. 100% him. Absolutely no outside influences of any kind, and how is the availability of guns even possibly relevant.
Michael Brown is also 100% responsible for his own death. The guy who actually shot him bears no responsibility, not even one-millionth of one percent. Again, no longstanding social or cultural issues come into play either.
"Discovering" that a right-wing Tea Party type changed his tune to suit the ideologically correct narrative – rugged individualism one minute, It Takes a Village the next – should not surprise you. If it does at this point I'd suggest that you are not paying enough attention or perhaps are tiptoeing into the territory of naivety. In 6th grade I watched a classmate eat a live cockroach on a dare. He gagged and retched and made a great ruckus about how terrible it tasted. Even at the not terribly wise age of 11 I thought, Were you expecting it to be filled with chocolate ice cream? His example, though, was redeeming in the sense that he never* made the same mistake again.
*(Dan W., if you're out there and still eating cockroaches I am very disappointed. You're 36. Get it together.)