Opinion

Why do liberals obsess --- to the point of delusion --- over anonymous GOP lawmakers?

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Timothy P. Carney,Republican Party,Media,Liberalism,Slate

Is it a tactical effort to distract from Obama's problems? Is it a coping mechanism to deal with a political landscape that seems to be rejecting their viewpoint? Is it a deep craving for a feeling of moral and intellectual superiority?

What is the cause behind the fever that sweeps the American Left now and then, compelling them to breathlessly report every stupid and offensive thing said or done by any state representative who is Republican?

Dave Weigel at Slate writes on the phenomenon, and has a theory:

As the national electoral plight of Democrats increases, so does the incidence of stories about obscure state Republican lawmakers....

...as a rule, if you see the phrase "GOP lawmaker" in a headline, your click will usher you into a world of back-benchers from Bismarck and Jackson and Dover and Sacramento, not the people currently threatening to take the Senate back from Democrats. The Lawmakers are anonymous until they screw up....

Today we stumble across a particularly embarrassing version of GOP Lawmaker Syndrome:

Boston.com, MSNBC, and the increasingly Salon-ish Daily Beast reported on a weird bill involving divorcing couples having sex, purportedly introduced by a GOP lawmaker Richard Ross. Boston Magazine reported that "Ross did not sponsor the bill, and he does not support it. In fact, the bill has no legislative sponsors, no support, and is in no way under consideration by anybody."

Meanwhile, Democrats consistently, without any dissent, put their U.S. Senate majority in the hands of Harry Reid, who consistently insults his political opponents, spreads misinformation about them, and blames them for things like Vladimir Putin annexing Crimea.

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