Here’s a great illustration of the cycle and danger of the nontroversy. Last week, Mike Huckabee was one of the morons who insisted that Obama’s trip to India was a waste of money because it cost $200 million per day. After serious consideration, the sage and thoughtful Huckabee changed his position yesterday:
Still, the former governor acknowledged that bagging the trip altogether — as some conservatives have suggested — would have been “very insulting” to India, an increasingly important ally to the United States, given its proximity to Pakistan. “They’ve been a good friend of the United States, not only in terms of diplomatic friendship, but they’ve also been a good trade partner,” Huckabee told Van Susteren. “For him to abruptly cancel the trip would have been a snub of epic proportions and would have had long-lasting implications and created damage that, frankly, we don’t need right now in the international community. We need all the friends we can get, and India is one of them we need to keep.”
This is typical of the nontroversy cycle. The same jackasses who tell us lies to get the cycle started are able to come back again and again to comment on it, without repercussion. This would be harmless except that that subjects of these nontroversies are important institutions that are de-legitimatized every time that lies about them are mainstreamed.
Foreign trips are a legitimate part of the President’s portfolio. Zoning boards can legitimately make decisions about where community centers should be located. And city councils have a legitimate right and responsibility to choose the method of trash pickup in their local community. If these institutions weren’t legitimate, there would be no need to tell big whopping lies (“$200 million per day”, “Terror mosque”, “Trash police”) to criticize them.
These distractions are just killing us, because there’s already enough to be cynical about in this country without adding in the few institutions that are actually working as designed.