Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Mass Delusion

I know it's one-sided, but this is a great piece written by Kurt Eichenwald that succinctly summarizes why he believes Republicans need to be defeated in 2012. Eichenwald does a great job of breaking down the issues he has with the GOP as it is today, and there are a fair few.

For one, Eichenwald takes issue with the fact that the GOP has gotten to the point in its political ideology that it can no longer tell the truth and appease its base. It must push ridiculous things like "Obama is a Socialist," "Obama is a Muslim," "Obama is not a US citizen," and so on simply to appeal to their base of voters. That base, by the way, comes up with even more crazy crap that the GOP then has to appeal to in order to maintain relevant, and the process of the sliding to the right continues. For example, theories that Obama is going to pardon all black convicts immediately after re-election, that he is going to pass an executive order that replaces our judicial system with Sharia Law, or that Obama is going to require all adults to get microchips installed in their heads for easy tracking are absolutely ridiculous, yet help make up the belief system of this new group of fanatical conservatives.

Another issue for Eichenwald is that the Republicans are unswayed by facts, new information, reality, or reasonable argument in their effort to remain ideologically pure. They will disregard evidence that is right in front of their face so that they can remain firm in their ideals. This is why the conspiracy theories above are not squashed by the leaders of the GOP; to them, they are simply principles and beliefs, like a religion, that do not require hard evidence, merely a "gut feeling."

Eichenwald also points out that they have built in their minds a kind of alternative reality and history, in which Reagan's tax cuts created immeasurable prosperity, even though it was actually the slashing of interest rates that did that. Furthermore, Eichenwald reminds us that Reagan raised taxes after he cut them, and did this several times. Of course, this part of the story is conveniently forgotten by many in the Republican leadership, and has been soundly avoided by conservatives for years. Just like they ignore the economic boom of the 90's, presided over by a Democratic President who raised taxes, they staunchly ignore the full history of their patron saint.

But the ending is perhaps the most compelling piece. Eichenwald points out that he could easily write a critical piece about Obama's policies. However, he says, it would be a piece on policy, not on the lies and deceits and drives of the Democrats. No, that piece would be about a group that is interested in governing, not controlling, the country. And that is a marked difference.

Overall, the article is well written, and, while long, worth the read. I found it thought-provoking and very direct. As Eichenwald surmises, the GOP has gone too far to the extreme to be anything but harmful if brought into power.

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