Monday, September 12, 2011

If a lie sells, shout it loud

U.S. politics: are they wackier than ever?

I'm not an historian, my perspective is probably limited, but ... sometimes I look at the news and am gobsmacked at just how broken this country seems to be.

You followed the so-called "birther movement," right?

That was last year's news, and the year before that. I think we're done with Orly Taitz. And yet...

Nowadays the G.O.P. can't make up its mind which new-and-devolved wack-attack they like better: science as a grand conspiracy, or Social Security as a Ponzi scheme. If you read the SF Chronicle you might have seen local right-wing wacko pundit Debra J. Saunders, who asked last week, Are scientists becoming the new priests? Here's her lede:

"I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy," GOP presidential hopeful and former Utah governor Jon Huntsman recently tweeted. You've got to hand it to Huntsman - he sure knows how to endear himself to folks who won't vote in the Republican primary.

The rest of the piece is a typical mishmash of misdirection, double-talk, and sleight-of-hand. I'm not recommending it. What's remarkable is Saunders' acknowledgement that if you're a Republican you are unlikely to believe in evolution, or that the overwhelming super-duper-majority of scientific evaluation of global warming (no, I did not write "opinion") suggests anything truthful about How Things Work. Cf., for example, the Washington Post's "four Pinocchios" rating of presidential aspirant Rick Perry's blathering on the topic.

(Of course, if we're talking about the 'science' of trickle-down economics, of tax breaks for 'job creators' being the only credible solution to employment woes faced by U.S. workers ... well ... now that's science in which Republicans can believe. Never mind that the so called "Bush tax cuts" have still not been sunsetted, and with these tax breaks in effect for nigh on a decade, unemployment rates remain sky-high.)

Back to Texas Governor Rick Perry, currently at the head of the pack of G.O.P. candidates for the party's 2012 presidential nomination. This week's news is that Perry's as proud as a peacock to be quoted calling Social Security "a Ponzi scheme." Even Dick Cheney thinks he's nuts for saying this. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would someday agree with Dick Cheney. About anything. I'm just saying.

So what do you think that elephant has been smoking?

In the SF Chronicle on Saturday, the front page carried a story, differently-titled in the print edition, Rick Perry's fans like his straight-talking style. Here's the lede of that article:

Texas Gov. Rick Perry attracted new supporters during his first presidential campaign road trip through California with the provocative talk that enrages his opponents, such as his description of Social Security as a Ponzi scheme. Perry's blunt language on Social Security is "absolutely part of his appeal," Floyd Kvamme, a venture capitalist and former adviser to President Ronald Reagan, said Friday outside an East Palo Alto fundraiser. "It's plain-spokenness. It's his realism. The fact of the matter is ... it's broken."

I was thinking about Perry's rhetoric while swimming laps the day that article was published. Seems to me that Social Security is "a Ponzi scheme" in the same sense families that organize themselves so that younger generations take care of their elders as they age is "a Ponzi scheme." Is that what Perry thinks? That 'family values' are "a Ponzi scheme"?


(And in case you didn't click through above: Rick Perry's made-up 'facts' about climate change, 18 Aug 2011, The Washington Post.)

Related posts on One Finger Typing:
G.O.P proposes a death panel plan for health care
Tea Party Infusofascism?
Debased discourse
Sarah Palin, you're no William Shakespeare
Counterfactual thinking

No comments:

Post a Comment