For a while I have been really confused.
Speaker Boehner says that the budget legislation being discussed during dept ceiling talks will help create jobs by cutting spending and decreasing taxes. Now all the data I have seen has shown that unemployment is negatively correlated with state spending. Also most of the tax cuts will affect the top tax bracket and the corporate income tax. I am assuming that the Speaker and his friends are not blind or idiots, so how can he have reasonably come to this conclusion?
Then it hit me.
When a Republican (or most Democrats) says “jobs” he or she is really using the word as a rhetorical device for the more maligned word “profits.”
Now it all makes sense.
When considering health care, for example, Republicans confidently assert that their ideas will lower costs, when we simply do not have much evidence for this. What we do know is that of the world’s richest countries, the U.S. has by far the greatest involvement of free markets and the private sector in health care. It also consumes the largest share of GDP, with no significant gains in health on any measurable outcome. We need more market mechanisms to cut medical costs, but Republicans don’t bother to study existing health care systems anywhere else in the world. They resemble the old Marxists, who refused to look around at actual experience. “I know it works in practice,” the old saw goes, “but does it work in theory?”
There are still at least two reality-based Republicans in the race: former Utah governor Jon Huntsman, who has the inconvenient distinction of serving as Obama’s ambassador to China, and former Massachusetts governor Romney, who has the even less convenient distinction of authoring the blueprint for Obama’s health care reforms. Romney is desperately trying to deny that he’s ever encountered reality in the past, and Huntsman, who actually seems to value his dignity, will face similar pressures to renounce reality if he really wants to win in 2012. But whether or not they care to admit it, they’re both serious center-right politicians. If Huntsman or Romney wins the nomination, and then Obama wins the election, the GOP will quickly shift from “loosely tethered to reality” to “out of its freaking mind.” Remember, after its crushing defeat in 2008, the party faithful concluded that John McCain lost the election because he wasn’t conservative enough—and that George W. Bush lost his popularity because of his big spending. So the party moved even farther toward its right-wing base, casting away moderates like Arlen Specter, Charlie Crist and Michael Bloomberg. And its comeback victory in 2010 seemed to validate that strategy. A Huntsman or Romney defeat would just prove to the party that electoral salvation lies in ideological purity and rigid obstructionism, the kind of conclusion that already appeals to Tea Party activists who consider Obama some kind of tyrannical socialist usurper.
A very interesting and likely prediction, I think.
If someone suggested the idea of public libraries now, they’d be considered insane. If you said you were going to take a little bit of money from every taxpayer, buy a whole load of books and music and games, stick them on a shelf and tell everyone, ‘These are yours to borrow and all you’ve got to do is bring them back,’ they’d be laughed out of government.
The most comprehensive review of personality and political orientation to date is a 2003 meta-analysis of 88 prior studies involving 22,000 participants. The researchers—John Jost of NYU, Arie Kruglanski of the University of Maryland, and Jack Glaser and Frank Sulloway of Berkeley—found that conservatives have a greater desire to reach a decision quickly and stick to it, and are higher on conscientiousness, which includes neatness, orderliness, duty, and rule-following. Liberals are higher on openness, which includes intellectual curiosity, excitement-seeking, novelty, creativity for its own sake, and a craving for stimulation like travel, color, art, music, and literature.
In a perfect world, the political ideals of our scientists should be irrelevant. But we live in an imperfect world, and what this does is create a false opportunity for suspicion and conspiracy theories about science and its motives.
One thing that I haven’t seen addressed completely: Do most scientists become liberals because of their intellectual values, or do open and curious liberals just tend to become scientists?
Scientists are used examining arguments really hard, and I honestly think that most Republican arguments fall apart under any sort of reasonable scrutiny. People won’t like that explanation, but I truly think that is the case.
Rand is very clear: walking in the path of Christ and walking in the path of “Atlas Shrugged” hero John Galt will take you to two very different places. Which ought to give pause to political leaders who claim to embrace the values of Christ but adopt the politics of Rand.
Before Congress went on its Easter recess, the House of Representatives passed a 2012 federal budget blueprint drafted by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., who credits Rand for inspiring him into entering politics, and who reportedly encourages his staff members to read “Atlas Shrugged.” The budget unabashedly bears the trademarks of Rand’s thinking: its glorification of individualism and private enterprise not as a companion to the collective pursuit of the common good but as a replacement for it; the gradual elimination of anything that compels the haves to share with the have-nots; the presumption that have-nots are “moochers” or “looters” and must be treated accordingly.
This article article is a bit heavy on the scripture for me, but I basically agree that the Randian “Objectivist” (ha!) philosophy is incompatible with the moral message from the New Testament. In fact, I think it is pretty obvious even from a cursory glance. I wouldn’t waste too much of my breath explaining that to most conservatives, though. I think it is pretty clear that they aren’t that worried about having a logically consistent world view.
The eyes of the country and the media are upon the Donald. He is certainly saying a lot of things people want to hear. He has been absolutely relentless on the birth certificate issue. He has said political correctness is killing the country. He has not been shy about going after Muslims or the Chinese. He wants to repeal Obama care, does not approve of gay marriage and is pro-life. He says he is blunt and he is right about that. He is blunt. But is he right? Donald Trump is an American icon, bigger than life. Trump can sell ice to Eskimos. The question a lot of us need to start asking is, what is he selling America?
If Donald Trump really believes what he is saying and would really govern that way, he could go down as a great President.
Do people change their beliefs over time? Sure they do. Do people who want to be elected to high office tell us what they think we want to hear? Absolutely. Given Trump’s previous liberal beliefs and absent a ‘Damascus Road conversion,’ we have to wonder if Trump is only telling us what we want to hear.
Judson Phillips, Tea Party Nation
Hey, Tea Party Nation…
Part of me really wants the Tea Party and the Republicans to hand over the reins to a complete crackpot just so they can drive the crazy train right off the rails.