Thursday, October 16, 2008

Things We All Know(tm): Republican Ideas Are Wrong; McCain Terrible Candidate

The voters for some reason are waking up to something that they already knew: the policies that define the Republican party are wrong. Trickle-down? Wrong. Unregulated businesses and markets? Wrong. Small government? Wrong. And let's not get started with making rape victims take their rapists' babies to term, or the idea that what ails our education system is a lack of competition -- competition which we all know has been disastrous for the health care system.

I heard Brian Lehrer on WNYC this morning discussing the debate. He said, almost as a self-evident fact, that when the discussion turned to the economy it was bad for McCain. He later said that McCain had had limited success moving off of the recession, which was good for him because he can't really talk about the recession. It's not his strong suit.

This elides the truth which Brian knows perfectly well: he disguises the truth -- the Thing We All Know(tm) -- in an effort to appear even-handed. Brian says McCain "can't really talk about' the recession, but what he really means is that Republican ideas about the economy are now widely discredited by huge margins of both public opinion as well as expert opinion.

John McCain is of course a terrible candidate. He is probably the nominee because he was perceived as the least bad alternative in a field rich with disastrous choices. Barack Obama is of course a wonderful candidate, and barely won the nomination in a field with two superstars and several second tier candidates who were strong -- one became his running mate. These are thoughts one will never hear in the mass media, even though We All Know(tm) they are true.

1 comment:

William said...

It can be difficult to argue that "Republican ideals are bad" to Republicans.

From what I can tell the main differences between Democrats and Republicans are : (Democrat) money is a social construct and occasional redistribution of wealth is ok if it serves society and, (Republican) money is mine and any law that says otherwise is wrong, respectively. These are extremes of course, though it is notable that most Republicans are closer to their extreme, that is it's their money is theirs no matter what and taxes should only benefit them in a very direct way. Whereas there are virtually no democrats which expect that wealth should be redistributed on a continuous or rolling basis - only through our somewhat democratic government, which supposedly has checks and balances to help ensure such redistribution are well planned and well intentioned.

There is still a very large contingent of Americans who are very strong on these beliefs and it will be interesting to see what form they take if the Republican party restructures; it's not just going to go away.

It's difficult to get through to this type of thinking, I suspect because there is a large litany of mostly emotional baggage that goes along with it, and often it's difficult to pick apart underlying or even subconscious motives such as racism.

At this point, the disparity of ratio of poor between blacks, some other minorities and whites is a pretty much a simple matter of mathematics, but to a Republican is a matter of "trying harder". Their logic in this matter is completely circular :

1) Q : What do we do about the fact that a higher percentage of blacks are poorer? A : They must try harder.

2) Q : How can we tell if they are trying as hard as everyone else and that the disparity does not mainly stem from a historical starting point of inequality? A : If they were trying as hard as everyone else, they wouldn't be poor.

Rinse, repeat.

Not that I have had this argument many times, less than 10, and in more than half of these occasions, after we have gone through the motions enough times and they start to get a sense of their circular logic, finally my opponent will mention, quite directly, it's genetics - blacks are inferior in some way. And these people I'm talking to are often educated New Yorkers, no trailer trash excuse, not that that is one.

The Republican party still has a lot of the only thing they truly respect - power; when it comes down to it their entire party is window dressing for 'might make right'.