Is it just me, or am I right in thinking that the Republican Right has reached new heights, plumbed new depths of pure illogic and nonsense? I am thinking of two statements from two articles in today’s NYTimes that were on the same page of the printed version. First, we have the whiz-kid Paul Ryan shouting about how Obama wants to effect the “political conquest” of the Republican Party. Well, here’s hoping! Anyway, the article goes on to say this:
On Sunday, in a stinging rebuke to Mr. Obama, he said that had Hillary Rodham Clinton beat him to win the Democratic nomination in 2008 and gone on to win the presidency, “we would have fixed this fiscal mess by now.”
“I don’t think that the president thinks that we actually have a fiscal crisis,” he said. “He’s been reportedly saying to our leaders that we don’t have a spending problem, we have a health care problem. That just leads me to conclude that he actually thinks we just need more government-run health care.”
Is Ryan speaking well of the same Hillary Clinton who made government controlled health care, single-payer at that, her top priority during her hubby’s first term? And who was demonized by the Republicans for it? Does he think she doesn’t think we have a major health care problem? Or is he convinced that she would have dealt with our financial crisis better because of what she learned at the side of her similarly vilified husband, who happens to have run the only budget surplus this country has seen in recent history. And who was a Democrat.
Then we have the other piece focused on the other intellectual leading light of the Right, Eric Cantor.
After successfully engineering the latest debt ceiling vote last week, Mr. Cantor flew to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where he road-tested those themes as the lone House Republican leader rubbing elbows with the international élite.
Citing a struggling single mother with a gifted child in a poor city neighborhood, he told Davos attendees, “We need to create some type of competitive mechanisms” to help her escape the bad schools she is stuck with.
I imagine that a lot of those intellectually élite representatives of countries such as France, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, China, Japan, and so on, are going to be thinking, “Why don’t you Americans just improve your public education system?” I’d love to hear about the “economically competitive mechanisms” that are going to bring entrepreneurs running to serve the needs of communities with lousy schools, especially the run-of-the-mill students there. (After all, it’s only in Lake Woebegone that everyone is above average). Maybe the same corporations that are doing so well serving our out-sized prison population.