Friday, December 09, 2011

Inside the Bizarro World of the extreme right

Some of my comic book friends will be aware of the Bizarro World, a DC comics construct designed to be the opposite of earth. As Wikipedia teaches us: In the Bizarro world of "Htrae" ("Earth" spelled backwards), society is ruled by the Bizarro Code which states "Us do opposite of all Earthly things! Us hate beauty! Us love ugliness! Is big crime to make anything perfect on Bizarro World!" In one episode, for example, a salesman is doing a brisk trade selling Bizarro bonds: "Guaranteed to lose money for you". (And this was before AIG and credit default swaps!)

We've long thought that conservatives have a backward, bizarro understanding of how the world works, and today we have some excellent evidence of that fact.

Let's start with what's going on on Congress. Yesterday Republicans in the House of Representatives passed a resolution to block those power-mad regulators from adopting a rule regulating farm dust. After all, who wants our stout yeoman farmers crippled by the nettling impositions of the pointy-headed bureaucrats in Washington?

Only one tiny quibble, though: EPA had never proposed tightening rules on farm dust, and the agency said lawmakers were raising concerns based on a myth about the rulemaking.
. . .
In her letter dated Oct. 14, [EPA administrator Lisa] Jackson said that she decided to keep the 1987 dust standard in place after a review of the science, an analysis by agency scientists and recommendations from an outside advisory panel.

That's right, the Republicans have protected farmers against an imaginary regulation.

I guess that's better than spending their time on legislation that would actually do something, since we know how badly that comes up when Republicans get their way.

Or, to go to a more fertile hotbed of unreality, the right-wing talk radio.

You've undoubtedly heard something about President Obama's speech earlier this week (although, strangely enough, it seemed to get a lot less news coverage than what any number of Republicans said this week).

Here's what Rush Limbaugh said about it:

The elected president of the United States said in Osawatomie, Kansas, trying to be Teddy Roosevelt, that the United States of America has never worked. That is a quote, “has never worked.”

And here is what President Obama actually said:

Now, just as there was in Teddy Roosevelt's time, there is a certain crowd in Washington who, for the last few decades, have said, let's respond to this economic challenge with the same old tune. "The market will take care of everything," they tell us. If we just cut more regulations and cut more taxes – especially for the wealthy – our economy will grow stronger. Sure, they say, there will be winners and losers. But if the winners do really well, then jobs and prosperity will eventually trickle down to everybody else. And, they argue, even if prosperity doesn't trickle down, well, that's the price of liberty.
Now, it's a simple theory. And we have to admit, it's one that speaks to our rugged individualism and our healthy skepticism of too much government. That's in America's DNA. And that theory fits well on a bumper sticker. But here's the problem: It doesn't work. It has never worked. It didn't work when it was tried in the decade before the Great Depression. It's not what led to the incredible postwar booms of the 50s and 60s. And it didn't work when we tried it during the last decade. I mean, understand, it's not as if we haven't tried this theory.

As anyone with elementary reading ability can see, what has "never worked" in President Obama's statement is the boldfaced language: that if we just cut more regulations and cut more taxes, especially for the wealthy, our economy will grow stronger and jobs and prosperity will eventually trickle down to everybody else.

There are two important observations to make about this:

1. He is incontrovertibly correct.
2. The people who believe in the assertion about the magical powers of cutting regulations and taxes, regardless of what they say, care nothing about what trickles down to poor people. As long as the rich are better off, that's literally all they care about.

But most importantly, we see that the only way Limbaugh was able to find to attack Obama's speech is by attacking the opposite of what Obama actually said. What we see time and again is that the Republicans are not only unaware of reality, they are actively hostile to it.

So in closing, I think there's only one thing to say: Hello!

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Blogger Mark McCullough said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

December 09, 2011 12:17 PM  
Blogger Mark McCullough said...

Good Bye.

Great work.



December 09, 2011 12:17 PM  

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