Sunday, May 22, 2011

Department of false equivalences

Jacob Weisberg makes the obvious point that a lot of Republicans believe a lot of crazy things, but he goes one further:
Moments like this point to a growing asymmetry in our politics. One party, the Democrats, suffers from the usual range of institutional blind spots, historical foibles, and constituency-driven evasions. The other, the Republicans, has moved to a mental Shangri-La, where unwanted problems (climate change, the need to pay the costs of running the government) can be wished away, prejudice trumps fact (Obama might just be Kenyan-born or a Muslim), expertise is evidence of error, and reality itself comes to be regarded as some kind of elitist plot.
Amen, Jacob. There just isn't anything on the left remotely comparable to what's happening in the GOP right now, nor has there been in my lifetime. True, neither party has a monopoly on the truth. But compared to the left, mainstream American conservatism propagates extraordinarily false ideas, it requires its members believe in an extraordinary number of those ideas, and it requires that they believe those ideas to an extraordinary degree. Too often the obvious mismatch is described in terms of "needing to fix our politics," which dodges the issue. Half of our politics is fine. Half of our politics is working just like it always has. The breakdown isn't in our politics, it's in the Republican Party. And it's the Republican Party that needs to be fixed, preferably before someone who genuinely believes that the government spending should be 3% of GDP actually makes into the Oval Office. If you're a Republican and you can't recognize how far off the rails your compatriots have flown, then you're probably part of the problem.

Anyway, go read the whole article.

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