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Friday, March 29, 2013

Crying Wolf, Bear, Lion -- Whatever It Takes

For conservatives, there is always a crisis just around the corner that just so happens to support and compel the policies they advocate. But like tomorrow, the crisis never comes:

Liz Cheney Is Even More Bonkers Than We Suspected, by Jon Chait: Liz Cheney’s op-ed in today’s Wall Street Journal is an important and alarming document. She is not a marginal figure... And she ... is obviously stark raving mad.

Even after four years of bug-eyed right-wing paranoia, Cheney’s op-ed stands out for its utter dearth of the slightest whiff of perspective or factual grounding. President Obama, she tells us,... does not want the economy to grow. (“He believes in greater redistribution of a much smaller pie.”) Obama “seems unaware that the free-enterprise system has lifted more people out of poverty than any other economic system devised by man” — which is odd, because Obama is always saying things like “business, and not government, will always be the primary generator of good jobs...” The best approximations of America’s future under Obama are tiny European nations that lack control of their own currency. (“If you're unsure of what this America would look like, Google ‘Cyprus’ or ‘Greece.’”) ...

The most telling piece of Cheney’s rant may be a quote she uses, from Ronald Reagan in 1961... In that speech, Reagan argued that establishing Medicare would inevitably lead ... inevitably ... to full government control over the entire economy...

Conservatives still quote this speech a lot, strangely considering it a prescient warning rather than evidence that their fears of Big Government are usually totally wrong. The paranoia is simply transferred from one event to the next. ... Reagan, speaking a quarter-century later, assured his audience that he loved Social Security but that Medicare would surely fulfill those same warnings. Republicans now pledge their love for Medicare but see Obamacare as the death knell for freedom.

Cheney, typically, draws the usual lesson. “President Reagan's words, spoken 52 years ago this weekend, still ring true, with one modification,” she writes, “If we don't defend our freedoms now against the onslaught of President Obama's policies, we won't have to wait until our sunset years for American freedom to be a distant memory.” The destruction of freedom keeps happening in America, and yet, somehow, not happening. It perpetually lies just over the horizon, close enough to keep refreshing the supply of right-wing paranoia.

Inflation will soar, interest rates will spike, blah, blah, blah. When people start to catch on to the 'cry wolf to make ideological gains' strategy, conservatives shift to a new warning about a dismal future. It's always sunset in America unless we follow their policies.

Speaking of sunset in America and destroying the economy, we should perhaps remember that Obama inherited an economy that was already destroyed. Let's see, who was president before Obama (hint: the same clowns were defending him even though they now hardly speak his name)?

    Posted by on Friday, March 29, 2013 at 10:49 AM in Economics, Politics | Permalink  Comments (22)


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