Saturday, July 23, 2011

Conservative craziness

Conor Friedersdorf is a libertarian (a very smart one) who does one of those jobs not many have the stomach for. He listens to right wing talk radio and keeps tabs on the crazy stuff that is consistently said. In this piece, he responds to David Brooks' column from a while back in which he stood in awe as Republicans passed on incredible deals proposed by Obama to raise the debt ceiling. Here are a few examples of what he has heard about the debt ceiling:

Here's Rush Limbaugh, telling his listeners that all the dire warnings are an old Ivy League prank the elites are playing on the people:

It hits you upside the head, a cold ice shower. You realize what suckers they think we are. You realize the patterns -- the playbooks, the tactics, the scare tactics, the fear-mongering, crisis mongering, all of this -- are written down. It's taught. This is not instinctive. This stuff, I guess, is what these people learn at Harvard and Yale and the Kennedy School of Government, wherever else they go to get educated or how they're mentored.

I didn't go to Harvard or Yale. But I can say that I wasn't taught any of this, that is, this idea that you should make up phony crises in order to get what you want. This is just complete and total bullshit and he doesn't have a shred of viable evidence to back this up. I wonder if he actually believes this shit. Here is the dumbest thing I've heard about this issue yet. I'll give you two guesses who says it:

HANNITY: What would be acceptable -- because you're a conservative, you're well known in the Tea Party, you're a Tea Party leader. I'm a conservative, a registered conservative. I would prefer cut, cap and balance. But I mean cut now, not later, not 12 years down the road. If you can't get that through, the country can't default. I think that's a reality you agree with, is that correct?

PALIN: Sure. We cannot default, but we have to -- we cannot afford to retreat right now, either. Now is not the time to retreat.

HANNITY: Right.

PALIN: This is the time to reload. And we reload with reality by giving facts and numbers to the American public so that those of us across the U.S. can start chiming in and letting our representatives know that we will not capitulate, we will not hand over more power, which I believe is unconstitutional, to President Obama to further manipulate our economy.

We can't default, but we also can't agree to any deal the president is willing to sign, deals that completely go against what liberals want. And she doesn't even explain what she thinks is unconstitutional. She is just rambling, and after being asked a softball and leading question. Just fucking dumb.

I don't think its too much of a stretch to say that if these people weren't spouting off this ridiculous bullshit fewer conservatives would believe crazy shit, and thus fewer people in Congress would be pushing for that crazy shit. For the sake of the country, we need conservatives listening to people like Friedersdorf, Andrew Sullivan, Bruce Bartlett, and David Frum instead of complete morons like Limbaugh and Palin. But as long as confirmation bias remains such a strong impulse on the right I'm not sure what can be done.

I wonder what things would look like if there was the liberal equivalent of this conservative craziness and there was a large amount of liberals who were demanding no cuts whatsoever and wouldn't support anything but a clean bill to increase the debt ceiling.

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