As you know, I recently wrote a book describing my experiences in attending creationist conferences. Over a period of several years I attended one such event after another, often spending many hours a day listening to vicious, ignorant nonsense.
I mention this to establish my high tolerance for right-wing stupidity. Why, then, do I find it impossible to watch the Republican convention?
Happily, Paul Krugman has summed it all up perfectly:
The GOP campaign is based on five main themes, three negative and two positive.
The claim that Obama denigrated businessmen, saying that they didn’t build their own firms — which isn’t true.
The claim that Obama has gutted Medicare to pay for the expansion of health insurance — which isn’t true.
The claim that Obama has eliminated the work requirement for welfare — which isn’t true.
The claim that Ryan has a plan to balance the budget — which isn’t true.
The claim that Romney has a plan for economic recovery — which isn’t true. (The Economist: “The Romney Programme for Economic Recovery, Growth and Jobs” is like “Fifty Shades of Grey” without the sex).
Sounds about right.
Blatant disregard for and out right hostility against the truth is a common theme for the campaign. I only quibble that this is not misinformation, it is disinformation. To be misinformed implies an unknown error, unwitting ignorance. This is deliberate and purposeful deceit.
Thing is, the GOP has decided that "the left" (which means "anyone left of me" in practice) is not merely the opposition, but THE ENEMY.
And therefore ANYTHING that can be done to stop them is not only good, but MANDATORY.
Any lie, any fabrication, any dirt brought up, any loophole or obstruction is demanded lest THE ENEMY win. And since this is the "moral choice", there is no compunction nor shame in bald-faced lying-your-arse-off.
What is a little odd is that I've seen "explanations" for Chemical Ali and Saddam's ludicrous lies to camera in that the arab world EXPECTS you to lie for your cause, that this is normal and that the best truth will be found by the best liar.
Whether true or not, this is DEFINITELY the M.O. of the right wing.
My favorite part is at the beginning of the piece where Krugman quotes Barbara Bush saying, "Why should I waste my beautiful mind on that?" If I remember correctly, that is the same beautiful mind (B. Bush) that remarked about the over-crowding of the Super Dome with displaced people in Katrina's aftermath saying, "The situation isn't as bad as the media is portraying it because those people are use to living in those conditions." -- or something along those lines -- demonstrating that beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder.
I had to look up that first one, initially I didn't know what it referred to.
Paraphrasing, Obama said that business owners don't build the roads and infrastructure that serve their businesses. They also didn't build the education of their workforce. Taxpayers and government builds these things, and this (collective/social) contribution to the success of business is being ignored by Republicans.
This statement was then blatantly misinterpreted by the right to be "Obama said American businesspeople didn't build our own businesses."
Anyone know what the business of roads is? I can see "greengrocers" being a business over food. I can see "banker" being a business over money.
But what business does roads?
(may be irrelevant anyway, since the greengrocers don't make the food they sell, nor is [in theory] the banker making the money they sell)
But what business does roads?
In some countries (e.g., France and Spain) there are private or semiprivate companies whose business it is to construct and maintain motorways. Their funding comes from selling bonds to pay for construction and collecting tolls on these roads to cover maintenance and bond payments. The US, for the most part, did not go this route; the nearest equivalents to these road companies are generally state-owned turnpike authorities (there may be cases where toll collection rights have been sold to private companies), and most US motorways and surface highways were built and are maintained with public funds (the UK and Germany also follow this model).
But even in countries where private firms built roads, other businesses used these roads to prosper. Ditto any other kind of infrastructure.
There are toll roads too in the UK and USA, practically private roads.
But they don't go to businesses, neither out of town nor in town centres. You know, the ones that people going there HAVE to use to get there?
But none of them build a road and then ask someone to buy access, do they?
"But even in countries where private firms built roads, other businesses used these roads to prosper"
That's why the answer may be irrelevant (though the answer is "there is no business selling roads").
The whole thing is just political posturing. Obama's comment should not be any more controversial than Newton's "If I have seen a little further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." Obama's just appyling that to business. But, he's the democrat incumbent, so for convention purposes anything and everything he says must be evil.
As the resident Person Who Complains About This Particular Thing, I applaud you for not titling this post
"Krugman States It Plain." Well (not) done!