Saturday, August 27, 2011

Quote of the Day

"We should be like 1900. We should be like 1940, 1950, 1960. I live on the Gulf Coast; we deal with hurricanes all the time. Galveston is in my district. There's no magic about FEMA. They're a great contribution to deficit financing and quite frankly they don't have a penny in the bank. We should be coordinated but coordinated voluntarily with the states. A state can decide. We don't need somebody in Washington."

-- Ron Paul, speaking yesterday in New Hampshire

I swear, sometimes I actually feel bad holding Ron Paul up to ridicule or even bothering to take anything he says seriously. First of all, he's obviously suffering from dementia; secondly, while he's an entertaining diversion and one that inexplicably inspires cult-like devotion among both the tiny "intellectual" arm of the Tea Party and America's early-20-something stoner community, he doesn't stand a chance in hell of winning a thing beyond his congressional seat. The only way Paul will ever see the inside of the Oval Office is if he's invited there by whoever happens to be president. And that's partially because he can stand up in front of a group of people and honestly say, without a hint of irony, that this country needs to return to the way it was 111 years ago. I get that today's Republicans tend to fetishize the 50s, but at least everyone had electricity by that point.

On the podcast this week, Bob and I talked about the school district in Pennsylvania that's now using sheep to cut the grass at one middle-school because it says they save money that would otherwise be spent on, you know, a guy and a lawnmower. Cesca's comment about the story earlier in the week on his blog was freaking priceless: "We’re seriously a few more sheep and a Thunderdome away from becoming Bartertown."

But that's apparently what guys like Ron Paul want.

I've been over this before so I'm not going to repeat myself at length. Suffice it to say, though, that this Randian asshole, every-man-for-himself brand of libertarianism that Paul and his monkey son espouse -- and which seems to have found an audience among the craziest sliver of the electoral pie -- is exactly as advertised. I'll give Paul this, he makes it perfectly clear what he's all about and doesn't hedge one bit; he wants you to know that he doesn't give a rat's ass about you as an American or about this nation as a world leader or superpower. About to get slammed by a hurricane? Tough shit, pal -- you're on your own. It's your fault for living where the hurricanes are and it's certainly not my problem or responsibility. The rest of the world's gonna laugh at this once-mighty country if we allow ourselves to regress to the point of being, basically, a Third World feudal society peppered with frontier towns and no centralized government to speak of? So be it.

Again, there's a point to be made that it's a waste of time and copy-space to give Paul's ramblings any more credence than those of the recently released Bellevue patient who's now staked out a soapbox in the middle of Central Park. For Christ's sake, in 1977 Jimmy Carter implored this country to make the tiny sacrifice of dropping the thermostat a few degrees and wearing a sweater -- and he was publicly castigated for it. You think Americans are gonna go for the abandonment of entire swaths of the country and its people every time a disaster like a monster hurricane hits? You're even more of a lunatic than Ron Paul -- and that's not easy.


Eric said...

And to be perfectly clear, this is what Paul is specifically alluding to in his comments.

1900, Galveston, indeed. 8,000 dead Americans and the place looked like fucking Hiroshima did the morning after we dropped an atom bomb on them. Ron Paul is a dick.

Ducky said...

Didn't Galveston recieve $120million from FEMA to rebuild? Shouldn't someone from there remember that?

Sean said...

"The idea promoted by Ayn Rand and other sociopaths, is if everybody operated maximally in their own self-interest and to hell with everybody else has an actual name in the world of biology. It's called cancer. It's time to call out the selfish libertarians, objectivists and oligarchs in our nation and call them what they are: a cancer on our body politic." Thom Hartmann 8/25 timecode: 47:55

Anonymous said...

Someone on Tumblr has been posting excerpts from 'The Federalist Papers' written by Alexander Hamilton. It's quite depressing how some of the things this guy wrote still apply right now in today's political climate.

Here's an example:

"Among the most formidable of the obstacles which the new Constitution will have to encounter may readily be distinguished the obvious interest of a certain class of men in every state to resist all changes which may hazard a diminution of the power, emolument and consequence of the offices they hold under the state establishments- and the perverted ambition of another class of men, who will either hope to aggrandize themselves by the confusions of their country, or will flatter themselves with fairer prospects of elevation from the subdivision of the empire into several partial confederacies, than from its union under one government."

kanye said...

This is a good teaching moment. Your example of Jimmy Carter is a prime example of how easily information can be manipulated; how facts about policies and their affects that were once common knowledge in the public sphere can be distorted and swept away, as if they never existed.

Jimmy Carter wasn’t publicly castigated: He was the victim of a cold, calculated marketing campaign, conceived and financed by the energy industry, and carried out by industry’s bagmen in congress; both Democrat and Republican alike.

It was a marketing campaign that failed miserably, by the way.

We know this because the data tells us so: Within a couple of months of Jimmy Carter’s speech, both gross and net foreign oil imports leveled off, and then began to decline. Oil imports continued to decline at a steady rate right on through the end of Carter’s presidency. That’s the only time that’s ever happened in modern American history, including the Oil Crisis of the early ‘70s. From the moment that FDR parked a Navy ship in the Suez Canal in ‘45 and cut a deal with King Saud, trading American security services for access to Saudi oil, excluding that two-year period during Jimmy Carter’s presidency when he asked the nation to conserve, oil imports to America have never failed to rise.

The public did in fact take Carter’s message to heart. They put on their sweaters, turned down their thermostats, took shorter showers and began carpooling. And as a result, energy consumption across the board was decreased…dramatically.

Jimmy Carter addressed the nation, explained the facts, put those facts into accurate context, offered solutions and clearly demonstrated how his solutions would help to remedy a problem that was afflicting the entire public. In other words, he treated the public as adults.

The public responded by understanding the situation and adopting the proposed measures, both willingly and immediately. And seeing the results, they continued applying those measures. In other words, the public acted like adults.

Right up until Reagan. That’s when we started to act like a nation of children.

Anyway, that’s the proper takeaway from the Carter example.

BillB said...

TIME magazine arrived today with a multi-page spread on dear Ron. His nuttiness is presented as sweet sincerity, with no real investigation of what he has said and done. He evidently has better publicists than TIME has writers.

Go ahead and glut yourself on Whack-a-Paul. You can do it all day and not hit TIME's circulation, but you may feel better for the exercise.

Anonymous said...

I must admit that every time my shithead, unemployed, emotionally stunted, younger brother goes off on another youtube inspired, Ayn Rand cliff noted, and socially irresponsible rant from his beloved Ron Paul, I wish...truly wish that Ron Paul was in charge of this country for six months. Hell, I wish he not only had the presidency, but that both the house and the senate was under the control of a Ron Paul cackle of idiots.

Because within 6 months of pushing through their crap, every single American would want to hang this idiot from the nearest tree.

Ron Paul works as a politician the same way that the TV show "CSI: Latest Crap" works. It assumes the target audience has Alzheimer disease and cannot rationally handle anything that requires logical thinking. He spots the same useless crap, again and again. It doesn't matter if its utter bullshit because his audience would never think critically.

But the moment they actually had to start living the policies they deem worthy...all fucking hell would break loose...and it would be glorious.

Anonymous said...

I won’t try to articulate an argument against Libertarianism, as it is basically a religious creed. Like Communism, another mystical political philosophy, it requires you to swallow some rather fantastic assumptions about what human beings would act like if only they had the chance, and once you’ve dedicated yourself to these precepts it is pretty tough to abandon the faith.

Bill White-God, Guns, Country and Toby Keith said...

I love Rep. Paul, but he's wrong on the jihadist threat. I'm praying that he and "Mr." Huntsman will step down and stop embarrassing WE THE PEOPLE who NEED to remove Hussein Downgrade Obama as soon as possible. With that fact stated here on this lefty blog, thank the Lord Almighty for those who DO NOT embarrass us including the honorable Rep. Michele Bachmann, the honorable Speaker Newt Gingrich, Mr. Herman Cain and the honorable Gov. Rick Perry. All four of these individuals speak the truth and WILL fight for low/no taxe$, a culture of life and a pro-business environment. I'm proud of these fine conservatives. and any one of them will run this once-free nation better than the socialist anti-colonialist occupying the White House.