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Doubling down on stupid

October 22, 2013

madhatterOne symptom of being trapped by a narrow ideology is that after saying something absurd — as neurosurgeon Ben Carson recently did when labeling Obamacare the worst thing since slavery — the speaker then doubles down. Now, Carson says this law passed by Congress somehow upturns the Constitutional order:

This nation was founded on the principle that it would be a new type of nation, that was for, of, and by the people. A constitution was put in place that would assure that the people remain at the pinnacle of power and that the central government would never reach the point where it had control of the people. [Obamacare] fundamentally changes the relationship.

Just how does it do that? Whether it is good law or bad law or mediocre law, it doesn’t do much differently than is done in many modern democracies. Like any law, future Congresses can repeal it or modify it, if those who want to do so are in the majority. I wonder if Carson considers Switzerland a slave state? It also mandates health insurance. And now is voting on a minimum income, brought to the ballot by popular initiative. Does that mean its people no longer control its government?

Adam Gopnik traces the ideological filters of the modern Tea Party back to the old John Birch Society. The Economist compares them to their counterparts in Europe.

Is there a glimmer of hope? Business-oriented Republicans are starting to talk about putting their money against Tea Party candidates in the primaries. Groups such as the National Federation of Independent Businesses, the US Chamber of Commerce, and National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors were frightened by the debt ceiling showdown, and take a considerably different view of immigration reform. My suspicion is this won’t matter. In politics, at the electoral level, ideology trumps business pragmatics. The rule in the GOP will continue to be “no enemies to the right.” Alas.

One Comment leave one →
  1. John permalink
    November 4, 2013 10:11 pm

    Hi, I am from Australia. I came across your site via Immanent Frame
    Have you read the essay by the truth-telling writer Chris Hedges titled The Radical Christian Right and the War on Government.
    And of the truth-telling work of Henry Giroux – his essay The Ghost of Authoritarianism in the Age of Shutdown is superb

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