Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Party of Stupid

I don't care for all the New York Times op-ed guys--William Kristol is a waste of protoplasm, for example--but as a group I like 'em. One of the best is the economist Paul Krugman, who had a column yesterday that bonged many of the gongs I've been hitting myself.

"Republicans," he writes, "once hailed as the 'party of ideas,' have become the party of stupid." While not insinuating anything about the intelligence of the Republicans at large, he observes something I've noticed for some time, only he says it much better. The Republicans, he says, have embraced: "know-nothingism — the insistence that there are simple, brute-force, instant-gratification answers to every problem, and that there’s something effeminate and weak about anyone who suggests otherwise — has become the core of Republican policy and political strategy. The party’s de facto slogan has become: 'Real men don’t think things through.'”

Ain't it the truth? He goes on to excoriate them about their ridiculous claim that offshore drilling is what we need to reduce prices at the gas pump in just a few months. This is total bullshit, but, as Krugman reminds us, so were the reasons the country was given for invading Iraq, and the American people had no trouble swallowing it. Like me, Krugman is worried that stupidity is the controlling force in U.S. elections. What else could explain the fact that almost 70 percent of the U.S. people now favor offshore drilling, and over half of them think that this would lower gasoline prices in less than a year?

Krugman has underscored a lamentable character trait of the Americans that seems more and more prominent. Not just their ignorance. But their aggressive stupidity. Such people, incapable of sensing how scorned they are by their supposed champions, deserve the Republicans.
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