That conservatives and conservatism has allied itself with the perpetual lie is not news or even shocking. One interesting justification for the reliance on the big lie is that while many conservative Republicans know they are lying or that their candidates is a unrepentant serial liar, is that there’s is a just cause. Lies told for the cause are noble lies. They’re a small sin that must be used over and over again in order to bring America to the sick twisted deliverance of conservatism. A movement that is antithetical to having a democratic republic. Someone once said that you can chose to be a conservative or a patriot. That is not an insult it is true. Mark Twain once described the kind of “patriotism” in which conservatives believe, “Man is the only Patriot. He sets himself apart in his own country, under his own flag, and sneers at the other nations, and keeps multitudinous uniformed assassins on hand at heavy expense to grab slices of other people’s countries, and keep them from grabbing slices of his. And in the intervals between campaigns he washes the blood of his hands and works for “the universal brotherhood of man”- with his mouth.” I have no doubt that after more than half a century of wrapping up every dangerous, counter productive, bloody, intolerant, ethnocentric, misogynistic, paranoid thought and public policy in the flag – many rank and file conservative Republican believe they are patriots, in the good sense of the word. Like legends in children’s books, just because children believe them does not make them true. Or put another way, 1 Corinthians 13:11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. Conservatism is the unique ability not to put away bizarre beliefs, to put away abject fear, to put away childish views of the world. Conservatism is the refusal to even grow up and deal with the world in adult terms. Conservatives see nation and government as a role playing game where the aristocracy, the chosen few rightfully rule – thus the unhinged resentment at President Obama’s election and his daring to actually govern the country. It explains the reason that the only good compromise on policy is one where far Right conservatives get everything they want – the aristocracy always feels they have some divine right to have anything and everything their way regardless of how deeply those policies hurt the majority of the people. The USA was founded on liberal political theory. Liberals, progressives and even Republican-lite Democrats can trace their beliefs back to Jefferson, Madison ( the most ardent advocate of the separation of church ad state among the Founders), John Locke, Charles de Montesquieu, Voltaire, Adam Smith, Immanuel Kant, John Keynes and John Stuart Mill among many others. Conservatism or conservative political theory has no real roots in history. Conservatives frequently refer to Edmund Burke as their philosophical guiding light. Burke did speak in favor of democracy for the 13 original colonies, but in general he thought that democracy was not an appropriate form of government. First it was his claim that government should only, could only be governed by the educated elite – a matter of societal position by way of royal titles and thus money in his day, not the common people. He thought that ordinary citizens were consumed by the shifting winds of their passions. Far too unstable to govern. It is true that throughout history that mob mentality has played a role in the general mood and desires of the masses. Burke never considered that a government could have a foundation that guaranteed certain inalienable rights regardless of the shifting winds of public opinion. Burke was consumed by paranoia that cherished traditions and establishment practice of religion might be undermined by popular thought. If those traditions included women, the poor, working class rough necks as to be discriminated against than that was the price paid for maintaining the privileges and status of the nation’s elite.
Thus conservatism standing for nothing or not much, having a twisted view of love of country, a sick take on democracy and utter contempt for any facts or people that might get in their way we have Mitt Romney packing as many falsehoods as possible into this childish and ridiculous editorial, Romney op-ed: Taxpayers should get GM shares’ proceeds
Three years ago, in the midst of an economic crisis, a newly elected President Barack Obama stepped in with a bailout for the auto industry.
This is a well known part of the public record - George W. Bush: Auto bailout was mine!
“I didn’t want there to be 21 percent unemployment,” Bush told the 22,000 attendees. “Sometimes circumstances get in the way of philosophy.”
“I said, ‘No depression.’”
In his memoir he said the move was “the only option” to avert immediate bankruptcy of Chrysler and GM and the loss of a million jobs and $150 billion in tax revenues.
This is the House vote totals on the Detroit rescue, The crucial vote was 263-171, passing by a comfortable bipartisan margin. Most Democrats voted in favor (172 yeas to 63 nays), while a slighter majority of Republicans voted against (91 yeas to 108 nays). The Senate was stalled in voting for the rescue bill so Bush just made it part of the TARP bail-out which Republicans had already voted in favor. As far as facts go, there are conservative finger prints all over that bill. GM and Chrysler are both making profits. Romney say that a bankruptcy would have been the best way to go. If he cared about facts he would know that GM was reorganized under a government guided bankruptcy – i.e. Chap 11. GM came out of bankruptcy and was re-listed on the NYSE on November 18, 2010, setting the record for the largest IPO in US history with a value of $20.1 billion. The U.S. and Canadian governments both held shares – that would be because the government or tax payers should own a stake as collateral in a company to which they have loaned funds. Maybe Romney and Bain gives out unsecured loans all the time. That is generally considered an irresponsible way to do business. In suspect Romney and other conservatives critics of the rescue know that, but once again when the truth does nor serve their agenda it gets blind folded and tossed in a ditch.
GM and Chrysler have largely repaid their loans. Since the bail-out did stop two large employers and hundreds of parts suppliers from going out of business – those keeping thousands of people employed, on net it the Detroit bail-out was the right thing to do. From a study (pdf) that examined the economic and jobs benefits from saving GM and Chrysler,
Supply Chain Shakeout
U.S. automakers cannot make a car or truck without access to an extensive network of more than 1,700 suppliers. While many are very large suppliers (referred to as Tier 1 suppliers in the auto business), there are hundreds of smaller companies that make up the Tier 2 and 3 supplier base.
Together, these suppliers provide the estimated 8,000-12,000 parts that make up to two-thirds of the value of today’s motor vehicles. See Appendix D for a graphic example of the diversity of part manufacturers for a typical 2010 Ford Mustang.
The auto parts industry employs more than 686,000 direct workers, generates $388 billion in
economic activity, and produces more than two-thirds of the value of automobiles.25 About one quarter of the parts makers are in Michigan, over one-third are located in other Great Lakes states, and nearly one-third have production facilities in Southern states, mirroring the shift in auto production to the South as shown on the map in Figure 1.26
*as part of the bail-out the UAW agreed not to strike until 2015 and gave up millions in wage and benefits. Even though Ford did not participate in the loan program they received similar UAW concessions.
part of the conservative faux outrage over Detroit is that it is dishonest and disingenuous. We hear nothing about how Ronald Reagan did not just bail-out the savings and loans industry during the 1980s, he seized ownership of them. Of the two economic events, the Detroit bail-out versus the Reagan’s S&L bail-out, which is closer to being government over reach or socialism. Reagan’s seizure, based on the facts. here we are again. Detroit failed for a combination of reasons that reached a perfect storm. A far Right conservative president bails them out. The next president steps in to try and clean up the mess left by the other guy and the other party whose deregulation fanaticism helped cause the events that lead to the Detroit auto industry problems. Conservatives blame it all on the guy trying to clean up their mess. So much for adult-like acceptance of the consequences for one’s behavior. Nope, conservatives use their disaster as a gudgeon against Democrats. The subject of a recent post here, Republicans undiscover fire
However, just because it’s possible to unearth grizzled examples of ugliness doesn’t mean that the current season is not unique. Uniquely dangerous. And what makes it dangerous is the pretense that we’re still in that fantasyland were ideas arm wrestle for history’s approval. In fact, that time is long past. It’s not even that what’s now coming from the right consists of 100% emotional, fear-based appeals without a factual basis. In 2012, a campaign of suggestive fear-mongering seems almost quaint.
It’s that the Republicans have staked out a position that requires that they lie, 24/7, 365. Not shade the facts their way. Not put their own spin on the situation. Lie. Big, sloppy, and constantly.
The lies go beyond instantly dismissible claims like President Obama being the “food stamp president” (why you have to go back one whole administration to discover that more people joined the food stamp ranks under Bush than Obama, but then the Republicans don’t seem to remember Bush in any case). The blatant lies extend through every aspect of the Republican platform, such as it is. The simple reason is that the Republicans have no ideas left, at least no ideas that have not been tested and proven to be failures again, and again, and again.
The economy didn’t just crash under a Republican president, it crashed under Republican policies. It crashed with low taxes. It crashed with deregulated markets. It crashed with huge restrictions on union activity. It crashed with massive cuts in environmental regulations. It crashed with lowered trade barriers. It crashed with big fat Pentagon spending.
They got what they wanted. They got CEOs with no limits on their wealth. They got banks with no limits on their “creativity.” They got trade agreements that guaranteed manufacturing could be moved to the dirtiest, cheapest, most desperate source available. They got massive cuts in capital gains taxes and equally large boosts in the wealth they could pass along in estates. They got everything they said would make us all wealthy. They got record oil and gas drilling. They got record giveaways of public land. They got everything they said would create jobs. They got the middle class to shoulder more, more, more of the burden so that those beautiful job creators would be free to work their magic.
They can’t say the economy crashed because taxes went up, because they didn’t. They can’t say that the economy crashed because there was a raft of new regulation, because there wasn’t. They can’t blame it on “union thugs” or Saul Alinsky or the guy who writes Happy Holidays cards at Hallmark. They can’t blame it on a president who was elected when the world was already in free fall. Only, of course they do. They say it because they have no choice. (emphasis mine)
The conservative movement cannot survive on its record, its history, its substance. It can only survive on the foundation of the never ending big lie.