Friday, July 15, 2011

They ARE Crazy

There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know.
Donald Rumsfeld

I have concluded after the past few years that Republicans really ARE crazy (use any definition of crazy you wish). The House of Representatives, controlled at the moment by Republicans, has now voted to retreat from the Clean Water Act. For anyone in the U.S. to not want clean water is, in my opinion, crazy. They are currently opposed to raising the debt ceiling, also crazy. They have also done lots of other things I believe are crazy, but these two are pretty obviously crazy because the consequences are quite clear and very unpleasant. These are, in Rumsfeld’s terms, known knowns. It is also a known known that Republicans have as their primary goal making President Obama into a one-term President. We know this because they have told us so. As this is the case it is also a known known they have refused to cooperate on everything Obama has tried to do. This is a known known because they have stated proudly they would be the party of “no,” and they have religiously kept their pledge. We also know from their behavior of the last few years they are opposed to labor unions, minimum wages, social security, unemployment insurance, public health insurance, public schools, and virtually everything else that would benefit the poor and middle class. It is fair to say, I think, these too are known knowns, as is their opposition to abortion, Gay rights and marriage, and, apparently, even peace. The greatest known known is their obsession with reducing taxes and shrinking government. While from the standpoint of a stubborn, simple-minded view of human needs and requirements this might make sense (to them), from the standpoint of governing a country they are crazy. I should like to think that even from a political standpoint they are likewise crazy. How can they possibly believe they can be elected on the basis of these beliefs (that they might be is also crazy, but that is a somewhat different matter).

In the matter of known unknowns, things we know we don’t know, I doubt this is a salient issue for Republicans. There appears to be nothing they don’t know. For example, they know there is no such thing as global warming. They know evolution is a hoax, the poor are just lazy, welfare just makes them even lazier, creationism should be taught in school, Muslims are terrorists, privatization and deregulation are what we need, rich people and corporations create jobs with their enormous wealth, and Oil companies need public assistance. Oh, and the moon is made of green cheese, and the tooth fairly provides free dental service.

Similarly, when it comes to unknown unknowns, that is, things we don’t know we don’t know, they apparently don’t think about them at all. They don’t know we don’t know things that might have to do with global warming, or we don’t know we don’t know what will happen as species disappear, or, apparently, even that we don’t know we don’t know what the hell we are doing. With trust in the Lord, respect for the flag, our “values” and “democracy” there is just nothing we can’t do, what with our free-market capitalism, rugged individualism, pioneer spirit, independence, and American exceptionalism. This explains, I guess, why we are doing so exceptionally well at the moment. Hip-hip-hooray, cheers, chins up, and Remember the Alamo!

Many a glass,
and many a lass,
and never a
stormy sea.

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