A New York Times editorial proclaims “Mr. Romney needs a working calculator.” Amen. As this editorial says, “To the annoyance of the Romney campaign, members of Washington’s reality-based community have a habit of popping up to point out the many deceptions in the campaign’s blue-sky promises of low taxes and instant growth.”
It is fitting that the New York Times refers to a ”reality-based community” because it was in the New York Times that this now famous phrase first appeared, back in 2004, quoting, fittingly enough, a Republican. It was an aide to President George W. Bush who first put a Republican president outside of reality and bragged about the expediency of making his own. And this is a community from which Mitt Romney has also willingly excluded himself.
“Blue-sky promises” hits the nail on the head. We are going to fix this and fix that, Romney says, but he won’t - and can’t - say how. It’s like magic (after all, Ann says, just electing him will fix everything – who needs math?) and we’re just supposed to trust him. I wouldn’t trust Romney if he told me the sky was blue.
As the Times go on to tell us: “The latest is the Joint Committee on Taxation, an obscure but well-respected Congressional panel — currently evenly divided between the parties — that helps lawmakers calculate the effect of their tax plans.”
And what is the word, you ask? It’s another blow to wishful thinking:
The answer came last week: ending all those deductions would only produce enough revenue to lower tax rates by 4 percent. Mitt Romney says he can lower tax rates by 20 percent and pay for it by ending deductions. The joint committee’s math makes it clear that that is impossible.
That won’t stop Mr. Romney from insisting that it is possible when he debates President Obama, of course, though he won’t have Lehrer in his corner this time.
We have already seen how Paul Ryan handled these questions when Mike Wallace put him on the spot on Fox News of all places.
Yet it was Romney who told Obama he was not entitled to his own reality. That was a brilliant stroke, taking the initiative. You have to admire anyone willing to lie so boldly and so confidently. But with Mike Wallace, and with developments like the Times editorial, the tide me be beginning to turn on Romney’s fantasy economics. President Obama has the chance to put this lie away at the upcoming debate.
You don’t have to go far, though, to see how widespread this denial-of-reality goes, and why even a splash of cold ocean won’t shake the devotion of the faithful.
Glenn Beck may be less visible these days but he’s no less over-the-top. When you get a mythologizer like David Barton together with the suggestible and highly-strung Beck, anything can happen. Like proclaiming that Mitt Romney is the next Abraham Lincoln.
The Great Enslaver is like the Great Emancipator?
Glenn, you’re known for saying some crazy things, but are you sure you want to go there?
Take a look courtesy of Right Wing Watch:
David Barton says it was Lincoln’s proclamation of a day of prayer and fasting on March 30, 1863 that gave the Union the win. Apparently, “God” decided that rather than giving the Union the win right then and there as a reward, he’d make them fight for another bloody two years and let tens of thousands of young men die horribly along with the suffering of an often innocent civilian population in the war zones.
Right. And Thomas Jefferson could not have freed his slaves. Look, the war was won because of a number of factors, not least Lincoln’s tenacity and 23,000 dead and wounded and missing at Gettysburg who exhibited a tenacity of their own in the cause of the Union. If Barton’s god won the Civil War, he had a sick way of doing it.
These two topics may seem unrelated but they’re tightly entwined. The fundamentalist Republican base wants a certain America. To have that certain America, they need a certain past. Romney wants to have a certain America too – namely an America with him at the head. To have that, certain things have to be true even when they cannot possibly be. Like this recent Romney ad attacking Obama. As lies go, this is nothing less than breathtaking:
“The facts are clear. Obama’s four deficits are the four largest in U.S. history. He’s adding almost as much debt as all 43 previous presidents combined.”
Not only did 9/11 now happen on Obama’s watch, but George W. Bush’s debt now magicaly becomes Obama’s debt. Do the math. Romney sure didn’t.
The Republican War on Science has tossed aside all appeal to facts, to reality, to cause and effect, and to the historical record.
Really, with all due respect to the New York Times, it is not a working calculator Romney needs at all. What Romney needs, what the Republican Party as a whole needs, is a willingness to use a calculator. It’s almost as though such things have come to be seen as the workings of Satan, and we can only wonder how long it will be before we are being told that microphones and cameras steal the soul.
Anything that casts doubt on the Republican Party’s fantasy America must be the work of demons.
The Times sums up the situation nicely: “It is increasingly clear that the Romney tax ‘plan’ is not really a plan at all but is instead simply a rhapsody based on old Republican themes that something can be had for nothing.
Including a new history and indeed, new mathematical laws, and new laws of physics, more amenable to their fantasies.
We have many mathematical laws but the most important law in all of history might be Romney’s Law, which supersedes everything you thought you knew: that numbers are and do what you insist they are and do.
Let the voter beware.
Photo from Robert Pielke Jr.’s Blog
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.