A lot can – and has been – said about the Republican Party’s choice of Mitt Romney as the establishment’s last line of defense against Donald Trump. Not only is Mitt Romney another clueless rich white guy, but he once sought Trump’s endorsement during his own failed election in 2012.
Paul Krugman calls Romney vs. Trump a collision of fallacies but it was a lot worse than that.
As Krugman has observed, when Romney accepted Trump’s endorsement then, he praised him “as someone with an ‘extraordinary ability to understand how our economy works.'”
Krugman goes on to make the point that “at the time, Mr. Romney was saying almost exactly the same things Mr. Trump is saying now” about China, about Obama, about trade wars. The same things he is criticizing Trump for, now that nobody in the establishment wants anything to do with Trump.
That’s okay. We have already seen how the GOP wants to present Hillary Clinton as one of them to liberals on social media, while in the mainstream media denouncing her as a socialist like Bernie Sanders.
And he lost spectacularly, making you wonder just how qualified he was to denounce Trump. This is a guy, after all, whose own opinions were all over the place.
I have observed before that Republican contests are competing lies. None of them are talking about the real world or actual problems, but about things the Fox Reality Bubble wants Americans to think are real problems. They are arguing about an America that hasn’t existed since 2008, when the last Republican president left office having nuked the country with a dirty bomb of stupidity.
Paul Krugman’s column Monday is in this vein. When Fallacies Collide describes perfectly what is happening in the GOP sideshow, where, as he puts it, the debate between the two men was about competing versions of nonsense.
America cannot gain when the men fighting for the top job are arguing over points of nonsense. The way it is supposed to work is that they argue about actual real things, things that have some passing resemblance to the reality we inhabit.
The Republican Party has long since lost contact with our fact-based world and less and less does their reality bubble come into contact with facts. In their world, the God-free Constitution is based on the Ten Commandments and Trickle-Down Economics – like austerity measures – actually work.
Paul Krugman goes at the nuts and bolts of Republican economic fantasies, which are as confused and fact-free as their fantasies about how families work and the health of families with single-sex parents.
It’s not that the Republicans do not ever debate amid all the name calling and childish antics, but when they do, it’s junk economics, it’s fake history, invented science, and manufactured scandals.
The repeated appeals to Benghazi became to sound like Saturday Night Live’s old updates about how Francisco Franco is still dead – and are about as meaningful.
And it’s even worse: You can’t update something that wasn’t news in the first place. At least Franco wasn’t the invention of fevered minds in the bowels of Fox News, or the head of somebody like Paul Ryan, whose only real quality is the ability to lie with sincerity.
The Republican Party is a mess and the cognitive fallout of the Bush presidency has not and cannot save them. Without reality, no after-action report is going to be able to analyze, let alone identify what went wrong.
In 2008, the GOP headed off in one direction while the country went another. That a sizable number of Republicans followed their wayward party is a shame. It certainly does not help now that the GOP’s own creation, the child of that cognitive fallout, has now turned on his creators, leaving his creators to attack him for the same nonsense it has so long espoused.
Krugman facetiously calls this a good news/bad news situation, but using that metaphor, here is what really has happened:
President Obama once used the metaphor of the Republicans driving the car that is the U.S. into a ditch, and – quite sensibly – not letting them have the keys back.
The Republicans drove the car into the ditch. President Obama took away their keys and got it out of the ditch (Wall Street stable, auto industry restored, 5+ years of positive employment figures, deficit going down, etc).
The Republicans, however, are insisting that the car is still in the ditch and that not only did they not do it, but it was driven there by Obama, who wasn’t even president yet.
What value can there be – and every Republican platform is based on this – on any argument over a non-existence set of circumstances?
The answer is none.
There is literally no good news to be found. Not when what is happening is that – to appeal to the photo above – both Romney and Trump, as the GOP candidates have done in every debate, backed their metaphorical garbage trucks up, and unloaded their contents on the Republican landfill of ideas.
Try as you might, you can’t make it sound as though something positive has taken place.
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.