Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Yabbut . . .

John Quiggin discusses the divorce between Republicans and reality. His explanations are credible enough, but he ends on an optimistic note that seems questionable:

Does all this hurt or help the Republicans? In short-run electoral terms, I think it helps. A base of loyal supporters who, for one or other of the reasons mentioned above, are immune to factual evidence has to help win elections. There are, however, two big costs

* First, people have noticed that Republicans have a problem with reality. That perception, which undermines the rationale for all sorts of thinking about policy, will take a while to sink in, but it will also be hard to erase once it is generally accepted. In the long run, this has to turn off a fair number of Republican-leaning independents and any remaining Republicans with a capacity for embarrassment.

* Double-think is very difficult, and people will start to act on the basis of their beliefs. If those beliefs are ludicrously false, trouble is likely to follow.

Well yes, trouble is likely to follow, but not just trouble for Republican electoral prospects -- trouble, big trouble, for everyone. Which is in fact already happening. And it's happening much faster than "Republican-leaning independents and any remaining Republicans with a capacity for embarrassment" are actually getting visibly turned off, in large part thanks to the corporate media which continues to be Fair and Balanced.

We have urgent problems to solve now, but we're just spinning our wheels deeper and deeper into the snowbank. If indeed this means the lunatics actually don't win the Senate and hold onto the House in 2012, it will already be too damn late. But hardly anybody thinks we'll even be that lucky.

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