Steve Hochstadt: We have learned to expect our political leaders to adopt partisan positions on every possible issue, subordinating facts to ideology, truth to political advantage. We can no longer believe even the basic biographical “facts” that they claim qualify them for office.
Steve Hochstadt: We grredy American homeowners appear as co-conspirators in many judgments about what caused the great recession. In these interpretations, many of us were greedy for wanting bigger homes than we deserved, foolish to have then bought larger houses than we could afford, and stupid for agreeing to the low-interest/low-payment scams of mortgage sellers.
Steve Hockstadt: Rand Paul discovered that most of his fellow Republicans disagreed with his idea that a significant part of the civil rights triumph of the 1960s was wrong. That led him and the Republican Party into a whole new strategy of pretending that past statements don’t exist and only allowing these very conservative candidates to appear in front of friendly media hosts, who will not ask about them.
Steve Hockstadt: The Tea Partiers are not what they seem. They say they’re about freedom, not party, that they just want government off their backs. They appear to attack incumbents of both parties. So why are they all Republicans?
I don’t doubt Obama’s strategic intelligence, his seriousness of purpose, his American patriotism, or his decision-making process. But I think his decision is wrong. We can’t do anything there but continue to lose lives and money.
Conservatives have repeatedly refused to accept the best science about threats to our public health, because only government could then offer remedies. They have fought significant efforts to improve public health, from Medicare to our current health reform debate, in order to prevent the growth of government. And every time their “science” was wrong.
Our democracy is under attack. Men in high public office and with control over our national airwaves are deliberately stoking a potentially violent movement opposed to our democratic process.