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9 March 2009
Conservative Claims vs. Reality

Right-wing talking points that don’t walk the talk

Claim. Americans favor bipartisanship.

Reality. When things are fine and the country lacks direction, bipartisanship is cool because it frustrates stupid wedge-issue legislation. When one party just trounced the other in a general election, it’s safe to say the country’s not in a bipartisan mood.

Claim. America is a center-right nation.

Reality. When citizens think their retirement is all set, America is a center-right country. When it gets cut in half and millions are laid off, the zig turns into a zag.

Claim. If Obama fails to stabilize the economy, Americans will turn right to, say, Bobby Jindal.

Reality. If Obama fails, the country won’t embrace the GOP model. It will find an American Hugo Chávez.

Claim. Only economic growth (certainly not redistribution) can solve our economic problems.

Reality. Much of our current problem results from hitting the limits of growth—whether it’s petroleum and other commodities, water in the Southwest, breathable air in China, or timber in the Amazon. Any rethinking of our economic future must look to sustainability. Growth is another word for tumor.

Claim. Free markets achieve economic justice and efficiency thanks to Adam Smith’s magical “invisible hand.”

Reality. There is no such thing as a free market, though maybe the arms bazaars of Peshawar come pretty close. Markets exist only when there is protection—normally government protection—from theft and fraud. Smith understood this.

Claim. Rush Limbaugh is not the de facto spokesman for the Republican Party.

Reality. Who’s Rush Limbaugh?

Recent toon:
Deal or No Deal?

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