Paul Krugman makes an excellent point on his blog today:
I know it’s an excellent point, because I’ve been making the same point for some time—particularly about healthcare. Note that “Obamacare” is exactly what John McCain campaigned on. Had he become president, I’m sure that we would have got the same plan. The only difference would have been that conservatives would have embraced it. It would not have been a major battle to get it passed. And the reason is clear: authoritarians (thank you John Dean) don’t stand for anything but standing in line: “for us and against them”—regardless of what “they” stand for.
How Do I Like Obama Now?
The last week I feel pretty damned good about him.
Grammar and Politics
One thing that I really hated about Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush was that they both spoke very poorly. On the other hand, I really like that Bill Clinton and Barack Obama are well-spoken. It matters to me that the president of the United States be able speak more or less correct English. It is bad when our school children see that the most powerful man in the world doesn’t even speak as well a local newscaster—a very low bar indeed. I don’t believe that any president in my lifetime has been stupid; I think that speaking poorly is a way for a president to say, “I’m not one of those elitist intellectuals.” And this is why I think we see this almost exclusively among Republican politicians. The Republican Party is an anti-intellectual party because it is so important for them to equate elitism with intelligence and knowledge rather than money and power—the attributes that truly make a person part of the elite. Thus, it came as no surprise to me when Donald Trump answered a question about why he illegally called his business school a university with, “We didn’t know there was any rules.” I don’t think that Trump is unaware that the correct construction is, “We didn’t know there were any rules.” Instead, I think it was a dog-whistle sentence. Without saying it, it told the intellectual-hating Republican Party base, “See! I’m not smart! I’m just like you!”
One year since the spill and there is still plenty of oil floating in and around the gulf. And estimates are that there will be for the next ten years. Meanwhile, BP, Transocean, and Haliburton all had record profits the first quarter of this year. And Congress has not passed a single piece of legislation concerning deep-water oil drilling.