I watched last Friday’s Real Time with Bill Maher. As regular readers know, I’m not that keen on Maher—he’s a bit too much the arrogant libertarian (and a kind of atheist that might amuse me sometimes, but is mostly annoying). On this episode, I was very much in sync with Maher. Also on the show was Soledad O’Brien, who has been acting like a real journalist over on CNN. (She can’t last long!) Jason Alexander was there with his new “semi-permanent” rug; he looked good, but he was typical of actors on the show: not that interesting. But what really struck me was Ron Christie, the gentle conservative with the harsh ideas.
I’ve put together a little video where I show the Ron Christie clips and discuss them. People who have followed my first small steps into the field of videography will note that this one doesn’t look too bad—except for the reflection on my glasses, but I like that in some ways: it makes me look like a cartoon nerd (which is what I am). Anyway, take a look at it and then I’ll have a few things to add:
I finally figured out what Christie was saying about Paul Ryan taking the money out of Medicare and putting it back in. He claims (I don’t think this is true) that Ryan’s plan takes these savings of Obama and then puts that money back into providing more Medicare. What is most remarkable about what he says is that this is what Obama has done: saved money for the Medicare plan. As a result of it, the program’s under-funding has been cut by almost 70%. The ACA makes Medicare viable for longer. But Ron Christie calls it savings when it is a Republican and cuts when it is a Democrat.
The bit Christie says about the Ryan plan not affecting anyone older than 55 is pure Republican talking point. But what exactly is the larger point? Paul Ryan is putting more money into Medicare so that he can reduce the number of people who get it? It is just madness. And, of course, there is this:
What I most hate about Ron Christie is exactly how “nice” he seems. He is just the same as Arthur Laffer. They, and many more like them, spew this conservative nonsense and when they are called on it, they just smile and say, “Ah, shucks!” They never admit to being wrong. Their whole approach is just to get out as much disinformation as they can.
This reminds me of the movie Flock of Dodos about the “Intelligent Design” movement. It was run by all these really nice old people. They were all so friendly! But they are also all committed to destroying our culture. That goes for the “reasonable” Republicans too.