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September 06, 2007

Good People, Bad Places

Writing about Norm Ornstein and AEI, Matt says, "having good people at bad institutions just makes it harder to marginalize the lunatics in the way they ought to be marginalized." This is basically my point on economists and The Wall Street Journal, or Mankiw and Mitt Romney. It's also the subject of my column today.

September 6, 2007 | Permalink


This was also my point in my "Why I Hate The New Republic" post.

Posted by: Kathy G. | Sep 6, 2007 12:34:44 PM

Nearly every fraternity, social club and insider elite group has its rituals, passwords and regalia. The GOP is a good example in modern (post-Goldwater) times. The open password in this 'conservative' political club is 'cut taxes' - the secret one being 'soak the middle class'. The GOP ritual is 'drown the baby' which takes the form of privatizing whatever government function (including the military!) they can sneak by the electorate and consistently taking sides with the corporatists in all matters regulatory.

There is no alternative for a Republican creature but to pay daily fealty to these two pillars of the party. The penalty for non-observance is a Club for Growth-funded opponent, no support from the national party for campaigns, and consignment to the back benches of power. It's quite a jugernaut.

The 'experts' in economics, foreign policy, national security, and miscellaneous domestic affairs, including the think-tankers and university profs, no how the GOP game is played. It is take no hostages, lie, cheat and steal if necessary, invent executive powers and legislative maneuvers never heard of before that put shame in the word democracy, and as a last resort - steal elections, criminally prosecute your opponents, and paint all naysayers as traitors, fellow travelers with terrorists, and freaky radicals who don't wash their feet or ears (or other key locations).

So, what's a economist to do if he wants to impact policy and programs? Sell out, baby. Play the game. Give away your credibility to allow your light to shine.

GOPism is the death of public integrity, but you can't retire on integrity - although you can write books, make speeches, and luxuriate in a think-tank post-retirement sinecure.

Dear Ben (Franklin): you gave us a republic, and we've proven we can't keep it. What should we do now?

Posted by: JimPortlandOR | Sep 6, 2007 12:43:48 PM

Kathy, your post on the Outdated Republic was wonderful.

Posted by: Farty Meretz | Sep 6, 2007 1:41:42 PM

Very nice, Ezra.

The pretty-[c]over-ugly
shelf-liner format is widely used in
polemic, persuasion and institutionally in...uh,
Group Lying.

Posted by: has_te | Sep 7, 2007 12:23:03 PM

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