Thomas Frank notes the inherent cynicism contained within Republican politicians. Republicans of the last few decades got elected by running against Big Gomnet1, and once elected, proceed to gut, damage and otherwise destroy the mechanisms of the very bureaucracy they were supposed to be in charge of. Hurricane Katrina, the Iraq War, the current fiscal mess, these are all direct results of electing anti-government Republicans.
now we are supposed to vote for more conservative Republicans because we learned from the last bunch of conservative Republicans that government just doesn’t work.
That is the advice of Sarah Palin, Republican vice-presidential nominee, in last week’s debate with her Democratic counterpart, discussing the dread prospect of universal health care: “Unless you’re pleased with the way the federal government has been running anything lately, I don’t think that it’s going to be real pleasing for Americans to consider health care being taken over by the feds.”
Conservative misrule, prompted by conservative disdain for government, proves that government cannot be trusted — and that the only answer is to elect another round of government-denouncing conservatives.
“Cynicism” seems too small a word for this circular kind of political fraud. One reaches instead for images of grosser malevolence. It’s like suggesting that the best way to recover from pneumonia is to stand in the rain for three hours. It’s like arguing that the way to solve nuclear proliferation is by handing out weapons-grade plutonium to everyone who asks for it.
- also known as Big Government, or worse [↩]