GOP Parallel Universes: Hyperbolic and Counter-Intuitive Myths, Claims and Canards, July 23-27, 2013

1. Priebus was speaking with David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network, who noted that some Evangelicals were upset that Republicans are saying“we have to be more tolerant,” adding that “Evangelicals start to grab the Excedrin bottles when they hear ’tolerance,’ because they think, ‘oh no, the GOP’s changing.

“Don’t Worry, The GOP is Not Embracing‘Tolerance’”, Salon

2. On his Monday show, Rush Limbaugh ranted against “white guilt” and “Caucasians” getting “blamed for slavery when they’ve done more to end it than any other race, and within the bounds of the Constitution to boot.

“White guilt is doing nothing for anybody, and white guilt is not solving anything,” Limbaugh said. “And besides that, a little history lesson for you. If any race of people should not have guilt about slavery, it’s Caucasians. The white race has probably had fewer slaves and for a briefer period of time than any other in the history of the world.” He stipulated that he knows that “when the civil rights coalition gets ginned up,” they’re talking about slavery in America. “And that can’t be denied; it happened. But, compared to the kind of slavery that still exists in the rest of the world and has existed, by no means was it anywhere near the worst.”

‘White Race’ Should Not “Have Guilt About Slavery , Salon.

More American exceptionalism: our slavery is the best, ever. When they claim that Obama is “playing the race card,” they’re just giving themselves permission to continue to be racist.

 

3. Sen. Ted Cruz argued that advocates for legalizing same-sex marriage will eventually push to implement hate speech laws to stop pastors and other Christians who “preach biblical truths on marriage.” “If you look at other nations that have gone down the road towards gay marriage,” Cruz, R-Texas, told the Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody, “that’s the next step of where it gets enforced. It gets enforced against Christian pastors who decline to perform gay marriages, who speak out and preach biblical truths on marriage, that has been defined elsewhere as hate speech, as inconsistent with the enlightened view of government.” “I think there is no doubt that the advocates who are driving this effort in the United States want to see us end up in that same place,” he added.

“Ted Cruz: Gay Marriage Advocates Will Try to Stop Free Speech ,” Salon.

4. Rep. Steve King, a longtime immigration critic, caused a furor Tuesday when a video emerged of him saying many young illegal immigrants are drug mules.

“They aren’t all valedictorians. They weren’t all brought in by their parents,” Mr. King, an Iowa Republican, said of young undocumented immigrants “For every one who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there that, they weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert. Those people would be legalized with the same act.”

“Rep. King Creates Furor With Remarks on Immigrants,’ Washington Wire., WSJ Online.

5. Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr has outraged unions and investors by seeking to subordinate the city’s debts to the welfare of its residents via bankruptcy. But what probably disturbs the creditors even more is that his plan could set a precedent for other municipalities that are going broke. For years Detroit has been gutting services and sucking taxpayers dry to finance retirement and debt obligations. Nearly 70% of parks have been closed since 2008, and four in 10 street lights don’t work. The city has cut its police force by 40% in a decade. Response times are five times longer than the national average, and it has one of the highest violent crime rates in the country…. In Detroit, unions and creditors helped to perpetuate a borrow-tax-spend cycle at the expense of city residents. Bankruptcy shows the party is over, as it may also soon be for many other cities.

“After Detroit, Who’s Next?,” WSJ.

Another case of blaming the victims for the crime. The GOP solution to everything—lower taxes, slashed spending, and deregulation-will only exacerbate the pain. The Journal conveniently overlooks corporate tax subsidies, NAFTA, automaker malfeasance, corporate immunity, and state and municipal subsidies for the rich.

6. First, let me say that my father was a lifelong Democrat. He had helped to establish a local junior college aimed at providing vocational education for at-risk minorities, and as a hands-on administrator he found himself on some occasions in a physical altercation with a disaffected student. In middle age, he and my mother once were parking their car on a visit to San Francisco when they were suddenly surrounded by several African-American teens. When confronted with their demands, he offered to give the thieves all his cash if they would leave him and my mother alone. Thankfully they took his cash and left. I think that experience — and others — is why he once advised me, “When you go to San Francisco, be careful if a group of black youths approaches you.” Note what he did not say to me. He did not employ language like “typical black person.” He did not advise extra caution about black women, the elderly, or the very young — or about young Asian Punjabi, or Native American males. In other words, the advice was not about race per se, but instead about the tendency of males of one particular age and race to commit an inordinate amount of violent crime.

Victor David Hanson, “Facing Facts About Race,” National Review.

This makes it appear that black kids are to be suspected as armed and dangerous both when they’re walking alone (as in Trayvon’s case), AND when walking in groups. The myth-maintaining terms all rhyme: urban, black, poor, dangerous, “black youths”.

7. The core problem has been Mr. Obama’s focus on spreading the wealth rather than creating it. ObamaCare will soon hook more Americans on government subsidies, but its mandates and taxes have hurt job creation, especially at small businesses. Mr. Obama’s record tax increases have grabbed a bigger chunk of affluent incomes, but they created uncertainty for business throughout 2012 and have dampened growth so far this year. The food stamp and disability rolls have exploded, which reduces inequality but also reduces the incentive to work and rise on the economic ladder,

“The Inequality President,” WSJ.

The usual reverse-english: any attempts at ameliorating poverty only increase poverty. It’s like saying that any attempts at treating a chronic medical condition only worsen the condition. Note all the key buzzwords in the editorial: uncertainty, wealth “creators,” mandates, economic dependence, incentives. The best incentive is Social Darwinism.

8. This September, Congress will have to pass another short term spending bill to fund the federal government. We should pass one that keeps the government open, but doesn’t waste any more money on ObamaCare. The president and his allies – and even some Republicans – will accuse us of threatening to shut down the government. In fact, it is President Obama who insists on shutting down the government unless it funds his failed ObamaCare experiment.

“America, It’s Not Too Late To Stop Obamacare,” Marco Rubio, Fox News.

More inside-out rhetorical judo.

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