Today’s theme is “Good Conservatives Must Not Allow Reality to Tarnish Their Holy Belief System.”
Krugman has a number of posts up that point out how conventional wisdom about the economies of other countries, plus the news stories about those countries, tend to leave out anything resembling objective reality. Here’s one, about how Argentina is recovering from the financial crisis, and Ireland isn’t. But somehow Americans are being told just the opposite.
Iâ€™d just add something else: press coverage of Argentina is another one of those examples of how conventional wisdom can apparently make it impossible to get basic facts right. We keep getting stories about Irelandâ€™s recovery when there is, in fact, no recovery â€” but there should be, darn it, because theyâ€™ve done the â€œrightâ€ thing, so thatâ€™s what weâ€™ll report.
And conversely, articles about Argentina are almost always very negative in tone â€” theyâ€™re irresponsible, theyâ€™re renationalizing some industries, they talk populist, so they must be going very badly.
The “right” thing is, of course, going full-monte austerity, and the “wrong” thing is following basic Keynesian principles.
Of course, righties are famous for denial. Global climate change comes to mind. This denial often is coupled by projection. Jonah Goldberg’s new book sounds like a study in pathological projection, for example.
[Update: Speaking of climate change — now they’ve got a billboard campaign going that compares climate scientists to terrorists and mass murderers.]
But the richest example of rightie denial to come down the pike lately is their reaction to the murder-suicide allegedly commited by J.T. Ready, a neo-Nazi deeply imbedded in Arizona Republican politics. Ready’s political proclivities are beyond dispute, as Maddow explained last night —
Immediately the dumber elements on the Right stepped forward to associate Ready with Occupy.
As Zandar observed,
Remember, America doesnâ€™t have a right-wing domestic terrorist problem. We have a long string of completely unrelated â€œmass shootingâ€ events where gunmen declare that various minority groups or random bystanders are the enemy and kill a bunch of them seemingly out of the blue in an attempt to strike fear into the hearts of millions and/or to force political change through bloodshed, but since these folks are FOX News viewers, itâ€™s just â€œunfortunateâ€ when this happens every couple of months or so. Meanwhile, the real terrorists are the New Black Panther Party because OOGA BOOGA BLOOGITY BLACK. Cue the scary chyron, folks.
In America today, “conservative” should be defined as someone so pathologically blinkered by ideology that he is blind to reality.
But the economic fantasies Krugman talks about are being pushed by alleged “centrists” too. The truthiness of austerity economics has been so firmly established by the money of those who stand to gain by it that reality itself is banished to Siberia, so to speak. For more on the latter, read Krugman’s latest column, “Feel the Confidence.”