Tuesday, February 03, 2009


What's wrong with the Obama stimulus plan? Ask one of the GOP senators I quoted in the previous post:

But Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., countered, "We can't add to the size of this bill. ... The amount is just inconceivable to most people."

That's right: It doesn't matter whether it's an appropriately sized stimulus as determined by people who actually know what they're talking about. What matters is that ordinary citizens who don't really know how the 21st-century global economy works hear the dollar amount and say, "Holy crap, that's a hell of a lot of money."

Yes, by all means let's make all of our decisions this way. Why ask people with any expertise? If you're sick, and a doctor recommends a pill, just say, "Geez, that pill is really big. I don't think I should take it because it might be really uncomfortable to swallow." Never mind that the doctor thinks it actually contains the correct medicine for what ails you. What does a doctor know?

That's the same kind of reasoning we get from Senator John Thune's little bit of show and tell on how high a stack of $100 bills you'd get if the stack equaled a trillion dollars (and how many times those bills would wrap around the earth if laid end to end):

Republican thinking, in other words, is the Joe the Plumber phenomenon made into an overarching political philosophy: everything should be determined by how it seems to a person who has no in-depth understanding of the subject whatsoever. Literally "ignorance is strength."


(Video via Steve Benen and Josh Marshall.)

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