The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014


There's a quote, often attributed to Jonathan Swift, that goes like this: "It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into."

This is true in many facets of life—true believers simply believe. Facts, along with clear, irrefutable evidence mitigating against the belief are all rejected out of hand—reason is not what's going on. That brings us to DNC chairperson Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (DWS).

In a recent piece in The Huffington Post, Ms. Wasserman-Schultz cements her position as one of the Democratic party's true believers. She also exemplifies Swift's quote about reason. Here's how she begins her article:
One year ago today, Republicans made their strongest possible case outlining their governing principles.

Threatened by the prospect of millions of Americans securing access to quality, affordable health care, Republicans chose instead to shut down the federal government.

The consequences of their actions were felt across the nation. America's national parks shuttered. Children were turned away from Head Start classrooms. The National Institutes of Health was forced to reject new patients from potentially lifesaving clinical trials. More than 800,000 federal workers were furloughed.

When the reckless gamesmanship finally ended after sixteen days, the long-term consequences were apparent. The GOP shutdown cost the U.S. economy $24 billion and cut .3 percent of growth off the GDP. A major credit rating agency threatened to lower the United States' credit rating because of the risk that we would default on our nation's debts.
Oh! The humanity! As I recall the shutdown, the vast, vast majority of Americans were unaffected, federal workers who were furloughed got a paid holiday, the shuttering of national parks was a widely criticized political stunt by the Obama administration to maximize public discomfort, and not one "new patient" suffered any ill affect because his/her clinical trial was delayed by, OMG, 16 days! Obamas trained hamsters in the media scurried around looking for the dire consequences that DWS implies, but try as they might, closing national monuments was the extent of it. The shutdown was politically damaging to the GOP—no doubt, but in terms of damage to the country? Puleeze!

DWS claims that $24 billion in economic damage ensued. If you think about it for a moment, the "economic damage" was nothing more that the Feds not spending our tax dollars in the private sector for 16 days—in other words, they didn't return our hard-earned money to us via private sector spending for just over two weeks, but you can bet your life they spent the money when the government reopened for business.

In Wasserman-Schultz's world, the Democrats are the champions of the people. Forget that the Middle Class has been suffered mightily over the past six years of Democrat governance. Forget that senior citizens who rely on interest payments from their bank CDs have been ravaged by an artificially low prime rate set by the Fed in order to allow the government to service our burgeoning debt. Forget that major national projects (e.g., the Keystone Pipeline) that would lead to tens of thousands of private sector jobs—and energy independence for our country—have been delayed for cynical political purposes. Forget that the Democrats have tried to derail an investigation into the IRS scandal in which groups of American citizens who think differently than Democrats have been targeted by a government agency. Forget that the health care legislation that DWS hails is an unmitigated disaster, forcing millions to choose new, sometimes remote, healthcare providers, and then offering crazy-high deductibles (and that's before the employer mandate kicks in). Forget inconvenient employment facts noted by Forbes:
When Barack Obama entered office in January, 2009, the labor force participation rate was 65.7%, meaning nearly two-thirds of working age Americans were working or looking for work.

When the recession supposedly officially ended in June, 2009, the labor force participation rate was still 65.7%.

In the latest, much celebrated, unemployment report, the labor force participation rate had plummeted to 63.7%, the most rapid decline in U.S. history. That means that under President Obama nearly 5 million Americans have fled the workforce in hopeless despair.
I guess establishing policies that lead to wider employment isn't something that 'champions of the people' do. But we'd have to ask DWS about that, wouldn't we? I suspect she would tell us that it's all about "GOP obstructionism." Forget the facts, forget the evidence. One absolutely, positively cannot reason DWS out of a position she never reasoned herself into in the first place.

Like Barack Obama, DWS views the GOP as the enemy. She does not seem to understand that just as GOP presidents have had to negotiate with their Democrat opposition (and have done so with some success in past years), this Democrat president must do so as well. But true believers think otherwise, and Debbie Wasserman Schultz is a true believer.

Jonathan Swift would smile.