Friday, July 8, 2011

McConnell's Greece Analogy

Mitch McConnell has recently received some criticisms from the supposed elite know-somethings-about-economics based on his comparison of the United States to Greece. Now, in the context, it appears that McConnell is trying to say that the U.S. economic situation, with respect to its debt, is like that of Greece, which is facing near economic catastrophe. And, of course, McConnell is then, crazily, justifying creating an economic catastrophe in America by comparing it to one in Greece. Some have even gone so far as to say that McConnell's statement is so far into the realm of fantasy that it reveals him to be unsuited to any position of authority in the Republican party. We, of course, know that ignorance can never, no matter the topic or the importance of the issue, disqualify someone for leadership in the Republican party.

We can snipe all day at McConnell for nothing more important than ignorance that ought to embarrass a failing 12-year old in a middle-school civics class. Or we could really attempt to understand the sort of comparison McConnell has in mind.

For one thing, McConnell may have merely been noting the increased availability of feta cheese and stuffed grape leaves at his local grocery store. I know I see more of that than I ever did when I was younger. That looks a lot like Greece to me.

For another, McConnell may be pointing out that we've been embroiled in an approximately 9-year long war in a Middle Eastern country, based on unclear reasons personal to our leaders, which is costing far too much, needlessly killing young Americans and Iraqis of every age, and which is of no benefit to anyone except those who loot their country and our treasury for their personal gain.

For a third, McConnell may be pointing out that our democracy makes decisions based more on emotion and impulse than one any sound foundation in reasoning, that its people are susceptible to the crassest flattery, fear-mongering, and other sophistical appeals. McConnell ought to know; he's one of the biggest beneficiaries of that tendency.

For a fourth, McConnell may be arguing that the government is deviously embracing a set of policies that are rightly unpopular among the vast majority of people but which can be achieved by electing a cadre of ideologues who, while selling themselves as advocating for more jobs and as protectors of medicare (as a Trojan horse, of a sort), they in fact pursue policies destructive of the lives and the values of the people who invited them into the government in the first place.

For a fifth, McConnell may be claiming that powerful interests will act to destroy anyone who upsets their comfortable way of life by, for example, pointing out the dangers of unlimited consumption of fossil fuels or attempting to get them to value the good and act unselfishly to benefit the city-state rather than themselves.

Or maybe he's either a moron or a fraud who either doesn't recognize the obvious differences between the economic catastrophe in Greece and a large but sustainable deficit in America or thinks we cannot tell the difference, and so is confident no one will ever correct him about the sheer, dumbfounding ignorance of his statements.

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