Monday, May 09, 2005

What Am I, a Fucking Idiot?

The blogosphere, it seems, is already filled to capacity with the reaction to the latest effluvia from David Brooks and John Tierney. Publius, Kevin Drum, Brad DeLong (twice), and Barbara O'Brien have all appropriated their pound of flesh from this dynamic duo. So, I have little to add.

But, I will add this.

Brooks says the following:
[Bush is] asking middle- and upper-class folks to accept benefit cuts so there will be money for the people who are really facing poverty…
Now, Tierney's money quote:
…Bush offered a progressive compromise last week to Democrats: protect the poor while moderating the growth of benefits for higher-income workers.
Now, everyone remembers what Bush's "plan" actually is, right? It's to cut benefits for everyone making more than $20,000 per year. So, on what planet is $20k "middle class"? Are you kidding me?

There are occasions when you can pardon a columnist for presenting a subjective interpretation that fails to comport with your understanding of the facts. There are times when someone get a little carried away with the fiery rhetoric and slightly blurs reality. This isn't one of those times. Annual income of $20k is poverty -- dirt-eating poverty. Suggesting anything else doesn't just put the truth at arms length, it relocates it into the next county.

So, what you have here is either a couple of idiots or a couple of liars. I'm willing to listen to arguments for either conclusion, but I find it hard to believe that Tierney and Brooks are incapable of understanding what's actually being discussed. They are simply too intelligent in too many other contexts for me to buy the "idiot" explanation. Which, of course, leaves only one other option.

That said, I've got to say, what must these two think of their audience to believe that they could get away with such a blatant and obvious falsehood? Sure, the majority of the population isn't up to speed on the details of the Social Security debate. And surely they could expect no challenge from those predisposed to endorse any policy proposal that slithers out of the White House.

But, that leaves the rest of us -- what I would call a significant minority. Before our eyes, a presentation like this isn't just dishonest, it's insulting. I don't know about you, but I'm actually offended. I mean, did David and John really think that we wouldn't figure this out?

Anyway, I know David is always handing out free advice to the Democrats, so I thought I would return the favor. The next time you want to serve me a shit-sandwich, at least put a little salt on it.

Update: Krugman seems to be pissed off as well.
Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com