Sunday, January 18, 2009

Compartmentalized Conservativism

In my last post, I mentioned Ken Blackwell's idiotic appeal to conservatives at Townhall, where he suggested that conservatives should oppose Obama's stimulus package because it'll create more federal workers, who will vote Democratic in Virginia.  

But for as crazy as that column was, the comments section largely ignored what he wrote and just used it as a platform from which to speak the crazy.  I suspect that Blackwell's point was such a no-brainer (in every sense of the word) that it really didn't even need to be made.  These freaks already rejected everything Obama will do, so there was little point in inventing yet another dumb reason to reject the stimulus plan.  It'd be like if I wrote a post at PETA's website on the need to oppose the creation of milkshakes made from kittens.

Because the crazies at Townhall are so far ahead of Blackwell in the crazy department that Blackwell appears quite rational in comparison.  He might have scored a few points for writing it, but he'll influence no one.  And so I wanted to highlight one of the crazy posts I saw there.

Cuba Sucks

Apropos of nothing, Renny in New Jersey writes about how crappy things are in Cuba, writing:
Where Cuba gets the lib. rep. for wonderful health and ed. is merely propaganda. There's no car on Cuba more recent than 1960. No infrastructure is kept up. Entire cities are disintegrating. Cuba has NO GNP.
The commies took an island with one of the richest ec.'s in the Americas and turned it into a desert with a starving population. In Cuba, you get a quart of milk a week, a loaf of bread a week, and two chickens a month. Young girls go to the docks to sell themselves for meals, to save their families from feeding them. Whadda a socialist paradise.
That's right.  Cuba's rep for having good health and education is propaganda because Cuba's economy sucks.  Yet nowhere does Renny mention the decades-long economic embargo of Cuba by the most powerful country in the world, which happens to be their closet trading partner.  No, it must be Cuba's economic policies creating their problems, and not the forty-seven year embargo we've had on them.  And does it need to be pointed out that girls in our own country also sell themselves for meals...and drugs...and shelter?  Or is that a separate issue?

And in case you were wondering about Renny's claim of Cuba having "NO GNP," yes, that was utterly stupid.  I'm not sure what the GNP is, but the GDP in 2007 was estimated to be $125.5 billion, or $11,000 per person.  And even this low number is likely to be caused primarily by our economic embargo.  And again, nobody mentioned Cuba except for this joker.

But this kind of thing is standard from conservatives.  Each issue is seen in a vacuum of it's own.  There can be no doubt that this guy is well aware of our economic embargo of Cuba and the effect it has on them.  And I'd be incredibly surprised if he doesn't fully support it for these very reasons.  But when talking about Cuba's economy, he pretends that their economic woes are entirely their own fault and show the flaws of their "socialist paradise".  And this economic incompetence spreads like a cancer to cast doubt on their ability to have decent health and education.  

Cuba v. United States

And of course, like most conservatives, he fails to appreciate the reason why anyone is focusing on Cuba's healthcare; which is that even a shithole like Cuba can have healthcare that is superior to a country that far outperforms it most other ways.  

Our GDP per person is over four times larger than Cuba's, and so the fact that they could even compete with us in any category speaks poorly of us.  But for propaganda-minded conservatives like Renny, to say anything nice about Cuba is to say that Cuba is superior to us at everything.  So if  you can show that Cuba sucks at some things, it means that Cuba sucks at everything.  And so he's set out to establish this, even if it requires temporarily forgetting why Cuba is like this.

He ends by writing "And EVERYONE in the US can get free treatment in any ER right NOW, as it is the law to treat for charity, which is why hospitals along the Southern border are going bankrupt caring for illegals.

And once again, this bozo surely knows that ER's aren't the place you go for real treatment, and he's probably aware that this is one of the crappier ways of filling the holes in our healthcare system; but once again, he only sees each issue in a vacuum.  It is possible to get medical treatment for free in an ER and so that's a perfect substitute for getting the treatment one needs.  And the fact that he gets to then complain about this sort of ER charity is the icing on the cake.

But the main point is that he can find some context by which Cuba sucks and America does provide "free" healthcare, and that's all he needs.  As long as there can be a way that he's right, it doesn't matter if he's actually wrong.  He'll hold on to his compartmentalized facts and imagine they're the only ones that count.

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