Letter 2 America for April 27, 2023

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Dear America,

The motto of the Republican Party seems to be "Honi soit qui mal y pense," or "Shamed be he who thinks evil of it."  It's an old expression with its origins in the court of Edward III of England in the 1340's around the time of the founding of the English Order of the Garter, which was created to legitimate Edward's claim to the French throne.  The story behind the saying may be interesting but it isn't my point per se.  Well, what is my point, you might be asking.  Here it is: Steve Scalise.

A couple of days ago, Kevin McCarthy, the Republican speaker of the house of representatives--remember that he won the position by agreeing to renounce any principle if he could just bang the gavel, so to speak--announced his proposed motion to increase the debt limit for our national budget's financing, including some dubious proposals about cutting spending; no tax increases for the rich, but a 1% reduction in all programs...that would of course include food stamps, now called SNAP.  Shortly thereafter, Steve Scalise, the House majority leader, launched into an anti-Democrat screed on Fox News because that is what Republicans do.  They pronounce all those who disagree with them to be shameful (that's the "honi" in the old saying) for their opposition to McCarthy's proposal.  McCarthy knew that even if he could get the plan through his own party gauntlet it would never fly in the Senate, but it was always no more than a partisan ploy anyway, so selling his soul to pass something that he could get the support of the right wing of his party for was all just his regular order of business, principle, like the professed desire to work with the opposition, be damned.  And Scalise's job as majority leader is to be the front man for McCarthy on this and any other point that is sufficiently conservative, regardless of how odious that point may be.  In other words, Scalise is the Republican intellectual pimp and McCarthy is his whore.  And you can imagine the content of Scalise's rant, and you can also be sure that the whole party got behind it just because it was the Republican mindless, failed Reaganite trickle-down creed once again, and here's my point.  Truth had nothing to do with it, and the Republicans, especially the conservatives and the Trumpers, signed on blindly, even to the extent of adopting a bald-faced lie.

Of course, Scalise launched into a diatribe against Joe Biden blaming him for everything since Three Mile Island, and that was no surprise.  But among the things he tried to lay in Biden's lap was inflation, which is another Trump canard for the MAGA crowd, but now it is conservative gospel.  The problem is that it can't possibly be true and any rational person would have to know it.  The reality is that only seven of the countries and fragments thereof that Europe comprises have inflation rates below the 5% that prevails in the United States whereas all of the rest, including the Eropean Union as a whole with a rate of inflation of 8.3%, are much worse off than we are.  Great Britain's inflation rate is around 10% and Germany's is over 7%.  But even if you put the facts aside, Scalise's allusion to Biden as the cause of American inflation is absurd.  Unless Biden controlled the world economy, which is afflicted by inflation ubiquitously, he doesn't have the power to cause everyone else's inflation even in his dreams.  Among the other countries with rates of inflation lower than ours are Russia and China, and obviously Biden can't control them.  And Argentina's rate in excess of 100% isn't within Biden's reach either.  If it were, he would just inflict exaggerated inflation on China and Russia too, Russia in particular.  The war in Ukraine would be over in a matter of months if it were feasible, and you can go on from there when evaluating Scalise's remarks.  Unfortunately, the news media went no further than to report what Scalise said, allowing the conservative true-believers to subscribe to his wishful thinking without thinking at all.  That's what they do.  If they like it, they buy it no matter how absurd it is, and that's what scares me.

In November 2024, they, like the rational people in America, will go to the polls and together we'll elect our next president.  I for one hope it will be our present president if not some reasonable facsimile, but I hoped that in 2016 too.  Apparently, I don't have control over American politics any more than I do over their outcome.  Who knew?

Your friend,


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This page contains a single entry by Michael Wolf published on April 27, 2023 1:17 PM.

Letter 2 America for April 4, 2023 was the previous entry in this blog.

Letter 2 America for May 9, 2023 is the next entry in this blog.

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