Con-servatives have regularly attacked education and intellectualism over the past generation. They have made anti-intellectualism, anti-intelligence and anti-curiosity the in-thing. Nothing has demonstrated that better that George Bush’s “administration”. Faced with a complex world, they have applied overly simplistic ideologically-based solutions to the crises that arose in the past eight years. All have met failure when faced with reality. The Iraq occupation, Hurricane Katrina, the economy, and science were all dealt with by rigid right-wing orthodoxy by partisan hacks who weren’t qualified to hold their jobs. They were for the most part the biggest campaign contributors to Bush’s elections for Governor and President.
An article at the top of MSNBC’s website this morning attacks Obama’s picks for administration posts as being intellectual elites. Citing the most right-wing sources, they attempt to paint the picture that people with degrees are more fake than those without degrees; that people who have spent their lives studying subjects will be more inept at their jobs than those who never heard of the issues they were appointed to handle.
Americans on Nov. 4th remembered how horribly the occupation of Iraq has been handled. They remembered how many thousands died in New Orleans despite being warned of the impending disaster in 2005. They remembered who advocated to deregulate every industry and allow millions of good-paying jobs to be shipped overseas. They remembered who shut down scientific research such as stem-cells while their family members needlessly suffered a variety of diseases. Con-servatives brought business executives with them to the White House in 2000, promising to run the country like it was a business. Government couldn’t get it done, they told us. It certainly can’t get it done when those in charge subscribe to their orthodoxy at the expense of any other possibility.
Well, we’ve seen what happens when America is run like a business with Con-servatives at the helm. It fails; it fails spectacularly as we’re witnessing today with record debt, record foreclosures, sanctioned torture, illegal wiretapping and massive corruption at every level.
George Bush and his band of anti-intellectual ideologues came to Washington with the expressed intent to prove government would fail. The corporate media, MSNBC included, regularly failed to demand answers to the hard questions of this 21st century. Issues can’t be dealt with as though they exist in a vacuum, the way they’ve been treated for the past 8 years. In response, MSNBC serves this up [bold mine]:
The libertarian University of Chicago law professor Richard Epstein, who is not related to Joseph Epstein, worries that the team’s exceptionalism could lead to overly complex policies. “They are really smart people, but they will never take an obvious solution if they can think of an ingenious one. They’re all too clever by half,” he said. “These degrees confer knowledge but not judgment. Their heads are on grander themes . . . and they’ll trip on obstacles on the ground.”
In other words, it’s somehow better to have Cons trying to force reality to match their ideology than it is to have Democrats shifting policies to match changing realities. As usual, the corporate media focuses in on the wrong thing: credentials instead of specific policies.
It’s also disturbing to see Cons assailing meritocracy as a method of choosing the brightest for government when they have offered that same policy for promoting teachers within education. They’ve never let hypocrisy ruin their talking points of course, but either it works or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t work, why would they want our education system be based on it? It couldn’t be because they’re out to prove that can fail also, could it?
Instead of assaulting people who have worked their whole lives to be the best they can be, the corporate media and the Cons should try embracing intelligence. Poor decisions that affect millions are made by those who aren’t qualified to hold their jobs. Those painful lessons Americans have been forced to learn these past eight years have unfortunately not been learned by the Cons or their propaganda outlets. Of interest to me is that Obama’s team hasn’t even had a chance to try to address the overwhelming disasters Bush’s team has left him and already the corporate media and the Cons are attacking him. You see, bipartisanship was redefined eight years ago: it now means you either agree with Con policies or you’re not bipartisan. Remember, similar attacks were not levied against Bush eight years ago. Every propaganda outlet I can remember was calling for giving Bush a chance. Where’s Obama’s chance? Where’s the “liberal media”?