David Brooks, who, as my indulgent readers know, isn't a favorite, notes that he admires Paul Ryan and Arthur Brooks (American Enterprise Institute), but then goes on to state that their dogmatic, hysterical insistence that every government intervention in the economy is another step on Hayek's road to serfdom is ahistorical, incompatible with good policy and an intellectual and political catastrophe:
There's lots to disagree with in his column, of course. But if the right's too much even for Brooks, there's something happening here. Paranoia strikes deep. Into your life it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid.
They aren't just mistaken in policy. They're nuts. Crazy. Removed from reality. Insane. Unreachable with fact, logic in service of fact rather than opposed to it, and experience. And they think they're absolutely, utterly right, and everyone else isn't just mistaken, but forcing dictatorship on our country via malevolence, useful idiocy or both.
In the end, they won't succeed even in their stated purpose. The only question is how many they will hurt, how much damage they'll do, how long before they're found out. So far, the answers are most of the country and many throughout the world, a poisoning of discourse and too goddamned long.
We're in big, big trouble. But, then, you knew that...