The Post's Ruth Marcus is, at long last, "alarmed" that the Republican Speaker of the United States House of Representatives is, when it comes to economics, grotesquely guileful. "Even more alarming," she writes, "is the incoherent, impervious-to-facts economic philosophy undergirding Boehner’s remarks."
Marcus cites several of these ideological Boehnerisms, which run from "The recent stimulus spending binge hurt our economy" to "A tax hike would wreak havoc ... on our ability to tackle the national debt." I won't repeat them all, since you, like Mr. Boehner, know them by heart. We all do. We've heard them 24/7, day and night, round the clock, from dawn to dusk, day after bloody day of year after wretched year since Arthur Laffer had a good one in marketing this simpleminded tripe to simpleminded ideologues of a demagogic bent in search of simpleminded voters.
Hence Marcus' "alarm" -- an emotional and intellectual reaction usually associated with elements of suddenness -- escapes me. Boehner's blind reliance on the supply-sided spark of tax cuts as opposed to what actually drives economic recovery -- increased demand -- is by now but the monotonous drool of a pandering pol who knows better, but can't say so.
What did alarm -- indeed, what appalled -- in Marcus' column this morning was this:
Reporters naturally tend to ignore this boilerplate. Journalistically, that makes sense. Boehner’s economic comments [to the New York Economic Club] were nothing particularly new. Indeed, they reflect what has become the mainstream thinking of the Republican Party. But that’s exactly the point. We become so inured to hearing this thinking that we neglect to point out how wrong it is.
Let's review that line of journalistic ... logic. It "makes sense" journalistically to "ignore" profoundly misguided and inescapably harmful economic theories in national vogue because the ideological pols who tout these squalid theories have succeeded in bamboozling millions of voters who don't comprehend just how profoundly misguided and inescapably harmful they are, because journalists have ignored the theories' imbecilities, because they're "inured" to the theories' national vogue.
Even a freshman, D- student of logic would laff at this circular drivel; and virtually any honorable student of journalism would no doubt promise herself that should she ever "become so inured" to politicians' self-serving swill of national sabotage that she "neglect[s] to point out how wrong it is," then she'd quit her profession and just move to Madison Avenue or K Street, where she could, in better conscience, practice an older one.
Marcus' collective mea culpa was, I suppose, intended as a noble gesture of journalistic re-awareness. Yet I only found alarming its admission of appalling indifference to the fourth estate's primal mission and most fundamental raison d'etre: public enlightenment.