Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Governor Chris Christie Speaks. Echidne Listens.

I watched Chris Christie's speech at the RNC Convention.  My, he was good on the emotions!  Your task:  Find a transcript of that speech and circle around all the possibly factual assertions.

You will be astonished that they are so few.  He argues that the "truth" has to do with too large a government, one which needs to be shrunk to size, that this shrinking will require equal sacrifices from all (has it in the past?), that the Murkan people are unselfish and willing to do that very thing, all quite equally!  And that Murka will, once again, be exceptional!  That all grandchildren can be proud of living in the kind of exceptional banana republic Christie desires.

That the "truths" might also be about such unimportant matters as joblessness and suffering and the loss of much wealth in the Bush-abetted financial markets crash was not part of Christie's speech.

Then there was that odd bit about the need to cut the pay of teachers!  Teachers are really evil people and the cause of much suffering in this country because they are for teachers' unions and not for the children.  Christie even mentions, fleetingly, that teachers are not motivated by pay but by the love of children.  Or should be.

On the other hand, in the rest of the economy those who work hard should get paid well.   And the kind of education system Christie desires is the exact opposite of the education systems in this world which do well.

The Finnish system, for instance, is based on government funding, high salaries for teachers, and quite a bit of respect for the teaching profession.  Christie wants teachers to teach because of their love for children, Christie wants teachers to be rewarded only for the very best results (which, naturally, depend on the circumstances and problems of the children, and therefore results in differential teaching rewards in poorer areas where children have many more problems).

Despite the scarcity of factual assertions, Christie's speech was very good on all that hindbrain stuff.  FEEL GOOD!  Even if your life is not good.  FEEL UNSELFISH!  Even if the choices work for the selfish desires of the few on top.  SHARE EQUALLY IN SACRIFICES!  Even though this is impossible to achieve if those sacrifices mean unemployment and hunger for some,  one less yacht for some others.

Most importantly, the good feelings cost the Republicans nothing at all.  That's always an important consideration for that party.

On the other hand, Christie never mentioned the misogynistic policies of his party,  despite using the idea of the government not getting between a woman and her doctor in his reference to the health care policies of the Obama administration.

That up is down and east is west is to be expected from Christie and his ilk.  Still, I've been flabbergasted by the general Republican argument that women don't care about reproductive choice because the economic problems are more serious.  Why should these two be mutually exclusive alternatives?   How, exactly, do the Republican economic policies require that raped women give birth to the children of their rapists?

The answer, naturally, is that this is all bullshit.  Reproductive choice costs the Republican Party nothing in money, and might save the government some in later welfare payments.  But the lack of reproductive choice is a demand made by the extreme Christian patriarchs of that party, and it's something the misogynistic element in the party doesn't care about.  Hence, Republican women are told what they should choose:  American exceptionalism for their grandchildren!

What kind of exceptionalism that might be?  Especially for their granddaughters.

Added later:  Here's a piece about the Christie economic miracle!