The Cult of Irony and the Washington Post

I sometimes wonder if the opinion writers for the Washington Post let anyone read their articles before they get published. The main stream media at one point prided itself for its “layers of editors and fact checkers,” but they seem to have disappeared. I say this because, every once in a while, I come across an article so deaf to its own irony that I need to stop and wonder. I don’t mean to say that I don’t expect a misrepresentation of facts, the building of straw men and a dozen other logical mistakes in the writings of ideologically compromised “journalists.” It’s just the absolutely unbridled transference that I would think that someone in those vaunted layers would maybe dare to say, “uh … about that.”

Such is the feeling I got when reading Richard Cohen’s latest screed in the Washington Post. I hope you’re ready for this one, it is pretty laughable. The GOP is a cult. You need to take a pledge to join up. Well, no, not exactly, but certain interest groups want you to promise to agree to their causes to get an endorsement. That’s totally like joining a cult, except it isn’t. For the sake of entertainment and to see how oblivious to irony these people are we’ll take a look.

Cohen has to make a silly jab at the memory of Ronald Regan to start things off.

“It is not enough to support the party or mouth banalities about Ronald Reagan …”

It is true there are those in the Republican Party who would use President Reagan’s memory as a political tool without actually believing in any of the principles that made the GOP the party of Reagan. However, the majority of Republicans do not “mouth banalities” about Reagan; they hold the truths that he espoused to be the bedrock upon which the country stands.

What are the pledges that have Cohen so up in arms?

No increase in taxes and any closing of loopholes would be matched by other tax cuts. Right, you can now run screaming into the woods as the mad cultists of the GOP come for you. Just not for your money.

The pro-life pledge is next on the list of bugaboos for Cohen. GOP candidates who want the endorsement of the Susan B. Anthony List must agree to oppose abortion including the opposition of judicial nominees who might decide against the wholesale slaughter of the unborn. Can you smell that? That’s the irony burning. If I could remind the Washington Post editorial staff it is the Democrat party who have for years been using the pro-abortion stance as a litmus test for judges. It is the radical feminists of NOW who have raised the concept of abortion to an inalienable right. A right that trumps every other consideration. A politician can be the biggest womanizing, sexual harassing scum bag, but if they are a pro-abortion advocate Democrat then they’re good to go. That’s a Pro-Hypocrisy stance if I have ever seen one.


“The hallmark of a cult is to replace reason with feverish belief. This the GOP has done when it comes to the government’s ability to stimulate the economy. History proves this works — it’s how the Great Depression ended — but Republicans will not acknowledge it.”

It is? This is news to me. As a matter of fact, the reason Republicans won’t acknowledge that fact is because F.D.R.’s policies extended rather than ended the Great Depression. The expenditures of the war also didn’t end the Great Depression. What ended it was the post war generation, free from the socialism of Roosevelt and awash with all the savings that had nowhere to go during the rationing of the war era. Clinging to this thoroughly debunked Keynesian idea might qualify as replacing reason with feverish belief. It has never worked and we see more and more countries moving to austerity as the only way to deal with their financial crises.

The next target for Cohen’s juvenile barbs is, of course, global warming. Even though there has been no noticeable change in average temperatures in the last 10-15 years, this has not stopped Cohen from stumbling headlong into the logical fallacy of Argumentum Ad Populum, a mistake that went out the door back in Galileo’s days. As I’ve asked once or twice before, if it’s all true, why do they need to make stuff up?

What seems to have passed over Cohen’s head as he attempts to smear Republicans as know nothing theocrats that want nothing more than to keep the unwashed masses unwashed, uneducated and unaborted is the silliness of it all. There is not a single Democrat who could pass national muster without paying obeisance to the alter of unfettered abortion, the radical green agenda and the primacy of taxing the producers of society to penury to pay for Cowboy Poetry Slams.

Luckily for us that this has not narrowed the base of the GOP as Cohen fantasizes. The majority of Americans are pro-life. The percentage of Americans who think that climate change is an issue is dropping from year to year and is about even at this point. Likewise, most Americans think that tax cuts and reduced spending are the best way to improve the economy. That’s a great base from which to start.

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