Cross-posted at Daily Kos
Dr. Joseph Mercola is one of the most popular New Age health gurus on the web. He is now using that popularity to push Ron Paul for president.
I tend to agree with many of Mercola's positions in favor of natural foods and avoiding chemical toxins in food and the environment. I even agree with a few of his more controversial stances, like his criticism of the use of mercury-containing dental fillings. (Does it really make sense to put a known, potent toxin in your mouth, for permanent use?)
Unfortunately, he too frequently dips into the crazy end of the pool, for example in jumping on the twisted bandwagon claiming that HIV does not cause AIDS. He is also a relentless marketer of sometimes questionable products. That has gotten him in trouble more than once with the FDA, which issued warnings to him in 2005, 2006 and 2011 for making exaggerated claims about his products, e.g., that one will "help to virtually eliminate your risk of developing cancer in the future."
These experiences with the FDA in turn seem to have fueled a certain paranoia and distrust of government, and hence perhaps Mercola's embrace of Ron Paul's vision of our Federal government and most of its programs being gutted.
Okay, we get it, you want a "balanced budget." But aren't there better ways to reduce America's deficit and swipe away its debt than to put a gun to head of the U.S. (metaphorically speaking of course!)? Doubtless there is. But most conservatives and some within the libertarian fold see this moment in America's history as "the" time to clean up our economic house.
I feel as though I'm in a cubist painting, unable to grasp the full dimensionality of what the Republican Party and its followers are truly hoping to accomplish. Don't they see that their gamble could essentially throw America into an economic tailspin, the likes of which we may never fully recover from? I have to believe that these individuals are not so reckless. I have to believe that these individuals simply see the current political situation in an entirely different way than I do.
What is absolutely clear is that these individuals on the right of the political spectrum have become completely blinded by their "balanced budget" ideology and their fiscal conservatism, so much so that anything that seems to them to go against this dogmatic policy position should be fundamentally and totally rejected. Compromise? Nope, not on your life. They don't understand the meaning of the word.
The biggest curse and the biggest blessing of being a liberal is that compromise is built into our political ideologies. Compromise is not a bad thing, it's what makes a republic function without dissolution. But all too often, those of a conservative political persuasion, in particular, look at compromise as "unmanly," or whatever non-masculine term they wish to pluck from their limited lexicon.
Should liberals discard their willingness to compromise? No. Win or lose, we are in the right and our higher moral ground should not be abandoned for the mud holes that many Republican politicians always seem to be found in (e.g. Eric Cantor).
Cooch may well be right about the plain language of the Virginia Constitution not authorizing payments to NGOs. And if indeed this question was raised by a constituent who didn't want his tax dollars going to a conservative blog, Tertium Quids, then I have to agree that state money should not support blogs -- and as a front-pager at Blue Virginia, I would not support accepting any state funds whatsoever, as it would create the impression that we are simply government stooges.
But most NGOs that receive state money are truly charitable, for purposes such as family services, the Special Olympics, and helping children correct facial deformities (plus some tourist activities with economic development benefits). Now just think about what Cooch's desire to cut off funding to these groups says about his priorities.
George, early in pretty much every episode, would get caught in some sort of lie, mistake, exaggeration, or otherwise embarrassing situation. But that wasn't really the problem. The problem was that he would inevitably double down on his nonsense, invest in it as if it were a blue-chip stock, and carry it to the bitter end until it all blew up in his face.
We seem to be nearing the end of the movement about nothing that is the story of Palin and her ensemble cast. And like George - as usual - they are doubling down on their mistakes and thereby making them that much worse. You can tell the episode is going to be over soon when the joke starts to be on them.
Yes, Sarah and company would be wise to duck their heads for a while, mutter some words of calm and condolence and talk peacefully about something else, anything really. But no. For these folks, now's the time to circle the wagons, escalate the attack, inflame the rhetoric to the "towering inferno" setting.
And so, said editor must've gone on a wild search for the new voice of conservatism - "I want a female, provocative, ultraconservative, like Palin, damn it!" he may have barked at his startled underlings. And this, I imagine, must have been the origin of Jennifer Rubin's new WaPo blog.
She surely couldn't have been chosen based on the quality of her thought. Take her recent disgorgement, "Broccoli, or human rights?" (titled "Laura Bush's human rights model," online, which makes me wonder if the print copy editor purposely used the headline to ridicule this piece).
Her point - using the term loosely - is that Michelle Obama shouldn't talk about children's health because there are more important things to focus on. And, by contrast, she cites Laura Bush making a phone call to Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar's Nobel Peace Prize laureate and leading democracy activist.
Now, I'm all for human rights, and I'm glad that conservatives have finally discovered that ol' Jimmy Carter was right on that issue after all. But anyone who devotes even three neurons to thinking about this will realize that Ms. Rubin's logic has more holes than a wiffle ball.