Jon Huntsman, the liberal’s favorite Republican candidate for President because he isn’t obviously crazy, got some street cred recently for declaring on Twitter that he “believes in evolution and trusts scientists on global warming.”
Imagine that. Two years into the second decade of the 21st Century, forty-two years after America put a man on the moon, almost seventy years since we split the atom, eighty-odd years since Fleming discovered penicillin, 108 years since the first airplane flew, 135 years since the invention of the telephone, 400 years since Galileo pointed his telescope at Jupiter and Saturn, it’s considered a bold and potentially career-ending move for a candidate for President of the United States to announce he “trusts scientists.”
And the only reason Huntsman isn’t getting more credit and acclaim for this is that it’s generally agreed he has nothing to lose by it because he stands no chance of winning the nomination anyway.
This is ridiculous, of course. There isn’t anything admirable, let alone Presidential, about someone acknowledging that he lives in the real world. It just makes him unusual for a Republican politician these days.
But let’s not lose sight of the fact that Huntsman is a Republican politician and, it turns out, except for his eccentric belief that scientists know what they’re doing, a fairly typical one. Right wing, corporatist, elitist.
Huntsman just released his economic plan and, as far as Ezra Klein can tell, “It’s a plan you could imagine Rick Perry or Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich even Michele Bachmann championing.”
Or, as they’re putting it over at Under the Mountain Bunker, “What Jon Huntsman is proposing is a completely naked, raw form of bottom-to-top income redistribution without apology or subterfuge.”
ThinkProgress has the details but Huntsman’s plan boils down to this:
Tax Social Security, tax veteran’s benefits, eliminate a bunch of tax breaks that help the middle class and the poor, and cut taxes even more for the rich to bring us closer to the Republican utopia where the rich pay no taxes at all.
Like I said, typical Republican. And his plan is so filled with magical thinking that it practically cancels out whatever points he scored in the reality-based community for “trusting scientists.” Huntsman is another worshipper of Mammon who believes that by appeasing the gods of the marketplace wonderful things will just happen. Or he professes to believe it. More likely he “believes” it as a way of avoiding admitting that what he really believes is that the already rich should get all of the rest of the money.
This, by the way, is not a flawed or even stupid economic policy. It is the way they see life. They own it. We owe them rent.
Whenever you start letting yourself believe that there are no significant differences between Republicans and Democrats---because you think that health care reform that requires insurance companies to cover of pre-existing conditions and keeps people covered between jobs, among other good things, but includes a private mandate instead of a public option is the same as no health care reform at all, because you think that saving the auto industry is the same as letting it fail, because you think that voting to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is the same as voting to keep it and making plans to bring it back, because you think wanting to end the minimum wage and do away with the EPA and leave the banks and Wall Street totally unregulated is the same as not wanting to do any of that---keep this in mind.
The Republicans are the ones who think they own the place.
The Republicans think they own the country and the rest of us are lucky they let us work here…and by the way, the rent is due.