Shorter Excerpts (From A Work In Progress)

Back in the days before euphemisms came in vogue for such things, they used to call that moral evil. Nowadays a professional psychiatrist might call it antisocial personality disorder, except that we know there aren’t that many actual clinical sociopaths out there. What it is, is a culture of sociopathy, made possible by a 30-year-long echo chamber of right-wing radio, Fox News, corrupted church propaganda, and astroturf think tanks. Back in the days before the conservative echo chamber, it used to be deeply embarrassing to hold these sorts of views. Now, the more extreme your devotion to the sociopathic line, the better proof of your membership in the right-wing cult.

But it’s not just that: they’re deeply stupid as well. Without getting into the fact that spending on education is an investment in America’s future potential, and that anyone who did what Tea Partiers claim to want and “ran government like a business” would instantly see that such investments must be made, the numbers don’t add up, either.

As Dave Dayen tweeted, the increase to Pell grants in Boehner’s bill is more than made up for by cuts to student loans elsewhere. In fact, the sum total of the elimination of certain student loan subsidies combined with increases to Pell grants actually saves the government money long-term. Per the CBO analysis of Boehner’s bill (see Chart 3 at the end), the $17 billion in increases to Pell grants are offset by $22 billion in cuts and savings elsewhere. And yet that is what the Tea Party crowd is willing to scuttle a political negotiating chip and John Boehner’s sorry career over, in a bill that won’t even get past the Senate, anyway.

What’s the clinical term for mass delusion combined with immorality and abject stupidity? I’ll leave that to the sociologists and mental health professionals to decide.


In the deluded minds of freshman Tea Party House members, “Pell Grant” equals “welfare” and is therefore bad and worth tanking the entire US economy (well, further tanking it) for years to come.

"We’ll dig our way out!" should be their fucking motto.

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