One of the oldest jokes among editors is often attributed to 18th Century English writer Samuel Johnson. After having reviewed a fellow author’s latest work, he reportedly wrote in the margin of the title page: “Your manuscript is both good and original. But the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good.” Paraphrasing this quip and applying it to the Tea Party’s ideas might give us a pretty clear indication of exactly the hole from which Michelle Bachmann has pulled her latest musing. From CPAC (with a straight face):
[box type=”shadow”]”You see, our movement at its core is an INTELLECTUAL movement. We are based on the greatest ideas that have ever been conceived in the mind of man, and I would put those magnificent ideas up against any other idea for freedom in the world.”[/box]
Now, to be fair, you do have to give Michelle this: the Tea Party’s ideology is based upon some pretty solid notions. At least, they are in much the same way that the idea of lobbing a brick straight vertically into the air and then looking up to see where it lands is based on some pretty solid Newtonian physics.
Of course, with the amount of botulism toxin in Bachmann’s face, she probably barely registered when THIS brick fell on it:
[box type=”shadow”]”The constitution, limited government, free enterprise, strong families; these are principles that have passed the test of time…and you know as well as I do that America hasn’t survived for over 200 years because of Washington bureaucracy.”[/box]
First, yes, it really HAS survived that long because of “Washington bureaucracy.” That “bureaucracy” is in fact our Federal government, the thing that “unites” the “United States.” Without that bureaucracy, there would just be…well, “States.” Of course, the Federal government’s job is to enforce the guidelines of the Constitution, which limits the power and expanse of the government, and creates a highly educated Supreme Court whose job it is to interpret said document. You know whose job it ISN’T? Guess.
And, lastly…do you mean the kind of “free enterprise” that allowed the East India Company to bribe the English Parliament into passing a 25% tax on tea that was re-exported to the colonies? Wasn’t it, in fact, this act of “free enterprise” that directly precipitated the Boston Tea Party?
You’ve heard of that, right?
Paul Ryan recently called the GOP “the party of ideas.” Aside from being a notion dumb enough that only a (pseudo)intellectual like Rand Paul would believe it, this particular notion has a certain degree of merit. At least, it does if we paraphrase back to old Doc Johnson’s reported editorial quip:
[box type=”shadow”]”The GOP: A party of ideas both good and original. Unfortunately, the ideas that are good aren’t original, and the ideas that are original aren’t good.”[/box]