JONATHAN CHAIT AUGUST 18, 2011
I've already covered Rick Santorum arguing that gay marriage helped cause the economic crisis. Since then Rick Perry, recently having expressed skepticism of climate science, is also expressing skepticism toward evolution. And Tom Coburn has some really wild beliefs on a wide-ranging field of subjects, including:
"As an African-American male," Coburn said, Obama received "tremendous advantage from a lot of these programs."
Coburn went on to say that most of the country's problems were created by Congress and that "I don't think presidents matter that much."
Keep in mind that the only area where Obama has attempted to create a new entitlement is health care, which is the same goal pursued by Bill Clinton, Richard Nixon, Harry Truman, and other non-black politicians.
The day isn't done yet! What other craziness is in store? Any chance of asking Michelle Bachmann her opinion of the Trilateral Commission?
I'm sure bringing all these stray quotes together sounds partisan. There is certainly craziness on the left just as on the right. By "craziness" I don't mean opinions I find unsound or morally questionable, but rather analytical claims that are simply wrong. In American politics today, there seems to be quite a bit more craziness on the right than on the left -- or, at least, left-wing craziness lies mainly outside the two-party system while right-wing craziness is firmly ensconced within it.
When conservatives want to establish a parallel with the left, they'll usually go and find something like Alan Grayson saying that the Republican plan is for people without insurance to die. There's certainly plenty of hyperbolic or offensive rhetoric in the Democratic Party. But when it comes to factual beliefs totally at odds with reality, there's just no comparison right now between the two parties.