Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Once in Office, Ron Johnson's Speeches will Consist Entirely of Him Reading Extended Passages from "The Protestant Work Ethic"

There's a big picture think piece at Politico this morning on the senate race here in Wisconsin. Hopefully readers will make it far enough into the article to catch this line:

This is what makes the outcome of this election so intriguing. If [Ron] Johnson and others like him win, they seem less interested in plunging into specific legislation and more inclined to wage a philosophical messaging war to change the GOP and the nature of governance. Asked what innovative ideas he might push in office, Johnson didn't talk of tax reform or private Social Security accounts, or of anything a conventional senator might do.

Instead, he committed himself to a "re-education of America" and talked about how expectations of government help are spinning wildly out of control, creating “a culture of dependency" that has little appreciation for what it takes for individuals and businesses to thrive. One could easily hear Angle in Nevada and Paul in Kentucky making the same case, with the same intensity, using the same words to win – and planning the same approach if elected.

Aside from the unfortunate -- but entirely in character -- use of the word "re-education," Johnson has basically vowed to do nothing but tell the state of Wisconsin that it's not working hard enough. While it remains to be seen if this is a way to get elected, it's certainly no plan to get re-elected.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Ron Johnson Valiantly Reduces the Federal Budget Deficit by 0.000084%

This is the most incomprehensible statement I've heard come from any candidate's mouth this cycle:
Johnson, who is challenging U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold, said his opposition to embryonic stem cell research is dictated mainly by economics. The federal government needs to cut $1.5 trillion from its budget, he said, so it makes sense to achieve those cuts by eliminating unpopular programs.

If there's a program "that's morally objectionable to a high percentage of the American public, that's probably something we shouldn't spend money on," Johnson said.
NIH has earmarked $126 million for human embryonic stem cell research in 2011, a chunk of which would flow back to Wisconsin. Johnson's going to need to make lot more hard decisions if he's going to significantly cut the deficit.

The most interesting aspect of this statement is that it couches what is clearly a moral judgment in economic terms so not to appear like a raving religious fanatic whilst simultaneously appealing to raving religious fanatics. A "high percentage of the American public" is another way of saying "not a majority."

Not that any of this should come as any surprise.