Speaking of Amity Shlaes, here is a real humdinger that just showed up on memeorandum:
So Michele Bachmann’s version of history is “from another planet.” Bobby Jindal, the Republican governor of Louisiana, is “chronically stupid.” And Eric Cantor of Virginia, the second-ranking Republican in the House, is “busy lying constantly.”
That at least is according to posts on three left-leaning blogs.
Writers who are not pro-Barack Obama are suffering character assassination as well. George Will of the Washington Post, the nation’s senior conservative columnist, has been so assaulted by bloggers that his editor, Fred Hiatt, recently wrote, “I would think folks would be eager to engage in the debate, given how sure they are of their case, rather than trying to shut him down.”
Just to clear things up from that mountain of nonsense, last week, Michele Bachmann completely and totally mangled the history of Smoot-Hawley, misatttributing it to FDR and Democrats and accidentally spoonerizing the name of the legislation, and either the day before or the day after, incorrectly asserted that the last time we had a swine flu outbreak, Jimmy Carter was President. In other words, her history is so far removed from reality, and she says silly things so often, it is hard to keep track of what she has gotten wrong and when.
Second, I have no idea if Bobby Jindal is chronically stupid, although I have my doubts. I would argue he is a pretty bright guy, what with his academic record. I’ll give you that one. Coming out against volcano monitoring as an example of government excess was pretty stupid, though.
Third, Eric Cantor is lying in the example cited. In fact, the link you provided to Matt Yglesias outlines the lie in full detail:
But of course Cantor voted against the federal legislation that’s making increased HSR capacity possible. Indeed, on Meet The Press he specifically singled-out the HSR provisions for inaccurate, demagogic mockery, repeating the myth that the Recovery Act contained a provision for a “train from Disneyland to Las Vegas” that was an example of the “waste and pork-barrel spending” said to typify the package.
Back in his district, of course, Cantor wants to portray himself as an agent for constructive change in Virginia. But you can’t be a constructive agent for change if you’re busy lying constantly and opposing everything.
It is right there. It can be verified. Finally, the reason George Will is under such “assault” is because he is just making things up. So much so that reporters from his OWN PAPER are calling him out:
The new evidence — including satellite data showing that the average multiyear wintertime sea ice cover in the Arctic in 2005 and 2006 was nine feet thick, a significant decline from the 1980s — contradicts data cited in widely circulated reports by Washington Post columnist George F. Will that sea ice in the Arctic has not significantly declined since 1979.
And here are some WaPo bloggers:
George Will’s recent columns demonstrate a very troubling pattern of misrepresentation of climate science. They raise some interesting questions about journalism, specifically concerning the editing process. Editors and fact checkers are there to ensure that publications like the Washington Post don’t print factually incorrect information. But how much oversight should there be of opinion pieces that address scientific subjects such as climate change, particularly when they are written by persons with little scientific training? Is there any additional role for editors to play in ensuring that scientific facts are not manipulated into making assertions that most scientists say are misleading, and essentially inaccurate? Or is it necessary to err on the side of allowing opinion writers flexibility in how they use facts to present their point of view, regardless of whether their argument may be viewed as flawed in the eyes of the mainstream scientific community?
Wow. Now that is embarrassing. So far we have Washington Post reporters and Washington Post bloggers both calling out Will for his lies and falsehoods. Can we hit the trifecta with someone from the op-ed pages at the Washington Post? Why, yes! Yes, we can:
ROBINSON: What George Will did was cherry-pick a sentence in a report, you know, be very persnickety in the way he parsed his sentences, and end up making it sound as if the report had said the exact opposite of what it actually said. He was persnickety enough that his editors, who also happen to be my editors, felt he didn’t quite cross the line. I thought he did.
If I were George Will, I wouldn’t worry about what the “Obama Democrats” or left-wing bloggers think. Instead, I would stop telling so many damned lies that all of my colleagues from every facet of the organization except for the deliverymen feel the need to call me out publicly.
In other words, what has Amity Shlaes all upset is that Republicans aren’t getting away with lying at will.
No pun intended.