I’ve explained, probably too many times, how I think the modern conservative mind works on most issues, say climate change. It’s not happening, if it is happening it’s not because of human activity, if it is happening because of human activity there’s nothing we can do about it, if there is something we can do about it, that something isn’t what Democrats are proposing. Also too: Al Gore is fat (right-wing blogosphere), climate change doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, civility is more important (Bobo/Chunky Bobo).
With the Village things are slightly different, but much the same. The Democrats caused a huge deficit that is killing us, even if Democrats didn’t cause the deficit, it is killing us, if the deficit isn’t killing us we should still pretend it is so that we can use it as a pretext to make “tough choices”, even if the deficit isn’t killing us and the “tough choices” are all nonsense, it’s what voters believe. Also too, remember Walter Mondale, you don’t want to end up like him, and Greg Mankiw has some wonky stuff that supports something I said about this economically, I think.
You see the full range of this in just one exchange between newly minted Villager David Von Drehle and the angry, vituperative Michael Grunwald on Swampland. Von Drehle says the “debt warnings” from the bond vigilantes mean that Republicans are right to hold up the debt ceiling vote and possibly end Medicare. Grunwald points out that threatening to default on debt will make “debt warnings” that much more credible and dire. Von Drehle says “but 12 trillion dollars is a lot of money so Republicans are right”. Grunwald points out that most of the deficit problems were caused by Republican policies 2000-2008. Von Drehle says “so what, moderate voters don’t believe that”.
Notice Von Drehel’s shift from “I have THE math, so suck it hippie” to “maybe I don’t have THE math, but the people at the Applebee’s Salad Bar agree with me, so suck it hippie”.
In my view, a brief reign of terror would be well worth the costs right now.