Your Bias is Slipping

Well, if you happen to need a lot of hooey, you can always grab a handful of the Los Angeles Times.

What a jerk. He hates all the good things about Europe, like chronic unemployment, shoddy craftsmanship, and suicidal debt. And after all that conservativism around Europe!

Background: Mitt Romney does not want America to be like Europe. He dreads the idea of America moving toward European models.

Premise: an obvious liberal europhile cannot restrain his eye-rolling contempt for Romney and the Republicans. Stupid Republicans! Why Europe is filled with nothing but greatness!

The road to Europe, Romney said, leads to chronic high unemployment, low wage growth and massive debts that can trigger fiscal calamity.

But Romney’s presentation ignores aspects of the European crisis that critics see as an illustration of how his own plans to shrink government could threaten the sputtering U.S. recovery. In Greece, Spain, Ireland and other Eurozone nations, unemployment has soared amid steep government cutbacks under austerity measures championed by Germany.

This is a vile mischaracterization of Romney’s opinion, generated by someone who skims quotes and articles by others.

First, what critics? Your pals at the wine tasting?

Second, please indicate where the US economy is recovering. Oh right—the private sector is doing fine. After all, the stock market was actually up for the first time in a while. If you have a poor understanding of economics, you might call that a recovery.

Third, European unemployment has been obscenely high long before the tepid austerity measures were recommended by Germany. Hey, austerity is working in Germany. And not to sound like Paul Krugman, but maybe Greece, Spain, and Ireland have not been austere enough. In fact, almost certainly they have not. Wait, there’re more.

In Britain, critics of Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron blame the country’s recent slide back into recession on his austerity agenda of scaling back government.

Obama has rejected austerity, calling instead for new federal spending on short-term stimulus measures, such as road construction and state aid to stop layoffs of teachers and other public workers, followed by long-term budget cuts to reduce the deficit once the economy recovers.

Facing diplomatic constraints, the president has avoided comparing European austerity to Romney’s economic plans.

You need to name what critics in the UK. Can’t? Well, we can: the Labour party has been attacking the off-kilter and terribly conciliatory politics of Cameron. Cameron’s conservativism—which does not mean the same thing as American conservativism, by the by—is exactly why UKIP’s candidate Neil Farage is gaining popularity.

Then we get a nice lecture about President Obama’s vision, which is weirdly much better summarized than Mitt Romney’s perfunctory “well, he just hates Europe” idea. But the howler is the idea that Obama is not able to enforce his fantastic goals because…well, not because of racism or Republican thuggery or anything like that…but because of diplomatic constraints. That’s right: we cannot enact our plan to be more like Europe because it would be most unsporting to the Europeans. Rubbing it in their faces and whatnot.

Anyway, the author then shows his colors—sorry, colours—by referencing Bill Clinton’s highly destructive attacks on Mitt Romney’s rejection of Europia. No, there is no mention of Clinton’s admonishment of Obama’s sloppy understanding of free enterprise, nor his actual endorsement of Romney’s economic sense. And how weird is this:

“Who would have ever thought that the Republicans would embrace the austerity and jobless policies of what they used to derisively call old Europe?” Clinton told Obama campaign donors at a fundraising dinner with the president June 4 in New York City.

“I never thought I’d live to breathe and see, here they are, saying, ‘Let’s do the Eurozone’s economic policy. They got 11% unemployment. We can get up there if we work at it.'”

The U.S. unemployment rate, which peaked at 10% in October 2009, dropped to 8.1% in April, then bumped back up to 8.2% last month.

So let us understand this. Romney is an idiot because he rejects European liberal values. But Europe has 11% unemployment, which Bill Clinton thinks is…also ludicrous? Possibly the author could have researched this topic better.

And as proof, how about this boner:

Romney’s digs at Europe are not just economic; they are also cultural. A December 2006 blueprint for his first presidential campaign, disclosed by the Boston Globe, featured Romney attacks on “European-style socialism” — aimed especially at France, even though Jacques Chirac, the French president at the time, was a conservative.

If the author believes that French conservativism is identical to American conservativism, then…just…wow. In fact, they are not even comparable for numerous complex reasons dating back to 1789. And France was doing better under Chirac than it is today, anyway.

Okay, the point is very familiar. We have a liberal pseudo-journalist who longs for the carefree life of the European paradise that is so successful that limited austerity plans were forcibly implemented to avoid total destruction of the goofy system. Realizing that his beloved President Obama is utterly clueless and helpless on basic economics and free market capitalism, he decides to help out by explaining why Mitt Romney’s ideas are even worse, based on the fact that because the author doesn’t evidently understand them, no one can.

The final nail is that the author then cites Paul Ryan’s warning that reforms in the American system must be measured, planned, and paced to avoid dumping thousands of unemployed government workers on a fragile economy. See? Except that Romney has already endorsed, and built upon, the Ryan plan as his core foundation. Which isn’t mentioned. Guess Wikipedia didn’t go that far into detail.

This is a total mess, and the Czar would be worried that this sort of sloppy journalism might be taken seriously, but the LA Times’ 1000 readers tend not to vote Republican anyway.

About The Czar of Muscovy

Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia by upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.