The youth are our future

At least that’s what GOP congresswoman Mary Miller says:

“Hitler was right on one thing, that whoever has the youth has the future. Our children are being propagandized,” Miller said.

I’d use the phrase “influences the youth”, not “has”. Anyone who has had children knows that grownups never “have the youth”.

But Miller is certainly 100% right that “Our children are being propagandized”.

(BTW, Imagine being educated in such a way that Hitler was the only philosopher you could think of when looking for a “the youth are our future” type quote.)

Speaking of our youth, younger members of the GOP death cult seem to have adopted Trump nihilism:

Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) was captured on video refusing to wear a mask when offered one as lawmakers sheltered in a crowded conference room during the dramatic Wednesday attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump.

In the video released by Punchbowl News, Mullin is seen standing, maskless, with newly elected Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), a follower of the conspiracy theory QAnon who was condemned by House leadership for racist remarks during her campaign, also unmasked. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.), masked herself, offers the two surgical masks. . . .

Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.) announced Monday that, “Following the events of Wednesday, including sheltering with several colleagues who refused to wear masks, I decided to take a Covid test. I have tested positive.” It’s not clear whether Watson Coleman sheltered in the same location as Mullin.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) announced early Tuesday that she, too, had tested positive.

“I just received a positive COVID-19 test result after being locked down in a secured room at the Capitol where several Republicans not only cruelly refused to wear a mask but recklessly mocked colleagues and staff who offered them one,” Jayapal said in a statement.

Representative Coleman is a 75-year old cancer surviror.

And people ask me why I’m not a Republican.

PS. Tyler Cowen discusses the question of whether Twitter should have banned Trump. FWIW, here are my views:

1. I think they had the right to do so, and I oppose government regulation of Twitter.

2. I think it was unwise to do so, although it may be in their financial interest to do so (mostly because it would boost employee morale.) Overall, however, I think it’s better that Twitter also presents the President’s views, no matter how reprehensible. He does represent nearly 40% of the US public. Let’s debate Trumpism right out in the open.

3. More broadly, woke “cancel culture” has played a significant part in the rise of Trumpism. And last Wednesday will make the left even more self-righteous. Leftists might be surprised to learn how often conservatives cite cancel culture as a factor pushing them to the right. Thus Twitter is actually strengthening the right by this decision.

4. Although Twitter’s decision has nothing to do with the 1st Amendment per se, among average people it increases the perception that those in positions of responsibility are supposed to ban hate speech. Over time, that view will bleed over into cases that threaten the 1st Amendment. I predict that we will eventually end up losing the right to engage in “hate speech”, something that has already happened in Europe.

Of course losing the legal right to engage in hate speech is no great loss, but losing the right to engage in “hate speech” is a very great loss. I hope I’m wrong, but I suspect that the 1st Amendment will be rendered meaningless within a few decades. Freedom of speech will only apply to government approved speech.

Robert Hetzel on the Fed’s new policy

Bob Hetzel has a new Mercatus paper that discusses the Fed’s new “flexible average inflation targeting” policy regime. He worries they may eventually overshoot to excessively high inflation. I’m less worried (medium term), but agree with his conclusion:

The newly announced strategy commits the FOMC to expansionary monetary policy to lower the unemployment rate to its lowest sustainable level as indicated by a persistence of inflation above the long-run 2 percent target. The announced strategy, however, leaves vague how the FOMC will then return inflation to the 2 percent target. One possible way to ensure the long-run discipline required to maintain price stability would be to accompany the policy with a long-run path for the price level.

I see level targeting as a way of permanently ending the longstanding and counterproductive debate between hawks and doves.

On another topic, David Beckworth has a new podcast where he interviews me on what I call the “Princeton School” of macroeconomics, by which I mean the work done by Krugman, Bernanke, Woodford, Eggertsson and Svensson back in the late 1990s and early 2000s. I see Krugman’s 1998 paper as perhaps the most important macro paper of the past 40 years, providing the best framework for understanding 21st century monetary policy. I plan to write a paper on this topic, and as usual I’ll have a slightly unconventional take on the subject.

PS. I also have a new piece in The Hill, which criticizes our response to Covid-19.

GOP congressmen voted to abolish democracy in America out of fear that Republicans would murder their families

At least I think that’s what Republican Congressman Peter Meijer is saying in this Reason magazine interview:

And then one of the saddest things is I had colleagues who, when it came time to recognize reality and vote to certify Arizona and Pennsylvania in the Electoral College, they knew in their heart of hearts that they should’ve voted to certify, but some had legitimate concerns about the safety of their families. They felt that that vote would put their families in danger.

Really? You heard that?

Yeah.

Wow. That’s pretty striking.

Please let me know if I misunderstood his point. If I’m wrong, please tell me exactly what Meijer is suggesting.

Back in 2016, when I did multiple posts (here and here) warning that America was becoming a banana republic, many of my long time commenters said the idea was ridiculous. So what do I know?

No, the GOP has not yet hit rock bottom

This caught my eye:

“Many members of the House community were in protective isolation in room located in a large committee hearing space,” physician Brian Monahan said in a statement. “During this time, individuals may have been exposed to another occupant with coronavirus infection.“

While Monahan’s statement didn’t specify which room, one video showed dozens of people sheltered in place a committee room in the as a mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed into the Capitol, forcing their way into the House and Senate chambers, lawmakers’ offices, and other areas.

Lots of congressmen and women, some of them quite elderly, packed in a conference room. What could go wrong?

This:

The video showed Delaware Democrat Lisa Blunt Rochester offering masks to a group of Republicans, including Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Andy Biggs of Arizona, who refused to cover their faces.

The GOP has become a sort of death cult.

PS: And how about this:

A bizarre tweet from the Arizona Republican Party on Monday asked whether supporters would sacrifice their lives for President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.

The official account quote-tweeted a “Stop the Steal” right-wing activist who said he was “willing to give up my life for this fight” and added: “He is. Are you?”

These people are sick.


It’s still Trump’s party

Trump associates with some rather questionable characters, including Lin Wood:

Despite many in Trump’s orbit declaring war on Wood after he pushed for a boycott of the Georgia Senate races, the president himself has personally kept in touch with the firebrand. Trump has not only encouraged Wood and Powell to continue with their “Kraken” lawsuits, but he also hasn’t told them to tone down their rhetoric, much to the dismay of many of Trump’s advisers.

This article caught my eye:

It seems that even the “free speech” social network Parler has its limits.

The social network that has attracted scores of conservative commentators because of its commitment to free speech has taken down several posts from Trump affiliate Lin Wood, according to a report in Mediaite.

In one of the posts removed from the social media platform, Wood called for the execution of Vice President Mike Pence.

The Trumpistas that stormed the Capitol seem to have similar views:

Meanwhile, the incitements to execute Pence seem to have been the animating factor for at least some of the rioters who stormed the Capitol building on Wednesday. Reuters Photo News Editor Jim Bourg tweeted about hearing at least three different rioters hoping to “find Vice President Mike Pence and execute him by hanging him from a Capitol Hill tree as a traitor.”

There’s discussion over whether Trump was inciting a riot and/or whether a “coup” attempt took place. Most of the discussion has too narrow a focus. For 5 years, Trump has been using violent rhetoric and fascist symbolism to create a misogynist, xenophobic, white nationalist movement in America. He’s demonized foreigners and minorities. He opposes free speech. He repeating praises brutal dictators while denigrating our democratic allies. He advocates putting a million Chinese Muslims into concentration camps. He praises American war criminals. He advocates torture. He invents a poisonous mythology of a stolen election, and tells his supporters to show strength in stopping Congress from stealing the election (while he hides like a coward). He surrounds himself with people who advocate violence, including Steve Bannon (who said Fauci should be beheaded) and Rudy Giuliani (who called for the Capitol Hill mob to engage in “combat”.) And Lin Wood.

Update: I forgot to mention that the Arizona Republican Party encouraged its members to be willing to die for Trump. (Why would anyone want to die to protect a coward?)

Do I really need to connect the dots? How can anyone not see Trump for what he is?

Now you might argue that all this violent rhetoric was “just joking”, or metaphors. Maybe so. But look at the videotape of the morons that stormed Capital Hill. Do these look like people who understand when a person is joking?

It now seems that the GOP is going to stick with Trump. He’ll continue to poll well among average people, and cowardly GOP politicians will therefore stick with him. They cower in fear. That means that each day Trump will drag the Republican Party ever further down into the gutter with him.

It’s still Trump’s party.