Monday, March 07, 2011

Ideology as a Scare Word

Both sides do it, but the left seems to get away with it more often.

A New York Times editorial yesterday called for Democrats to hold firm against the "reckless" budget cuts called for by Republicans, then blaming a subsequent government shutdown on those same Republicans.  Here's how the NYT described the programs under the GOP first swath:
But this is not a moment for another difference-splitting deal. The House wants to carve $61 billion out of the government for just the next seven months, which would throw hundreds of thousands of people out of work and kill off scores of vital functions. Many of them, like funding for health care reform, environmental regulation and Planned Parenthood, are on the Republicans’ ideological hit list. The latest deadline for an agreement is March 18; without one, the government would close. 

Cuts to the unconstitutional Obamacare implementation and pulling in the EPA regulatory power-grab are about creating a pro-growth economic environment where job creation.  The cuts to Planned Parenthood are admittedly ideological, but take the entirely sensible position that, with money being a fungible commodity, an organization that is the biggest abortion provider in the country shouldn't have the support of the US taxpayer.

The NYT's position that government programs are necessary for sustaining our feeble economic recovery are no less ideological than the Republican positions they attack.

"Ideology", and any linguistic derivation thereof, is an essentially meaningless pejorative, carrying even less intellectual force than when certain conservatives label President Obama a socialist.  It is a sophistic hoax to claim everything the NYT wants is logical and pragmatic, while everything championed by the other side is tagged "ideological" -- shorthand for irrational and imprudent.  And it is an especially bold position to take when the Times' philosophy has not produced adequate results, and the electorate has shown quite a few Democrats the door.

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