Comment of the Day: Robert Waldmann: Monday Smackdown: Paul Krugman Tut-Tuts at David Frum for the Soft Bigotry of Low Expectations: "[DeLong: ']Back in 1980 the Republican and Democratic intellectuals I knew and knew of...

...seemed roughly evenly matched as far as their policy chops and their attachment to reality. Not since. A number of filters have been applied to those who have wanted to remain influential Republicans in good standing. They have been successively called upon to endorse or at the very least stay quiet about the propositions that:

(1) Retrospectively, Goldwater was a genius and his campaign was a victory... (2) Supply-side economics is a great success, delivering more rapid economic growth with little or no revenue losses from tax cuts... (3) Ronald Reagan was a very clever man throughout his presidency--not someone out of his depth who did not understand the issue tradeoffs presented to him, and who suffered increasingly from dementia throughout his presidency... (4) Dan Quayle was highly qualified for the presidency and would have made an excellent president... (5) Bill Clinton's policies were disastrous... (6) Bill Clinton was guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors... (7) George W. Bush was well-qualified for the presidency... (8) Iraq possessed an ample arsenal of weapons of mass destruction... (9) Sarah Palin was well-qualified for the presidency... (10) Paul Ryan had a coherent budget plan with numbers that added up...

Current practicing conservatives and Republicans have long practiced agreeing with, convincing themselves that you agree with, or at the very least convincing themselves that the ten big fibs listed above are not very important. Is it any surprise that the qualifications for being in the top 1% of thoughtfulness as a conservative or a Republican are now very thin indeed?....

Robert Waldmann:

11) Reagan scared Gorbachev into being a dove and liberalizing the USSR.
12)Obama has less respect for the constitution and the law than Bush.
13) the ARRA (Obama stimulus) didn't affect output or employment.
14) deficits don't matter when a Republican is in office but will eat our children if a Democrat is.
15) Banking deregulation was an excellent idea and Dodd-Frank is a disaster.
16) Obamacare is a disaster.
17) The Veterans administration provides worse care than the private sector and should be privatized.
18) The center for Medicare and Medicaid services can't compete with private health insurance companies because it is less efficient and will wither on the vine if they are allowed to compete with it.
19) A public health insurance option would be a catastrophe.
20) Talk of death panels is not slanderous.
21) Al Qaeda depends on Iraq.
22) Disruption of the middle east would be good.
23) Water boarding isn't torture (and it works).
24) Bush v Gore wasn't an act of judicial activism (or a judicial coup) and Al Gore was trying to steal the election.
25) It's OK to play chicken with the debt limit and default.
26) it is unconstitutional to filibuster any resolutions to confirm appeals court nominations.
27) It is reasonable to filibuster any and all nominations to the DC circuit court.
28) George Bush is above the law including the Patriot act which he signed.
29) Obama is breaking the law because the employer mandate was delayed.
30) George Bush elimination Medicare Plan D mandates by fiat was a non-event.
31) George Bush can hold a US citizen arrested in the USA indefinately in solitary.
32) Obama can't defer deportation of undocumented aliens indefinitely.
33) It would be a bad idea to drop bombs on Pakistan under any circumstances.
34) Obama is not having enough hellfire missiles fired at targets in Pakistan.
35) It is reasonable to build a bridge to nowhere.
36) Steel tariffs are a fine idea (recall this is why Tyler Cowen joined the ancient and hermetic order of the Shrill. Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn).
37) George Bush's tax cuts weren't 'aimed at the upper tail' (to quote George Bush).
38) There is no housing bubble and increased home ownership 2000-2006 is the triumph of the ownership society.
39) The community reinvestment act caused the great recession.
39) The globe isn't warming.
40) Global warming isn't caused by human activity.
41) Changing human activities to reduce global warming would be impossibly costly.
42) Since we don't know how catastrophic global warming will be we should just keep on emitting C02 because uncertainty is reason to do something you know is risky.
43) Nuclear power plants are more cost effective replacements for coal than are solar or wind .
44) George Bush didn't increase domestic discretionary spending (Bruce Bartlett was fired for refusing to go along with this one).
45) Refusal to compromise on Obamacare was a successful strategy (David Frum was fired over this).

Damn I was trying to end with an even number