My Daughter Will Be Republican Majority Leader Someday

By James Kwak

Or perhaps a leading candidate for the Republican presidential nomination.

When it comes to deficits and government spending, the strategy of Republicans in Congress is to assert things that are simply not true or that defy economic logic. Ezra Klein nails House Majority Leader Eric Cantor misstating the CBO’s ten-year projection for health care reform so he can make a false claim about its longer-term effects (ignoring the fact that the CBO explicitly said health care reform would be deficit-reducing in the second decade). The same Republican leadership that rails against deficits is introducing rules that will make it easier to increase the deficit, since tax cuts will no longer have to be paired with offsetting spending cuts.

Apparently, the ability to say things that are not true is something that is learned quite early.

My four-year-old daughter is currently enamored of a series of fairy books. (If they have not entered your house yet, do not let them in; bar the doors, do not accept packages, do whatever you need to do.) In these books, the fairies are good, and the goblins are bad. We had read about seven of these books, and one feature of them was that although the heroines (two girls named Kirsty and Rachel who are completely interchangeable because they have no personality) and the fairies are afraid of the goblins, the goblins had shown themselves completely incapable of doing any harm to anyone. As I said to my daughter, “The goblins have never caught a fairy.”

Alas, in the next book, the goblins did catch the fairy (although she subsequently escaped). So I said, “We can no longer say that the goblins never caught a fairy.”

The next day, my daughter came to me and said: “We can still say the goblins never caught a fairy. Just watch. ‘The goblins never caught a fairy.’ See? You can still say it!”

She has a bright political future ahead.

24 responses to “My Daughter Will Be Republican Majority Leader Someday

  1. I have to laugh. Those books are all bad (they briefly appeared in our house and were banished with a shudder) and they come in more series than imaginable.

    But my real question is where are the truth tellers? And where is the democratic response?

  2. And Obama campaigned against the Bush deficit, which he has almost tripled and voted against raising the debt ceiling (when it was a mere $9 billion). So just who believes in fairy tales?

  3. “the goblins have caught the fairies
    how can that be
    they’ve squandered all but an ounce of the second decades fairy dust-gust` without a once never to be seen
    within a fortnight all is for naught
    for in fantasyland only known too the weary trees as D.C.
    those pesky little fairies feigning escape
    once more again
    embraced by the palidrome cloud that meets its la-la land sky
    where the white house spins its spells of good and not so bad
    once balanced on a delightfully sturdy wand
    forever misplaced in goblin land”

  4. The fact that there are discussions like this can be attributed to a global political awakening taking place after periods of deep distrust and unchecked fraud that permeates the world. The United States has become a nation of selective law enforcement. It is apparent we have a dysfunctional Attorney General, Securities and Exchange Commission, and Antitrust Act, to name but a few. People are not so dumb they don’t see this happening around them. The body politic has been shown through recent history to be little more than a copy machine that re-elects itself. Nations has never cried out for apt leadership more than now and end up with un-original deceptive clones.

  5. Bill Gilwood

    They traffic in lies. They say whatever works for them, not what’s true. Political gain is their key criteria, not truth, not even close.

  6. If you daughter really likes to hear about goblins might I recommend The Hobbit. Nice chapters with easy breaks.

    Maybe to counter act your fears an Aesop’s Fable for you and your daughter. While they are short they can help to move your daughter’s mind to thinking about what she hears and reads. I am sure there is a better fable, but tonight I recommend — banks, regulators, congress, government in general, the list is great.

    The Escaped Jackdaw

    A man caught a jackdaw and tied a piece of string to one of its legs, and then gave it to his children for a pet. But the jackdaw didn’t at all like having to live with people; so, after a while, when he seemed to have become fairly tame, and they didn’t watch him so closely, he slipped away and flew back to his old haunts. Unfortunently, the string was still on his leg, and before long it got entangled in the branches of a tree and the jackdaw couldn’t get free, try as he would. He saw it was all up with him, and cried in despair, “Alas, in gaining my freedom I have lost my life.”

  7. I think your sentence got fragmented kind sir, let me be of assistance, Mssr. Bush tripled the debt between the Clinton years and Obama’s inauguration, Obama has added a mere pittance in comparison in the intervening two years, and recall that despite some of the more questionable narratives that bandy about, the TARP was in fact actually enacted (and conceived) by the prior administration and despite his (and everyone else’s) support of it in the face of scant alternatives, it is rather disingenuous to place that on his “tab,” though many attempt to for generally nefarious reasons. This is why most modern conservatives struggle to peddle their wares in matters where basic math applies, it is much hard to convince folks that 2+2=3 than it is to get them to believe the tax fairy will increase revenues and that shady communists lurk behind every shrub and hedgerow.

  8. theotherguydidit

    While your daughter may possess your charm good sir, her good sense will keep her to a path fitting the maternal intelligence that completes the package.

    As in: Daddy, I’m going to be a Doctor, Mommy said so.

  9. Michael Matheson

    James,
    I too suffered through the books you refer to. It will get better for both of you. Got 13 Bankers for Christmas this year. Thanks. My Daughter is currently absorbed in R. Crumb’s Book of Genesis. See, it does get better.

  10. Don’t waste your time. Guinness doesn’t care. As long as 2+2 adds up to right-wing political gain, he will be happy. He is just like my friend who dismissed the Washington Post investigation series on US guns turning up at Mexican crime scenes. My buddy is a gun nut, and the NRA line that the cartels get all their guns from Mexican police and army defectors is all he will accept. That’s the line that serves the agenda, and everything else is dismissed out of hand. Name the topic: global warming, the cause of the current recession, etc. It’s all the same. You can’t argue with them, you can’t get them to consider credible evidence. They won’t listen.

  11. That’s good to hear, but it couldn’t happen to soon. Before the fairy books, we were reading Magic Treehouse books to her and I thought those were bad. Now I think Magic Treehouse books are the pinnacle of great literature by comparison.

  12. I feel for you man. I’ve got two young daughters and some bad news for you. That fairy book series has over 50 titles.

  13. Blunt Instrument

    Too bad your daughter can’t be a Democrat like that paragon of sincerity, Nancy Pelosi.

    Really, James. The Republicans have not cornered the market in dishonesty. I think we can be adults here and recognize that POLITICIANS lie. Of both stripes. Of all stripes.

  14. Here’s a little education on the debt for you dim bulbs out there: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20027090-503544.html

    Go to the link and read it. It’s CBS. Hardly a right wing news source. Note the years. All under a Democratic congress. Most of the $5 trillion rise under Obama’s watch. This debt is owned by HIM and his cohorts. No one else.

    Take up your argument with the author of the CBS article. Maybe he’s a gun nut too.

  15. ” But my real question is where are the truth tellers? And where is the democratic response? ”

    They’re all waiting in line for jobs at Citibank, Goldman etc…
    You see, the laws of economics are quite binding…

  16. CBS from the West

    Absolutely.

    The Republicans are perhaps more prone to blatant fabrication, whereas the Democrats are somewhat more inclined to the use of misleading terminology and selective omission of salient facts.

    But in the end, a lie is still a lie. There is no hope until we see the destruction of both of these despicable parties.

  17. Fiscal 2009 was 1/3 through when Obama put his hand on the bible, and it really is tough to bring down expenditures/raise revenues one the fiscal year is under way. The Fiscal 2009 deficit was 1.4 Trillion. The fiscal 2010 deficit was $1.3 Trillion. Last time I looked $1.3 Trillion < $1.4 Trillion. Those that argue that Obama exploded the deficit are incapable of doing simple math. (AKA Republicans)

  18. Mr. Kwak,

    Your task, should you accept it and it seems indeed that you have, is to find a way to educate your daughter so she can distinguish between the positive pleasures of playful imagination, and the fabrication of intentional falsehood. She will have to be guided towards a strong sense of ethics so she can distinguish between the two.

    This is but one of thousands, nay millions of challenges you have willingly chosen to accept with parenthood.

    I’m totally envious James, I’ve never had a daughter or even a son, but it is evident by your concern and passion towards the education of your daughter that you will be a wonderful Father!

    Who knows, maybe she will be the first Independent elected as President of the United States!!

  19. Bayard Waterbury

    I wholeheartedly agree. James should be happy with his daughters tangential understandings. Four is an age for those. Remember, James, you are the adult. The fact that your daughter is caught up in “fairy/gremlin” logic is not bad at all. There’s a time and age to have your own world view. At some later date, to be sure, you will have your own shot at breaching this worldview with reality. Four isn’t the time for that. I loved Alice in Wonderland, and Winnie the Pooh. They have colored by world, but not my view of reality. Your precious child will, in fact, recover from this, and have fond recollections of her old ways of thinking that turned out not to be related to the real world.

  20. Nihilism and “Deconstructionism”

    too many authors on this forum to acknowledge that someone else had it right – that author coined the phrase, “The Wrecking Crew”.

    The fruits of the crew are being laid bare in all it’s FANTASTICAL thinking

    via the legal procedures being initiated against The Wrecking Crew that scratched, clawed and murdered their way to the top of BIG MONEY

    go to the “pharmalot” website and read up on Johnson and Johnson after “deconstructionism”….

    Governor of NJ was in Disneyland during “reality” time – or “act of god” – and used the “family” schtick to prove his ideological purity that he did the right thing by letting “god” do his work for him….sigh…open the doors of the court house or a “church” these days and it’s straight out of “Ghostbusters” – extoplasmic energy of “deconstruction” flies out at you….

    imagination only works in debate when employed in the reducto absurdum approach to considering new ideas for old problems.

    But just as I was thinking about pleading for entry into a “Witness Protection Program” somewhere in a civilized country (any left not kleptocratic?) because I read a forbidden book (The Urantia Book) and was too stupid to keep that my secret – here comes this gentlemanly consideration on this website of how to censor the reading material of a four year old.

    Scheesh.

    First off – Congratulations that she can read at Age 4. And that she still likes to PLAY with you and check YOUR intelligence – she did that with her obvious delivery of hoooeey – she wanted to see how you’d react to it, James. SHE knew it was hoooeey. You were being tested :-))

    Alas, the movie “Thelma and Louise” is where MOST professional and educated, hard-working, straight shooting, lovely women are at since The Wrecking Crew took over reality via “virtual reality” theft of homes and savings….

    We are at that moment of “let’s just keep going….”

    that moment when you realize the TRUTH that PREDATORS win every time – especially in COURT….and look out for the preacher man – he’s hell bent on getting “religion” back to assist in burning Joan the Liberator for ending the MIND terror inflicted via The Atonement Doctrine – get the INNOCENT one and feed her into the volcano of our iniquity

    More misery for others = More money for ME ME ME

    even girls get the absolute truth of that math formula…Age 4 is right on the cusp of figuring that math out…

  21. Daisy Meadows

    My books are allegories about finance and economics blogging. The two girls are two economics bloggers — Kirsty and Rachel are modeled after men named James and Simon, I changed it from male to female solely for business reasons, girl books sell better. As economics bloggers, James and Simon will respect that.

    The goblins are bank CEOs, non-agency securitization specialists and prop traders. The jewels and other prizes the girls are moral-hazard-reducing reforms. If you’ve read the books, however, you know that the girls frequently shrink down to fairy size. Unfortunately, that’s what the reforms do as well — the evil magic of special interest shrinks them down so they have little effect on the goblins.

  22. that’s how the mercenaries were always going to be paid by the War Lords – with family HOMES…now Louise and Thelma will have to pay rent to the abusing drunk landlord mercenary who will feed them dope to keep them in line…charming what oil $$$ buys in the way of “culture”