Our paper has a daily "Thumbs Up" and "Thumbs Down" feature on its editorial pages. One of our editors was thinking aloud of what to do for tomorrow. She was probably not unaware that Mr. Right was in the room when she suggested giving the Thumbs Down to Rush Limbaugh for wishing that President Obama would "fail."
"He wished that Obama's policies would fail," Mr. Right corrected.
"Wow, big difference," the editor scoffed.
"Lots of socialistic policies in there," Mr. Right insisted, "and socialism never works."
"Oh look, here's his website," the editor went on, apparently quoting from it, "'I hope Obama fails.'"
I have no interest in confirming this. I was content to point out to Mr. Right that "nothing really seems to be working right now."
"Cut corporate taxes fifteen percent," was his answer, "Ours are the second highest in the world. Cutting them could only help."
I was in the middle of my own project, so I couldn't come up with more than that one little comment. Mr. Right's idolatry, of course, didn't surprise me. He clings to free-market dogma, but being a believer, he doesn't see it as dogma but more likely as a matter of natural law. Certain things always work according to this worldview, which is exactly the kind that the new President urged Americans to put aside. But the mere suggestion was probably enough to reinforce Mr. Right's impression that Obama himself is the ideologue, the heretic who refuses to accept the inerrant, unchanging law of the marketplace. It also didn't surprise me to hear Mr. Right advocate remedies that catered to the corporate sector first. He is a supply-sider, convinced that his approach always works. Tell him that there's something unseemly about the idea of government catering to the wealthy first during a crisis and he'll call you envious, or a socialist, as if the former weren't a slander and the latter was always an insult. To him, the just society is one in which each individual accumulates as much as he "deserves." He is incapable of imagining an alternative that wouldn't strike him as tyrannical. If he complains now, imagine if real "change" came. Then, it would almost be our duty not to listen to him.