11 February 2009

Idiot of the Week.

Rep. Steven Austria of Ohio: the Rep can be for "Republican" as well as "Representative." He's a freshman, and from my own experience I can tell you that freshmen are sometimes uninformed about basic American history. Austria would definitely flunk my class after this outburst against the stimulus plan. Such an approach, Austria said, had failed in the past:

When Roosevelt did this, he put our country into a Great Depression. He tried to borrow and spend, he tried to use the Keynesian approach, and our country ended up in a Great Depression. That's just history.

I can't blame the Republican Party for this. The party line is that FDR exacerbated the Depression and needlessly prolonged it, and while that point is highly debatable, most conservatives acknowledge that the Depression started under Herbert Hoover. Many blame Hoover, a fellow Republican though not necessarily what would be recognized as a conservative today, for making bad calls in his own right, from tax increases to tariffs, though those are just as often blamed on "government" in general in GOP circles. The right thing to have done, today's Republicans apparently believe, was to let the crash run its course and trust the market to put things back together in its usual miraculous fashion. Rep. Austria must have had some muddled version of this in his mind when he attempted to teach Congress some history. When a man is dumber than the Republican party, that deserves some recognition.


hobbyfan said...

This geek just got elected to office, and he botches it when it comes to history. Let's not forget that the stock market crash of 1929 was also on Hoover's watch, and that set off the Depression, IIRC. How dumb is Rep. Austria? How about below a bag of hammers?

Anonymous said...

That would still put him a step or two ahead of others who have commented on here.