Cobalt Blue Arrogance

From a state capitol that basks under surreally blue skies comes a consummate example of progressive smugness. In an installment of his Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper column pretentiously titled, "Understanding Your World," former U.S. Foreign Service officer and Time magazine correspondent William Stewart writes:

Let us be clear: We were not faced with an economic crisis over raising the debt ceiling.

Instead, we faced an unnecessary political crisis brought on by the failure of our two main political parties to deal with what since 1917 has been a routine matter of government business.

In other words, the problem lies not in spending obscene quantities of existing and not-yet-born people's money. No, the fault lies in failing to secure another credit card to allow spending yet obscener quantities of money belonging to the children of people not yet born.

Stewart heaps on the flawed reasoning, this time dressed as wisdom.

The fact of the matter is that Republican members of Congress, angry over Big Government in general and especially angry with President Barack Obama's version of Big Government, have used raising the debt ceiling to embarrass the president and impose on the rest of the country their view of what government should be all about.

It's logical to a progressive wearing reality filters that a scowling and snickering Obama should be thanked for pushing a "view of what government should be all about." But Republicans, ah those "angry" Republicans... how dare they offer an alternative view?

In simple terms, big government imposed by progressives: good. Big government imposed by conservatives: bad. The swagger is disgusting. No more acidic than the swagger practiced by any other progressive, but still disgusting.

Yet maybe I judge Mr. Stewart too harshly, for the man does note:

The American people are not stupid.

Of course we must address our massive national debt. But there is a way to do this sensibly without making worse the declining fortunes of America's working people.

Reform the tax code? Absolutely.

Reform Social Security and Medicare? Yes.

Cut defense spending? Yes.

Reasonable stuff.

But then Stewart closes with remarks that reek of progressive arrogance. His prescription for what ails America?

Restore taxes to where they were under President Bill Clinton, who left us a massive surplus? Yes, and again yes.

These tea party members of Congress haven't a clue how to run this country fairly, squarely and properly. But plenty of their seniors do. Let them stand up now.

So who actually has no "clue?" Tea Partiers who want America to return to the libertarian economic principles that created a "massive surplus," or the guy who hasn't the sense to consider the delayed effects of Reagan era tax cuts that generated massive revenues that begat a massive surplus? Just who is cognitively handicapped? Tea Partiers who want to stand on their own feet, or the Santa Fean who seems to have allowed oxygen-poor high-altitude air to trick him into thinking that any government could "run" any country "fairly, squarely, and properly?"

Mr. Stewart does indeed seem to be a progressive. No clear thinker would put forth the notion that anointed bureaucrats should set the criteria for fairness, squareness, and propriety in people's lives. Such nonsense could only spring from the mind of a silly liberal.

A writer, physicist, former high tech executive, and Cajun, Chuck Rogér invites you to sign up to receive his "Clear Thinking" blog posts by email at Contact Chuck at