Common sense…

Yesterday on Fox News Sunday, Republican House Minority Leader John Boehner had this to say:

The Washington Monthly

Host Chris Wallace noted that “a number of top economists” believe that the nation, right now, needs “more economic stimulus.” Boehner replied, “Well, I don’t need to see GDP numbers or to listen to economists; all I need to do is listen to the American people.”

This is of a piece with a conversation I have been having online with a couple of really far-right conservatives.  That conversation was about the gulf oil spill and how they thought that the things that, in their opinion, Obama had failed to do were just common sense.  They actually used the phrase, “it doesn’t take a rocket scientist…”

Well, sometimes it does in fact take a rocket scientist.  They derided me for “hating” common sense, which couldn’t be further from the truth.  I love common sense!  Mine has served me well.  Notice those pronouns.  I have no problem with people making personal decisions based on their own common sense.  Hell, make your own personal business decisions that way.

We aren’t talking about personal decisions here.  These are decisions that impact millions of people.  While common sense might serve you well personally, basing large scale policy decisions on your gut rather than facts and the truth is crazy.  I am pretty sure that Obama has received more information about oil spills and cleanup than these two I was talking to have.  And I am positive, based on his past statements, that John Boehner ought to listen to an economist or two instead of basing his decisions, which could have dire consequences for millions of people, on his own gut and the American people which, quite frankly, very often don’t know enough about macroeconomics to make these decisions.  I sure don’t, which is why I defer to those who do.

Everyone’s common sense is different.  Mine is probably different from yours and we can all figure out that George Bush’s gut is telling him different things than Barack Obama’s.  Why is it better to follow your gut than to find out the facts and base decisions on reason?  It’s an odd thing that liberals have always been accused of making decisions based on emotion when very often it seems the opposite is true.


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