Wednesday, February 11, 2009

That's Just History

When Hitler developed the V-2 rocket and started bombarding England with it, the US realized the importance of having a manned observation post on the moon; it has been maintained ever since 1916. That's just history.

When Washington threw a dollar across the Delaware (a dollar went a lot farther in those days), it killed King George, and the British surrendered. That's just history.

When we invaded Iraq, the whole world was stunned by the number of nuclear weapons Saddam had amassed: no one expected his arsenal would exceed the combined total of both the US and Russia. That's just history.

"When (President Franklin) Roosevelt did this, he put our country into a Great Depression,” Austria said. “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.”

One of these statements was actually made by a US representative, apparently in all seriousness. (Hint: it's the one in quotes) Yglesias and others are making much of the fact Roosevelt didn't come into office until four years after the start of the Great Depression (which despite the Republican-style PR effort, was not great at all: it actually really sucked). I would also like to point out that the work Keynes did was in response to the depression. So this quote is a profoundly disturbing double-dip. On the other hand, Austria does meet one of my criteria for policy-makers: see point 4 here. But I'm sure it doesn't bother the repiglicans at all: when they don't like the facts, they make up ones they do like. That's just history.