I’m submitting a memo to my bosses at Rolling Stone this morning, asking for permission to skip all coverage of the Republican primary season from this point forward. Why? Because Ron Paul and Michele Bachmann have just summed up the entire Republican storyline with perfect precision, through their respective responses to Hurricane Irene. There’s really not much left for any pundit to add, after this weekend’s quips.
Michele Bachmann says Hurricane Irene is God’s way of telling Washington that it is spending too much.
For his part, Ron Paul says hurricane relief isn’t the responsibility of the state and we should stop using tax dollars to rescue people. Apparently we should go back to our year-1900 disaster policies, which included watching 6,000 people die in a hurricane that hit Galveston, Texas.
What else does anyone need to hear? There are two powerful wings of the Republican Party heading into 2012, and these two comments sum them up perfectly.
The Ron Paul camp believes government has no role at all.
The Michele Bachmann camp also believes that government has no role at all – but she differs from Paul in that she learned this through personal communication with the Almighty.
This is what the Republican debate is going to boil down to: a question of authority.
If you believe the Bible is the only book you ever need to read, you’ll vote for Bachmann or Santorum, or maybe Rick Perry.
If you think the sacred text is The Road to Serfdom, you’ll vote for Ron Paul (or, Rick Perry hopes, maybe Rick Perry).
Both rhetorical strategies are heavily dependent upon apocalyptic imagery. From the Road to Serfdom crew, we’re going to hear a lot about the impending socialist takeover and an imminent international financial collapse tied to government/Fed spending policy…
[continues at Rolling Stone]