Point of View Columns

The Ebola Irony

The recent outbreak of Ebola in West Africa has taken predictable turns for the worst. First leapfrogging from Sierra Leone to Guinea to Liberia to Nigeria, and then moving overseas to Dallas, Texas and Spain, the reality of an intercontinental plague that runs on jet fuel, ignorance and collapsing health infrastructures is difficult to contemplate, much less accept.

We have been assured by distinguished doctors and scientists that Ebola does not pose a real and present danger to Americans. But the recent Texas misadventure does not give us comfort and a sneaking suspicion lurks in the minds of many – suppose the doctors and scientists don’t know what they don’t know?

It took about two heartbeats for the Teapublicans to come thundering out of the Valley of the Stupid to seize upon the tragedy of Ebola to once again criticize President Obama. One can suppose that after almost six years, the Teapublican playbook is worn and dog-eared and that even the most rabid of the Obamaphobes brays their verbal attacks almost by rote.

Somehow, the playbook goes, President Obama should have shown more “leadership” by taking “action” once the Ebola outbreak was made known. Indeed, it is the fault of the Obama Administration that there hasn’t been more research on Ebola before the opening curtain on this tragedy was raised.

The irony of the last bit of moronic critique should not be ignored. Because it is the Teapublican Party that has advocated the draconian cuts in the federal budget that, even when modified, have resulted in massive reductions in the activity of the federal government – the shutdown of the federal government last year being only one surreal example.

The fact is that the majority of the Teapublicans in the House and Senate have signed Grover Norquist’s “No Tax Pledge”. By refusing to raise taxes for any reason at any time, these Teapublican sheep disguised as legislators are buying into the notion that the amount of federal spending should equal a percentage of GDP no higher than the level of government spending in 1895 (that is not a misprint).

Keep in mind that in 1895 there was no Food and Drug Administration, no Environmental Protection Agency and……, …………….no Center for Disease Control. The bizarre lunacy of the Teapublicans criticizing the lack of robust research at the CDC, the same agency that was shut down by Teapublicans, seems to be sheltered in the alternate universe in which they reside –where Everything Obama is Bad – logic, intelligence and common sense be damned.

It is interesting that those who believe in less government really believe that until they don’t. That is, until there is a BP oil spill. That is, until there is a 9/11 tragedy. That is, until the economy goes into a death spiral, threatening to take the automobile industry and banking industry and the rest of us with it.

But once the crisis passes, insanity returns without embarrassment or shame on the part of the Teapublicans. Indeed, they come across as the kind of party that would call for the closing of a fire house after it put out the fire at their headquarters.

This kind of Marx Brothers routine might make sense in a comedy show, but in the real world in which we all reside, the philosophy of smaller government only makes sense until it doesn’t. And it is at that point that we all will suffer.