John Boehner embraces the neo-populist extreme: it’s the people’s sovereign right to be wrong about everything, even important things, and not Washington’s job to correct them. Rather, opinion leaders should let the people live in a fantasy world:
Some people believe that Obama, a native of Hawaii, was born outside the United States. There is also a persistent belief among some that Obama, a Christian, is actually a Muslim.
When the host of NBC’s “Meet the Press” asked Boehner whether he, as speaker of the House, had a responsibility to “stand up to that kind of ignorance,” Boehner told David Gregory: “It’s not my job to tell the American people what to think. Our job in Washington is to listen to the American people.”
Boehner continued: “Having said that, the state of Hawaii has said that he was born there. That’s good enough for me. The president says he’s a Christian. I accept him at his word.”
Especially when it’s politically productive to abandon objective reality, for a world where the facts are what we want them to be. We’ve come a long way from John Adams:
Facts are deaf — deaf as adders — to the clamors of the populace!