When They Insist That Your Eyes Are Deceiving You

When we lived in Bull Savannah, Renel, the yard boy, (do they still have yard boys in Jamaica?) used to play his guitar in the twilight and sing for us children. One of his favorites went something like this:

One Saturday night when I come home, drunk as drunk can be,

I saw a horse was in my stable, just where my horse should be,

I called to my wife, now darling tell me, please,

What manner of horse is in my stable just where my horse should be?

You’re a damn fool, a stupid ass, drunkards cannot see,

It’s only a little nanny goat your grandmother send for me.

Now all the world I’ve traveled, I’ve traveled the whole world o’er,

But nanny goat with horse’s mane, I never seen before…

And so on. In the end there was a man in the drunk’s bed “just where his body should be,” and his wife repeated her claim that he was too blind drunk to know that it was just a little baby boy his grandmother had sent her. The song ended with the poor old drunk quite perplexed because “a baby boy with long mustache” he had never seen before.

The song came to mind this week when I read how the Republicans responded to Vice President Joe Biden’s gleeful comments on the fact that Chrysler had repaid $5.9 billion in U.S. loans and $1.7 billion in loans from the governments of Canada and Ontario.The vice president was especially pleased because the repayment came six years early.

You will probably recall how the Republicans clamored for President Obama to let the American auto industry die when the Detroit Big Three ran into financial trouble a few years back. And you’ve probably seen those Tea Party signs accusing the president of being a Socialist (and sometimes a Nazi) for buying GM shares with government money in order to help the giant automaker survive.

As it turned out, GM has done well enough to buy back the shares and has just announced that its Detroit Hamtramck factory in Michigan will run three shifts for the first time in its 26-year history.

So Joe understandably did a little gloating when he gave the administration’s weekly radio address (President Obama is traveling in Europe).

“Because of what we did, the auto industry is rising again,” Biden said. “Manufacturing is coming back. And our economy is recovering and it’s gaining traction.”

You would think the Republicans would reply with a big, Oops! and admit they were on the wrong side of history when they demanded shutting down an industry that was producing a million jobs directly and indirectly.

But no, here’s what the news report said:

The Republicans’ weekly address focused on the party’s plan to create jobs. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., said boosting employment requires cutting taxes, reducing regulations, completing bogged-down trade agreements with several countries and expanding energy exploration in the United States.

How many times are we going to hear that song? Time and again, we see the old trickle-down policies fail, and progressive policies succeed. Yet Republicans look us in the eye and tell us that it just ain’t so.

They must think we’re too blind (or stupid?) to see.