"Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)
Elliott and the friends with whom he recorded in middle school in Texas (photo courtesy of Dan Pickering)
In his latest for the New York Times, liberal columnist and star economist Paul Krugman argues that the GOP went “0 for 6″ on major predictions of Obamacare’s failure, but that they haven’t and will not acknowledge the program is working due to rigid ideology and dogmatic anti-government fervor.
Quoting Seneca’s famous quote that “to err is human” but “[t]o persist is diabolical,” Krugman writes that while it’s true that “[e]veryone makes incorrect predictions,” the Republicans’ ability to be “consistently, grossly wrong” about Obamacare requires “special effort.”
The explanation, Krugman says, is one he’s offered many times before: “It’s about politics and ideology, not analysis.” Republicans, he writes, simply cannot countenance a world in which Obamacare works — it’s too opposite from their ideological and (perhaps more importantly) political interests.
After running through one failed prediction after another from GOP politicians and policy experts, Krugman declares that conservatives’ “firm conviction that the government can’t do anything useful” and their “dogmatic belief in public-sector incompetence” has “evidently made rational analysis of policy issues impossible.”
Yet while Krugman can’t help but laugh at the haplessness of the right, he believes there’s reason to see it as, at heart, a profoundly unsettling development, one that could hint at even worse Republican thinking to come:
While it has been funny watching the right-wing cling to its delusions about health reform, it’s also scary. After all, these people retain considerable ability to engage in policy mischief, and one of these days they may regain the White House. And you really, really don’t want people who reject facts they don’t like in that position. I mean, they might do unthinkable things, like starting a war for no good reason. Oh, wait.
Heatmiser publicity shot (L-R: Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson, Neil Gust, Elliott Smith) (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott and JJ Gonson (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
"Stray" 7-inch, Cavity Search Records (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott's Hampshire College ID photo, 1987
Elliott with "Le Domino," the guitar he used on "Roman Candle" (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Full "Roman Candle" record cover (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott goofing off in Portland (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Heatmiser (L-R: Elliott Smith, Neil Gust, Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson)(courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
The Greenhouse Sleeve -- Cassette sleeve from Murder of Crows release, 1988, with first appearance of Condor Avenue (photo courtesy of Glynnis Fawkes)