On Sunday the NYT magazine had a profile on former House majority leader Dick Armey. In the article he is quoted as saying the following at a public talk in North Carolina: "“Nearly every important office in Washington, D.C., today is occupied by someone with an aggressive dislike for our heritage, our freedom, our history and our Constitution.” That is not just political hyperbole. It's an intentional, mean spirited lie. Shame on him! Such nonsense. The right's cynicism, its pandering to the know-nothing fringe is fascinating. And it's not going to win them many elections. The article contains several gems, including his belief that Lawrence Summers is not "a real economist." Armey reveals himself to be a political philosopher of profound intellect: “Europe is governed by a concern for the well-being of the collective. That’s what they care about. What makes us different is we begin with the liberty of the individual. We got it right, and they got it wrong." This nonsense is repeated often by the American right and exemplifies how they so often conflate "freedom", "individual liberty", etc. with a regulation-free business environment. Ok, well, I guess it's true that buying a semi-automatic weapon may be just a tad more complicated in Europe than in the US, but that's one freedom Europeans are happy to sacrifice. Freedom of the press? Just as well defended in Europe. Freedom of assembly. The same. Freedom of religion? The same. Rights? How about the right to access health care? Score one for Europe! Dick Armey is the leader of the right wing group FreedomWorks.