Words of Advice:

"Never Feel Sorry For Anyone Who Owns an Airplane."-- Tina Marie

"
If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"
Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It.
" -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot,
by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse.
" -- Me

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Friday, November 2, 2012

The War on Reason

Science is an experimental pursuit. When the data and a hypothesis do not agree, scientists question the validity of the hypothesis.

That differs, of course, from the Republican party. They are ideologues. When the data and the ideology conflict, they question the data. So when the Congressional Research Service produced a report that tax increases on the rich would not damage the economy, and that there is little correlation between tax rates and investment, the GOP went completely batshit and pressured the CRS to withdraw the report.

This is not anything new. The GOP is a religious party, though when they are not kowtowing to the evangelicals, they are bowing to Mammon.

We face a lot of serious problems both in this nation and on a global scale. We will make no progress on solving them if we heed the ideologues rather than the data. Those who are blindly following ideology on tax cuts are no different from the ideologues of the Taliban, a party that also rejects science and modernity.

"What does the data tell us" should be the constant question asked by policy-makers. Blind adherence to religious ideology as a method of determining policy should have been consigned to the dustbin of history centuries ago.

The modern Republican party is an embarrassment. History will regard the current iteration of the GOP as a deep stain on the chronicle of this country.

The GOP needs to corral its ideologues and fence them off. Or it will be the GOP which becomes history.

7 comments:

Dr. Bubbles said...

Sowing doubt worked for the tobacco companies for decades and has been used by petroleum companies for the last couple. It's the preferred tactic for getting creationism into science classes. Fox News' news model incorporates a great deal of it. It can frame the doubt-sowers as defenders of accuracy & truth, while making the disinterested appear partisan and further making them seem to have been sneaky and underhanded.

BadTux said...

But the GOP has long been the party of "common sense" that derided "egg-heads" and "intellectuals". Just go back to the 1950's, for example, and look at their campaign against Adlai Stevenson for Presidency. He was derided as "egg-head", "Mr. Fancypants", "Mr. Poofy", and so forth. It was an election all about macho jingoism rather than about what was best for the country. Hmm, sorta sounds like the 2000 election, now that I think about it, except that George W. Bush was no Dwight D. Eisenhower...

Thing is, back then that sort of rhetoric was pulled out at election time and thrown as red meat to the plebes, then shelved for the next four years. Nowadays it's all red meat, all the time, with the hardened arteries in the heart of democracy to show for it...

- Badtux the History Penguin

zeppo said...

As someone who has degrees in engineering and science, I rather put a premium on logic and reason. You know, things that come in handy when trying to understand something or solve problems. I have no way to respond to or even cope with the total unhinged lunacy that has overtaken the conservatives of this country. I have no way of dealing with this. It sort of reminds me of trying to talk with my mother when she started down her long, terrible road of senile dementia. No communication seemed possible. We were just on two totally different, totally incompatible planes of reality. I have absolutely no idea how supposedly rational people can say and do the things they are saying and doing these days. On the other hand, I suppose I now understand how vast numbers of women could be burned as witches in Europe several hundred years ago.

I have no idea how the country is going to pull itself out of this psychosis. Maybe things will ease up a bit (and I know this is a pretty harsh thing to say, but I think it is true) when the older, white, angry, at least partially racist members of the "Greatest Generation" start passing away in great numbers. Then maybe, the crazy people in this country will be relegated to a small minority in this country that can be relegated to the upstairs attic and are never acknowledged in the "polite conversations." Yeah, terrible thing to say, but I don't see any other way around it.

b6ac8114-26ac-11e2-b9f7-000bcdcb471e said...

When I became overwhelmed by feelings of hatred of republicans I decided to look outside the safe haven of liberal blogs for validation. I came upon a blistering article by a former GOP operative, of more than 28 years, his name is Mike Lofgren. His article entitled "Goodbye to all That" The Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult. Lofgren while no fan of democrats, succinctly and more importantly; honestly affirms, in high detail the republicans perverse anti-democracy movement and consequential harm caused to our country. I believe it is one of the most important political articles of the past two decades.

John Harvey said...

"The GOP needs to corral its ideologues and fence them off. Or it will be the GOP which becomes history."

I am not sure if they can corral the ideologues. They are the party anymore. I think a new center-right party would have to be formed and relegate the Republican ideologues to the political fringes.

Frank Moraes said...

What I find most interesting about this is that the report isn't that threatening. I already believe the results, but it isn't that hard to poke holes in their very simple methodology. So why are the Republicans so upset about this report? It is hardly the first or most thorough discussion of the topic. I think it's just random. They happened to notice it and they aren't aware of the other work that says the same thing.

You are quite right to point out the unacceptability of the Republicans. Of course, at this point, I don't expect any better from them. I wrote about this in a very oblique way earlier this week:

Yet Another Article About Ezra Klein's Adorableness

BTW: your cat was freaking me out. For a while, I thought I was hallucinating. But yes: it really is blinking. Right? Right?!

Comrade Misfit said...

Its eyes are indeed blinking.