Monday, March 01, 2010

Republicans embrace teh stupid

I’ve got a backlog of stupid and dangerous ideas and claims out there I want to blog about — one of the nice things about being a self-selected watchdog for duplicity and useful ignorance on the web means I’ll never lack for targets — but I want to highlight a theme that links a lot of what I’m raging about these days.

That would be the escalation in the Republican and right wing’s Thirty Years War on the idea of knowledge and the significance of expertise in public life. You can see it everywhere these days, and I’ll be blogging over the next several days about the latest forays in this from all the usual suspects in this, from the incomparable (and I don’t mean in a good way) George Will, to that genial tribute to mediocrity in high places, David Brooks.

Those tw0 — and many others — share this particular incoherence: they stake their claim to authority through an assertion of a peculiar kind of expertise, in particular, the ability to interpret technical knowledge and to divine social patterns, while at the same time decrying the authority of the more specialized skills that produce facts and interpretations with which they disagree.

More simply: no one knows anything except me.
Actually, Republicans think everyone should have their mental difficulties:
Orrin Hatch Thinks You're Stupid
At the very least, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) thinks the readers of his op-ed piece in the Washington Post that takes the Democrats to task for "misusing" the rules of the Senate don't remember that the Republicans have used reconciliation more often than the Democrats and that as far back as 1982 it was used to pass major pieces of legislation like COBRA, CHIP, and more recently, the Bush tax cuts.
In fact.... the Republicans are COUNTING on the fact you're stupid:
PUTTING A 'PREMIUM' ON THE TRUTH.... At last week's health care reform summit hosted by the White House, there was a key and contentious point that came up very early on. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) argued, in the Republicans' opening statement, that the CBO found that health care premiums would go up under the Democrats' proposal. President Obama said that was incorrect, and explained why.

Over the course of the next seven hours, Republicans kept repeating the same claim, ad nauseum, even after Obama had explained why the talking point was wrong.

Several major media outlets looked into this -- it was, after all, one of the bigger areas of debate -- and the independent fact-checks concluded that the president was right, and Alexander and his GOP cohorts were wrong.

And since the fact-checking, what have Republicans done? They've repeated the exact same claim as if it hadn't been corrected.
Fact-checking the lies.

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