OK

This is only a Preview!

You must Publish this diary to make this visible to the public,
or click 'Edit Diary' to make further changes first.

Posting a Diary Entry

Daily Kos welcomes blog articles from readers, known as diaries. The Intro section to a diary should be about three paragraphs long, and is required. The body section is optional, as is the poll, which can have 1 to 15 choices. Descriptive tags are also required to help others find your diary by subject; please don't use "cute" tags.

When you're ready, scroll down below the tags and click Save & Preview. You can edit your diary after it's published by clicking Edit Diary. Polls cannot be edited once they are published.

If this is your first time creating a Diary since the Ajax upgrade, before you enter any text below, please press Ctrl-F5 and then hold down the Shift Key and press your browser's Reload button to refresh its cache with the new script files.

ATTENTION: READ THE RULES.

  1. One diary daily maximum.
  2. Substantive diaries only. If you don't have at least three solid, original paragraphs, you should probably post a comment in an Open Thread.
  3. No repetitive diaries. Take a moment to ensure your topic hasn't been blogged (you can search for Stories and Diaries that already cover this topic), though fresh original analysis is always welcome.
  4. Use the "Body" textbox if your diary entry is longer than three paragraphs.
  5. Any images in your posts must be hosted by an approved image hosting service (one of: imageshack.us, photobucket.com, flickr.com, smugmug.com, allyoucanupload.com, picturetrail.com, mac.com, webshots.com, editgrid.com).
  6. Copying and pasting entire copyrighted works is prohibited. If you do quote something, keep it brief, always provide a link to the original source, and use the <blockquote> tags to clearly identify the quoted material. Violating this rule is grounds for immediate banning.
  7. Be civil. Do not "call out" other users by name in diary titles. Do not use profanity in diary titles. Don't write diaries whose main purpose is to deliberately inflame.
For the complete list of DailyKos diary guidelines, please click here.

Please begin with an informative title:

in this New York Times column, which I highly recommend.

He starts by noting that Eric Cantor last week gave what his office touted as a major speech, and that we should be glad they so informed us,

Otherwise, a read of the speech might have suggested that he was offering nothing more than a meager, warmed-over selection of stale ideas.
Would that staleness were the worst one could say about the speech and its contents.  In the second and third paragraph he drills down and makes clear what is wrong, when he writes of Cantor and the Republicans
these days his party dislikes the whole idea of applying critical thinking and evidence to policy questions. And no, that’s not a caricature: Last year the Texas G.O.P. explicitly condemned efforts to teach “critical thinking skills,” because, it said, such efforts “have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.”

And such is the influence of what we might call the ignorance caucus that even when giving a speech intended to demonstrate his openness to new ideas, Mr. Cantor felt obliged to give that caucus a shout-out, calling for a complete end tofederal funding of social science research. Because it’s surely a waste of money seeking to understand the society we’re trying to change.

But there is much more.  You need to read it.

Let me offer a few additional thoughts.

Intro

You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

Krugman calls out Cantor and the Republicans and Cantor on topics such as medical research and climate research.  He mentions the Republican attempts to suppress a Congressional Research Service study that showed clearly the lack of any magical economic results in tax cuts for the wealthy (although clearly, even if Krugman does not mention it, those wealthy supporters of the GOP agenda benefit mightily from those cuts).

He then writes this cogent paragraph:  

Do actions like this have important effects? Well, consider the agonized discussions of gun policy that followed the Newtown massacre. It would be helpful to these discussions if we had a good grasp of the facts about firearms and violence. But we don’t, because back in the 1990s conservative politicians, acting on behalf of the National Rifle Association, bullied federal agencies into ceasing just about all research into the issue. Willful ignorance matters.
I will let you read his final paragraph on your own, where he reiterates his title rather forcefully.

But I do want to focus on his penultimate paragraph:  

The truth is that America’s partisan divide runs much deeper than even pessimists are usually willing to admit; the parties aren’t just divided on values and policy views, they’re divided over epistemology. One side believes, at least in principle, in letting its policy views be shaped by facts; the other believes in suppressing the facts if they contradict its fixed beliefs.
That is not just ignorance, it is willful ignorance.  It is, in my opinion, one reason for the hostility to the existence of institutions that might teach critical thinking (public schools, universities) or challenge those fixed beliefs (scientists and social scientists who actually examine the evidence).   It is why so much of their base frames their political expression in theological terms, thereby asserting that those beliefs come from some "higher authority" and thus are not subject to falsifiability or open to question.

Of course, it just happens to be convenient that those who assert such fixed beliefs seem to benefit socially, economically and in control of political power by those beliefs they do not want challenged.  

that is bad enough.

But then there are the likes of Eric Cantor, who surely knows the unreality of the blather he puts forth, who as a leader of his party in the House allows the likes of Paul Broun to sti on of all things the Science Committee.

The Ignorance Caucus indeed.

Read the Krugman.

Pass it on.

Extended (Optional)

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.