Yes, that is G-O-P. And Krugman starts with - and focuses on - a key figure in that political party, Senator Marco Rubio, whose recent remarks sidestepping a definitive statement on the age of the earth offended some, but was dismissed by others as merely positioning himself for 2016 and pandering a bit to the religious right voters who are dominant in such primaries.
But we shouldn’t let go that easily. Reading Mr. Rubio’s interview is like driving through a deeply eroded canyon; all at once, you can clearly see what lies below the superficial landscape. Like striated rock beds that speak of deep time, his inability to acknowledge scientific evidence speaks of the anti-rational mind-set that has taken over his political party.Let's try that again: the anti-rational mind-set that has taken over his political party
By now you should already realize that our Nobel Laureate Economist is going to be very blunt in his Friday op ed for The New York Times (which went live Thursday evening).
Krugman points out that this is not the first time for such a pander by Rubio, who gave a big assist to creationists with respect to science education while he was in the Florida legislature:
In one interview, he compared the teaching of evolution to Communist indoctrination tactics — although he graciously added that “I’m not equating the evolution people with Fidel Castro.” Gee, thanks.There is so much more in this editorial - references to Chris Mooney and "The Republican Brain", Nate Silver being attacked for his accurate reliance on state pollling data to predict the election, and then two things which are far more serious:
What was Mr. Rubio’s complaint about science teaching? That it might undermine children’s faith in what their parents told them to believe. And right there you have the modern G.O.P.’s attitude, not just toward biology, but toward everything: If evidence seems to contradict faith, suppress the evidence.
By now we know many in the Republican party refuse to acknowledge anthropogenic global climate change -
As the evidence for a warming planet becomes ever stronger — and ever scarier — the G.O.P. has buried deeper into denial, into assertions that the whole thing is a hoax concocted by a vast conspiracy of scientists. And this denial has been accompanied by frantic efforts to silence and punish anyone reporting the inconvenient facts.And of course, there is the suppression of the Congressional Research Service study which clearly demonstrated that the Republican dogma of tax cuts for the rich not creating economic growth.
Certainly we should be using evidence in the making of policy - as an economist Krugman has been accurate in his predictions because he relied on evidence. He is applying the same principle to other areas of government policy.
Republicans are willing to suppress or ignore any evidence that contradicts what are for them theological beliefs about policy.
This is about the Republican party as a whole to be sure, for which Senator Rubio serves as a convenient avatar. Krugman makes this clear in his conclusion:
So don’t shrug off Mr. Rubio’s awkward moment. His inability to deal with geological evidence was symptomatic of a much broader problem — one that may, in the end, set America on a path of inexorable decline.That broader problem is that one of our two major political parties is in thrall to a set of beliefs that are not based on evidence or in anything approaching reality. The potential destructiveness that will result from the policies they pursue - economic inequity and possible collapse, acceleration of global climate change to a rapidly irreversible point, a rejection of real science and knowledge - should by now be evident. Yet in the last presidential cycle the only Republican candidate willing to approach reality was Jon Huntsman, and we saw what happened to him.
Read the Krugman.
Pass it on.
It is an important column.
Most of those reading this post at Daily Kos already know the truth of what he has written.
The question is whether we can get the political talking heads to be as blunt as he is, so that we can have a meaningful discussion of policy based not on theology but on principles derived from facts and evidence.