Paul Krugman, the Yale economist has a great column today that examines the unbelievably smug attitude of conservatives who prove repeatedly how little they actually know.
In fact, we have witnessed this right here many times, most recently when this blog was briefly invaded by a bunch of right-wingers from Free Republic. They repeatedly, and wrongly, insisted President Obama blamed the Benghazi attack on a YouTube video. So steeped are they in that right-wing-spun lie that it’s beyond their capability to realize how wrong they are.
From The New York Times:
And the point is that episodes like this have become the rule, not the exception, on the right. How many Republicans know, for example, that government employment has declined, not risen, under President Obama? Certainly Senator Rand Paul was incredulous when I pointed this out to him on TV last fall. On the contrary, he insisted, “the size of growth of government is enormous under President Obama” — which was completely untrue but was presumably what his sources had told him, knowing that it was what he wanted to hear.
For that, surely, is what the wonk gap is all about. Political conservatism and serious policy analysis can coexist, and there was a time when they did. Back in the 1980s, after all, health experts at Heritage made a good-faith effort to devise a plan for universal health coverage — and what they came up with was the system now known as Obamacare.
But that was then. Modern conservatism has become a sort of cult, very much given to conspiracy theorizing when confronted with inconvenient facts. Liberal policies were supposed to cause hyperinflation, so low measured inflation must reflect statistical fraud; the threat of climate change implies the need for public action, so global warming must be a gigantic scientific hoax. Oh, and Mitt Romney would have won if only he had been a real conservative.
Cue the chorus: Inflation is rampant; the Earth is cooling; the ACA was invented by Obama; the 2012 election was stolen; and the president used Benghzi, Fast & Furious and Solyndra to distract the populace from the “proof” that his birth certificate was a forgery.
Sigh . . .