June 10, 2014

Greeting from the Reality-Based Community

From Eztra Klein at Vox:
The Republican Party has a serious data problem. in 2012, Mitt Romney's internal polls were garbage. This year, Eric Cantor's internal polls showed him up by more than 30 points. Something is deeply wrong with the GOP's campaign infrastructure if the party's presidential nominee and the party's House majority leader can't rely on their pollsters.
It's almost as if the senior people in the Republican Party feel reality is whatever they want it to be, and their subordinates, eager to please them, give them only facts and data that fit their thesis.

It takes me back to the first time I read this, almost ten years ago:
[Rove] said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." ... "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors...and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."
Despite the fact that it is directly contrary to the great tradition of American pragmatism - the crucial idea that "we must look to the upshot of our concepts in order rightly to apprehend them" - despite the grief and the embarrassments it has brought them, the Republican leadership can't quit this world view.

Because if you let reality in the door, it has to run the show.  Ideology has to take a back seat.  And at this point, ideology - however stupid, cruel, or un-American - is all they have.

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