One revealing stress test of a political viewpoint is the way it deals with facts that are large, consequential and ideologically inconvenient.Read the rest here.
For conservatives, the challenge is climate change. A variety of studies, using increasingly refined methodologies, indicate that climate change is happening and that greenhouse emissions play a contributing role. But many on the right aren’t comfortable with the policy implications. So some deny the science; more ignore or downplay it.
For liberals, the challenge is deficits and debt. President Obama argues that we are “more than halfway towards the $4 trillion in deficit reduction that economists and elected officials from both parties say we need to stabilize our debt.” Economist Paul Krugman calls the deficit “a problem that is already, to a large degree, solved.” At a recent meeting of the House Financial Services Committee, two Democratic members objected to the display of the debt clock — a running count of the federal debt — as “a political prop designed to message ideologically.” Numbers, it turns out, have an offensive ideological bias.
Downplaying the debt — arguing that it has stabilized as a percentage of gross domestic product in a 10-year window — has become an ideological commitment on the left. It is often accompanied by criticism of the “deficit scolds” who attribute moral content to a mathematical dispute.