America’s never-ending quest to take 2% of scientists who don’t agree with climate science as seriously as 98% who do
As we examine the mass delusion that led up to the invasion of Iraq, it’s important to note that a similar delusion still pervades American politics.
The perfect example of this is in Michigan. President Obama won the state by nearly 10% and Republicans lost seats in the State House just a few months ago. Despite this, the Tea Party Republicans who won their seats in 2010 and will likely hold them until 2022 because of the redistricting that followed are now stopping a Republican governor from implementing both a health care exchange and Medicaid expansion.
This will cost our state both lives and billions that would create exactly the kind of jobs our state — which is tied with Mississippi at the sixth worst unemployment rate in the nation — needs.
A small, extreme group of far right Republicans is punishing the majority — Michiganders support Medicaid expansion by a whopping margin of 40%, 63/23. Still, the far right — which has proven they’ll do what they want even if thousands mass at the Capitol — will likely get their way.
What is happening in Michigan is happening all over America. And Republicans can only thwart what the people want because they’ve gamed to system to do so.
But too few people point this out. Why?
Out of some desire to “balanced,” to be “fair,” to be “unbiased,” too many people pretend that the Republican party’s motives cannot be questioned.
We have to pretend that the GOP cares about balancing the budget when the first thing the last Republican president did was unbalance it.
We have to pretend that the GOP cares about cutting government spending when they want to grow the defense budget and lower social spending to a unprecedented level just as a record number of Americans are retiring.
We have to pretend that the 2% of climate scientists who don’t think we’re heading to an irreversible, man-made climate catastrophe aren’t almost all funded by an industry that directly profits from carbon pollution.
We have to pretend that the die-hard conservatives who aren’t oil billionaires and still buy the denial of 2% of climate scientists aren’t doing so at of pure spite and skepticism of anything liberals want to do.
We have to pretend that the party that wants to tell women when to give birth and all of us whom we can marry is for smaller government.
We have to to pretend that the GOP might be willing to compromise when the vast majority of elected Republicans who signed Grover Norquist’s pledge that they will never consider asking the rich to pay more no matter what.
We have to pretend that “success” is being punished when almost 100% of the income growth since the recovery began has gone to the richest one percent.
We have to pretend that the corporate profits aren’t at an all-time high and wages as a share of GDP aren’t at a all-time low.
We have to pretend that a vast majority of Americans don’t want the government to create jobs, even if they have spend to do so.
We have to pretend that the big banks — which are bigger now than before they crippled the global economy — aren’t profiting on an implicit taxpayer subsidy that’s basically a payoff for keeping them from crushing the economy again.
We have to pretend that the same exact people who wanted the Iraq War now want a war in Iran based on the exact same premise — preventing the regime from getting nuclear weapons.
We have to pretend that there are two equal, balanced sides on every issue as the middle class disappears and the planet spirals into a completely preventable disaster.
And why do so many Americans do this? Because too many people — especially those in the media — are afraid to say that the party that misled us into war, the party that blew the surplus, the party let rampant mortgage fraud become a global financial crisis isn’t as wrong today as they day George W. Bush ordered troops into Iraq.
And if we can’t make that clear, we’re doomed to the same sorts of avoidable disasters over and over.
[Public domain image via the White House]