Friday, March 10, 2017

Washington Post: Republicans are trying to destroy the very idea of neutral judgment

Robert Reich:

 The Trumpists don’t believe in facts or science. They want to be the sole arbiters of truth.

Yesterday, White House press secretary poo-pooed the idea that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office could be trusted to come up with accurate numbers about the costs and coverage of the Republican’s new replacement for the Affordable Care Act. “If you’re looking at the CBO for accuracy, you’re looking in the wrong place,” said Sean Spicer.

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise called the CBO “unelected bureaucrats in Washington.”

Bear in mind that the director of the CBO, Keith Hall, is a Republican economist and former George W. Bush administration official. He was chosen for his position by the Republican Congress in 2015. So it isn’t as though the agency is a bunch of leftists out to undermine the GOP.

This is part of a pattern.

When the news media report things Trump doesn’t like, he calls them “the enemy of the American People.”

When polls show that Trump has a low approval rating, he says “any negative polls are fake news.”

If a court issues a ruling Trump doesn’t like, then it’s a “so-called judge” who’s illegitimate.

When scientists comes up with conclusions Trump doesn’t like, science is wrong.

Trump says climate change is a hoax. Today his EPA director, Scott Pruitt, said climate change is not caused by human activity (in other words, it’s “natural.”)

So what of the overwhelming consensus of scientists who say climate change is real, and it’s caused by human activity?

They don't count. In early December, Trump’s transition team sent a lengthy questionnaire to the Department of Energy asking for the names of staffers who had worked on various issues related to climate change. Soon after assuming office, the Trump White House told EPA staffers to remove any pages from its website concerning with climate change, and said it would review all of the agency’s data and publications on a case-by-case basis.

Meanwhile, Trump's cabinet is busy rewriting history.

Earlier this week, Ben Carson, Trump’s new Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, referred to enslaved black people—stolen, trafficked, and sold into that status—as “immigrants” and spoke of their dreams for their children and grandchildren.

Last week, Betsy DeVos, Trump’s new Secretary of Education, described historically black colleges and universities as “pioneers in school choice” —a view that makes sense only if you assume segregation never existed and African-Americans chose to attend all-black institutions rather than being driven to them because there were no other options.

Trump and his administration are waging war on truth. This is what despotic regimes have done throughout history. And that’s a fact.

Republicans are trying to destroy the very idea of neutral judgment

By Paul Waldman