Paul Krugman dissects Eric Cantor’s recent paean to the stupid. A nugget:
Still, the desire to perpetuate ignorance on matters medical is nothing compared with the desire to kill climate research, where Cantor’s colleagues – particularly, as it happens, in his home state of Virginia – have engaged in furious witch hunts against scientists who find evidence they don’t like. True, the state has finally agreed to study the growing risk of coastal flooding; Norfolk is among the U.S. cities most vulnerable to climate change. But Republicans in the state Legislature have specifically prohibited the use of the words “sea-level rise.”
Do actions like this have important effects? Well, consider the agonized discussions of gun policy that followed the Newtown massacre. It would be helpful to these discussions if we had a good grasp of the facts about firearms and violence. But we don’t, because back in the 1990s conservative politicians, acting on behalf of the National Rifle Association, bullied federal agencies into ceasing just about all research into the issue. Willful ignorance matters.