With apologies to geneticist Theodosius Dobzhansky who wrote “Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution.” Because if you’ve had to deal with the little lies in service of the ‘Big Truth creationists spout, or the complete rewrite of basic fact they habitually engage in, Republican congressman and House Majority Leader Eric Kantor’s tax denialism is the exact same damn thing:
Here’s the baffling thing about modern conservatism. Yes, I know I’ve said it before, but until the media starts calling it out as the obvious pathology that it is, we just have to keep pointing it out.
Modern conservatism is anti-reality. It’s not merely about political ideologies, it’s about baldly denying facts so basic that it would take a sane person all of ten seconds to look it up. If you’re conservative “enough”, you’re not allowed to look them up. And you’re supposed to get very, very angry when someone else looks them up, too.
All of this is in service to some notion of magical fairies that, if only you just properly believe in them, will alter time and space so that you don’t have to tax your brain with anything that might make you sad (boldface mine):
In what was overall a pretty softball [60 Minutes] interview with Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, there was one pretty telling moment to illustrate the type of toxic political environment we’re living in, due primarily to Congressional leaders like Eric Cantor and that is the unwillingness to even admit facts.
When asked about his image of being someone who is unwilling to compromise and the fact that the man he claims is his hero, Ronald Reagan, was willing to compromise on taxes and work with Democrats, Cantor denied that Reagan ever “compromised his principles.” When Leslie Stahl pointed out the obvious, that not raising taxes was one of his principles, Cantor’s press secretary interrupted the interview, yelling from off camera that what Stahl was saying wasn’t true.
Now, you might know that Reagan did in fact raise taxes on multiple occasions. You might know this because, well, people have been repeatedly noting that basic goddamn fact of history throughout the past few years, pointing out that even Conservative Saint Ronald was better attached to the realities of governance than any of the current clowns that demand adherence to his scriptures. You might also know this because it happened not during the European Dark Ages or as apocryphal backstory to one of Genghis Khan’s less famous campaigns, but only back in the 1980s, when most of these current politicians were still alive, when many of them were actively paying attention, and long after the invention of videotape allowing all of it to be effing goddamn recorded to be effing goddamn played back anytime anyone wanted to know the effing goddamn honest answer to the question of “what the effing hell did Saint Ronald Reagan do, during his term in office?”
And the mental gymnastics required to rationalize the cognitive dissonance imposed by unrealistic lunacy:
Here is how this started, as far as I can determine. Conservatives vowed they would not raise any tax by any amount of money, ever, because it would make Reagan and the Conservative Baby Jesus cry. Democrats and others began to rightly point out that this was, historically, simply an untenable position to have, and that even the most conservative conservative who ever conservatived, Ronald Reagan, raised some taxes on some things in order to not have government auger itself into the ground. This caused a bout of cognitive dissonance within the conservative hive mind, first manifesting itself as profound irritation that anyone would ever bring up such a thing, then transforming to a full-fledged demand that anyone saying such things shut up already, and finally morphing into the rather impressive psychological feat of simply denying that any such thing ever happened. History itself, apparently, had to be changed to accommodate the grand conservative need to believe unambiguously in the absolute truth of their own ideological pronouncements.
This is nothing new to biologists who have had to face creationists. And this is yet another reason why we can’t have nice things.