Social Question

wundayatta's avatar

How come Republicans have the political power to quash the truth?

Asked by wundayatta (58349 points ) November 1st, 2012

The Congressional Research Service has traditionally been seen as nonpartisan and scientific. They find the facts, and describe them as they study them. But, and stop me if you heard me say this before, the CRS just tried to issue a report describing how tax breaks for the rich don’t help the economy. The rich just take the money and send it overseas. But tax breaks for the poor have a huge stimulus effect. A report about this can be found here.

The Republicans didn’t like it, and make the CRS pull back the report. The Republicans have a fantasy view of the world and they don’t want the truth to be known. So they just refuse to let our nonpartisan research service speak about what it discovers.

Republicans are dangerously anti-freedom, I think. They don’t want people to know the truth. They are purely selfish and only want policies that help the rich. They don’t seem to care about anyone else.

They aren’t a majority, yet they have this power? How did they get it? Are they smarter than everyone else? Or is it part of being richer than God? Help me understand how they can do things like this.

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46 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

Because the Service works for Congress, and the House is controlled by the Republicans.

Seek's avatar

I think it’s because on a whole, they are able to lean on easily-influenced peoples who engage in GroupThink – like Evangelicals and the Upper Middle Class (the people with just enough money to think they’re better than most, and don’t actually have to worry about much – your Stepford Wives and Joneses).

Linda_Owl's avatar

I think that the Republicans have hit upon the fact that if you repeat a LIE often enough, then people start to believe it. They have both MONEY & POWER, & they now have the concept of “Corporations” as being “People” – so they are funding the SUPER PACs. When you have this level of money & power, & you also have the evangelical movement behind you, there is very little that you will not try to do. It does not make it right, but the Republicans & the Tea Party members really do not care about anyone other than themselves.

flutherother's avatar

The Congressional Research Service exists to provide independent non partisan advice to Congress. It is quite shocking that they allowed themselves to be pressured into withdrawing this report. Once they start caving in to political pressure they are useless. A democracy that isn’t based on truth is also useless.

Blackberry's avatar

Stupid people.

gondwanalon's avatar

Scientific studies and reports are produced by people and as such are subject to errors and human biases. Perhaps mistakes and erroneous conclusions were make in this report.

josie's avatar

Since the Democrats never ever diddle with the truth, it leaves a niche for the Republicans to fill.

DrBill's avatar

It’s not republicans, it is politicians. Party does not matter all parties have members that bend the truth. It is highly unethical to blame the party for the falsehoods told by it’s members, if that were the case, there would be no parties at all.

ETpro's avatar

This doesn’t apply to most Republicans, who are simply easily manipulated dupes who believe the lies. I am speaking here about the Right-wing authoritarian leaders now animating today’s Tea Party Republicans.

How can they quash the truth? They can’t. But when your real objective would be utterly odious to the public if known, you have to run on lies. But the truth cannot be quashed. It is eternal, and lies are ephemeral. Anyone who runs on lies will eventually be quashed by them. My worry is that the would-be oligarchs behind the Republican lies of today will drag us down to third world status before enough gullible, distracted, single-issue voters realize they have been played like a violin.

@DrBill That’s just one more of the Republican lies. If that’s true, then the Nazi Party, Stalin’s brand of Communist Party, the current North Korean Communist Party and the current US Republican and Democratic Parties are all just alike. Do you really believe that is true?

I will grant you that political advertising resorts to spin, but I am seeing add after add this season in which Republicans push outright lies and keep running them even after fact checkers completely debunk them. The lie that Obama cut Medicare and Republicans love it. The lie that Obama bailed out Chrysler so Jeep could outsource jeep manufacturing to China. I could go on and on.

Mitt Romney’s campaign has taken lying to a while new level. In fact, you can run a tape of yesterday’s Mitt debating today’s Mitt to see that. He can’t be right about both opposing and supporting just about every political question that’s been up for debate in recent times.

JLeslie's avatar

It’s Advertising 101. Say something enough and people start to believe it or believe they need it. The Republicans just keep saying the same thing over and over again and it becomes the truth. A lot of them really believe it is the truth, they don’t believe they are being deceptive.

You don’t need to be the majority of our population to have power. When it comes to who becomes president, the electoral system means certain groups clustered together have likely more power than they would in a popular vote. Take the Jewish vote. If the Jews were sprinkled around the country evenly, their vote would be much less important being only 2%, but being 25% of NYC and southeast FL, and I would guess parts of California, they have reasonable influence in those states on local representatives and in the electoral vote of those states. Not that all Jewish people vote the same, but the majority of them tend to vote in the same direction in most elections, but not always.

The right wing is highly concentrated in the bible belt, I figure they constitute 50% of the Republican party, maybe more now, and they are catered to by the party. In Presidential elections they drown out the democrats in their states.

They have a very group think way about them. Kind of like a peer pressure, and God forbid you don’t think like everyone else, damned to hell.

The Democrats on TV seem to be using that whole stay on message bit a little more now too. I guess they see it works. But, it rubs me the wrong way. Whether republican or democrat, if you sound lie a robot, it’s hard for me to listen.

rojo's avatar

I never meant to say that the Conservatives are generally stupid. I meant to say that stupid people are generally Conservative. I believe that is so obviously and universally admitted a principle that I hardly think any gentleman will deny it.
John Stuart Mill, in a Parliamentary debate with the Conservative MP, John Pakington (May 31, 1866);

ETpro's avatar

@JLeslie I agree with most of what you say, but there is one important exception. Repetition doesn’t make a lie into the truth. It makes a lot of people believe the lie. Once upon a time, people believed that bad humors in the blood caused illness, and that when you fell ill, you should go to the barber, who would use a dirty straight razor to cut your arm and bleed the bad humors out of you. Believing that didn’t make it true. People still died of infections from the cuts, and the weakening effects of loss of blood. The Earth was happily round and orbiting the Sun back when everyone “knew” it was flat and that the Sun, planets and stars were fixed in an orb above it like the Bible says.

JLeslie's avatar

@ETpro I agree. But, see the thing is, when they believe it to be the truth, they are not lying, not purposefully lying. Not in their mind. Their integrity is intact.

The big question is how many people at the top, the ones starting and sending the messages, how many of them know it is a lie? Take Michelle Bachmann, I think she is an idiot. I don’t think she has any idea she is full of crap. Then I think there are Republican politiciams who do their bit in front of the TV camera, then turn around afterwards and snicker and say, “do you think the American public bought it?” The wee people mostly are just falling in line like good soldiers. Again, I thi k this happens on both sides, but I think more of an extreme with the Republicans.

DrBill's avatar

@ETpro there are a lot of people like you who refuse to see fault in their party of choice.

rojo's avatar

@DrBill I do not think it is a case of not seening the fault in your party of choice. I think it is seeing more faults in the other party. Personally I get tired of being called a Dem just because I cannot stand for what the Reps stand for.

DrBill's avatar

@rojo I get “assigned” party names because I can see faults on all of them. Some people are so hard core “their party” that they find fault in everyone except the mange covered 3leged rabid dog their party nominated.

ETpro's avatar

@DrBill I certainly did not say that I agree with everything Democrats do, or that I am 100% on board with Barack Obama. It may interest you to know that I’ve written the president personally excoriating him over several issues. But in this election, given the choice of continued economic recovery versus Mitt Romney’s proposed “Change” to trying the failed Bush policies only doing it all on Steroids this time, I fall back on what Einstein said about insanity. He defined it thus, “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” The current Republican Party appears to have gone insane. That leaves Democrats, since there are no other viable choices.

I sincerely hope the Republican Party either recovers its sanity soon, or gets committed and replaced by a sane alternative, because I despise the idea that so attracts current Fascist Republicans, single party perpetual rule. That always only brings corruption. And it makes no difference which party is the ruling party. The results are always the same. “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

DrBill's avatar

@ETpro
There must be some reason why you thought I was talking about you.

ETpro's avatar

@DrBill The comment I was addressing began, ”@ETpro there are a lot of people like you…” Sure seemed to be talking about me.

Sorry I failed to note you had another post lower on the page. I’d have linked back to the URL of the quip I was responding to if I had noticed that.

DrBill's avatar

@ETpro actuality someone else came to mind while writing that, but if the shoe fits…..

ETpro's avatar

@DrBill I find that shoe too narrow. Not a fit. Keep it for yourself or a friend.

DrBill's avatar

@ETpro it won’t fit me, I’m one of the few that look at the candidates not not the party they belong to.

ETpro's avatar

@DrBill Actually, I doubt that you are “one of the few”. I think it much more likely you find it necessary to flatter yourself with such a notion. I hope that many or even most people look at the candidate more than the party. The fact that party membership in both parties is at an historic low in relation to the number of voters, and that those registered “Independent” has picked up most of the gain, suggest I might have reason to hope that.

You and I disagree about what we are looking for in a candidate. I favor policies because I believe they will work to the benefit of the nation, and thus myself and my family. I suspect you do the same. We can disagree about policy without having to be disagreeable.

DrBill's avatar

@ETpro you are very correct, and we can agree to disagree. (I’m pro-pizza, how do you feel) And I do hope you are right that more people are looking at the person and not the avatar they are under. I wish everyone would consider all aspects of all the candidates and vote accordingly. One thing we really need is a news source that will report all sides of the issues with no slant in either direction. Just so you know, I don’t like either candidate.

Seek's avatar

^ I don’t either. Obama’s not terrible, but he’s no superstar. Romney scares the shit out of me with his complete lack of a position other than “I’m not that guy!”. I just believe my sovereign rights to my own uterus are more important than the bottom line, and will vote accordingly.

ETpro's avatar

@DrBill Ha! I had a slice of combo pizza at Costo yesterday while my wife was shopping. And I admit that my “hope” is that most voters consider the policies and character of a candidate and not just their party. Someone jelly suggested that ballots not have party affiliation written on them, but instead just list the names of the candidates running for a given office. I would be all for that. Either study their positions, and decide who will best represent your own policy initiatives before you go to the polls, or just randomly tick off names that appeal to you if you don’t know what each one stands for.

DrBill's avatar

@ETpro
my ballot had the party listed for ever office

ETpro's avatar

@DrBill They do the same here. I’m just agreeing with a suggestion I saw on Fluther that leaving off party affiliation would force people to actually think about the Person they wanted to vote for, not the Party.

DrBill's avatar

@ETpro I like that idea

DrBill's avatar

I also think ads should be fact checked before they are allowed to be aired

El_Cadejo's avatar

@DrBill now you’re just living in a dream world…. sadly

wundayatta's avatar

I think facts should be checked before they are perceived.

Seek's avatar

@DrBill
That would require a regulatory body to provide the fact-checking. Who will pay for that service, and how would we be certain that they are unbiased?

flutherother's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr The Congressional Research Service is supposed to be non partisan and objective. Congress should have some respect for its own institutions and let them do their job but on the other hand the institutions should have the backbone to resist political pressure.

Seek's avatar

Ah, but the vast majority of political ads are not put forth by the Parties themselves.

Organizations like “Freedom For Orphans of Americans Who Are More American Than You, You Lazy Socialist Bastard” and such like are the ones who front the money and produce the ads.

Making them go through a fact-check before airing ads could be stifling freedom of speech. Y’know, since corporations are people and all.

DrBill's avatar

@uberbatman
it is a dream, but so wonderful if it could happen

@Seek_Kolinahr
let the people running the ad pay for the research, the hard part would be finding unbiased people to check the facts.

ETpro's avatar

I;m just giggling about the several hundred million that the Koch brothers alone dropped without being able to buy the election. What’s this world coming to when the little people won’t just stand aside and let a pair of multibillionaires have whatever they want?

ETpro's avatar

Two great links on the corrupting influence of money in politics. This video and this article were in my email this AM.

rojo's avatar

@ETpro Unfortunately, I think the conservatives are now saying “See money doesn’t make any difference” with the implications that people with money should be able to spend more on it to try to buy elections. I guess we can’t win.

ETpro's avatar

@rojo All it will take to change their tune on that is putting together a progressive coalition that can outspend them one time.

Paradox25's avatar

Information cascades have the amazing ability to crush common sense, and Republicans have a voterbase which almost completely relies on information cascades rather than voters who use critical thinking.

ETpro's avatar

@Paradox25 A disturbing truth.

dodyloves's avatar

Well, I can only answer that with this. It’s not just the Republicans. So does the other Party! There is really no better on this side than they are on the other side. Seem to me they all feed at the same bucket of swell! Our tax Dollars!

ETpro's avatar

@dodyloves All politicians, all political parties, are most definitely NOT equal. If you want to claim that, you have to believe that North Korea and America are just the same. Hitler and Churchill were cut from the same cloth. Stalin was as altruistic as John Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and Nelson Mandela. You know that’s not true.

It’s common for politicians to resort to spin in a campaign. It is not common for US politicians to make Big Lies the foundation of their campaign, and Mitt Romney did that. Obama did not. I think that is part of the reason that, even in the face of a tough economy, Obama won a commanding mandate to carry on.

Paradox25's avatar

@ETpro I hate it when people claim they’re all the same, when they’re definitely not (pertaining to political parties), though there may be some similarities.

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