The Robert Heinlein Wars, Part MDCCLXIV: Hoisted from 2006

Live from the Orange-Haired Baboon Cage, Watching Its Opinions-of-Shape-of-Earth-Differ Inhabitants: I score this one for Erik Loomis.

Milo and Bannon do plot to cow America's universities and use them as backdrops for their dingbat kabuki, and Trump—well, it is not clear that Trump plots anything at all save to vent the id of his base. Republicans do believe that "food, health care and shelter are all limited resources that should only be given to those that have earned the privilege and can afford those things." Brendan Nyhan's claims otherwise seem—well, they seem rather foolish refusals to acknowledge reality:

Erik Loomis: Pundits: They Love Political Norms that "Both Sides Do It," Hate Accurate Descriptions of Republican Policies: "Evidently Brendan Nyhan followed me on Twitter. Nyhan is a political scientist at Dartmouth and frequent writer in the New York Times who contributes eye-rollers such as this...

...which when it was published I thought was going to be about real and annoying left conspiracy theories and not Robert Reich accurately noting right-wing plans to attack universities. Now, you may be aware of a set of Republican health care policies with the upshot of killing thousands of people. The gold standard is the attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The silver is the unwillingness to reauthorize CHIP. I don’t see how one can take any conclusion from the last decade and especially the last eight months of Republican health care policy other than they literally do not care if people die, including children. So that’s what I said on Twitter.

Erik Loomis @ErikLoomis: Killing children: Republican policy goal unlocked 12:40 PM - Oct 1, 2017

Nyhan was outraged by my statement of fact, which I mocked immediately.

Brendan Nyhan ✔ @BrendanNyhan: Come on. Unfollowing <12:41 PM - Oct 1, 2017>

Erik Loomis @ErikLoomis: "Political writer determined to believe that Republican Party isn't as vile as their actions demonstrate, clings to norms. News at 11." 1:19 PM - Oct 1, 2017

In the aftermath, a whole bunch of people, including LGM commenters such as Bijan and Malaclypse asked Nyhan how I was wrong, but he never responded to my knowledge.

To come to some resolution on this issue, let’s talk to Senator Ron Johnson:

Jud Lounsbury @JudLounsbury: WOW: U.S. Senator Ron Johnson tells group of high school students that food, health care and shelter are all "limited resources" that should only be given to those that have earned the "privilege" and can "afford those things." 6:30 AM - Sep 30, 2017

To the sense that Ron Johnson can articulate anything at all, it’s amazing to hear him say these things out loud like they are no big deal.

It’s pretty clear from senators saying that food, shelter, and health care are “limited resources” that one should only have if they can afford it demonstrates that the greatest crime one can commit in Beltway discourse is accurately describing Republican policy positions. I guess I will never get me a gig in the New York Times this way.

The eye roller:

Brendan Nyhan: Why More Democrats Are Now Embracing Conspiracy Theories: "Democrats... have become more vulnerable to unsupported claims and conspiracy theories that flatter their own political prejudices...

...Even some prominent liberals like Robert Reich, the former Secretary of Labor under Bill Clinton, seem open to conspiracy theories of the sort typically espoused by figures like Alex Jones and Glenn Beck. (After the recent violent demonstration at the University of California at Berkeley, Mr. Reich raised the possibility that the far right “was in cahoots” with the agitators, writing a blog post titled “A Yiannopoulos, Bannon, Trump Plot to Control American Universities?”)... Democrats are now the opposition partisans especially likely to fall victim to dubious claims about the Trump administration.... Losing the presidential election made Democrats more likely to blame secret conspiracies for the state of the world, while making Republicans less willing to indulge these sorts of claims. If you don’t believe me, just compare your social media news feeds with what you saw during the campaign — or ask yourself who you think is behind the news you are seeing.