Tuesday, April 22, 2014


So as the encouraging figures for the number of people previously without health insurance now getting coverage under the Affordable Care Act are reported, there's been a chorus of "cooking the books" from the right.  Which reminds me of the right's reaction to encouraging job numbers back in October 2012 just before the 2012 election - the exact same phrase "cooking the books" was being thrown about by Fox News and others on the right.

I see this as the same dynamic that leads rightwingers to claim that scientists' reports on global warming are somehow falsified.  I haven't seen the same phrase "cooking the books" used in this context, but the claim is the same: that data is being manipulated to serve a political agenda.

So why would rightwingers make these accusations, when it's clear (to most of us) that government bureaucrats are doing a professional and disinterested job of collecting and reporting data, and climate scientists too are collecting and reporting data, and (disinterestedly) telling us the implications for the planet's future they honestly infer from their findings?

I suggest that the right wing mind doesn't comprehend disinterested collection and analysis of data - that the question "What's in it for me?" is the animating consideration for a rightwinger, and that they are ready to bend facts to point to a desired end.  (Remember "unskewing the polls" before the 2012 election?)  So when facts and figures point in a direction they don't like, they assume that those collecting and analysing data are doing what they themselves would do - falsify to gain an end.

Update 5/6/2014.   And sure enough, here are the Republicans cooking the books for partisan purposes.