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Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Heritage Foundation’s downward trajectory

Crashed German biplane from WWI
The last we heard from the rightwing Heritage Foundation, they were nursing a self-inflicted credibility wound after releasing a BS report on the cost of immigration reform — a report written in part by an anti-Latino racist. Now they’re back, this time with economist Selim Furth testifying before a Senate committee on the restorative wonders of austerity.

The problem wasn’t that the testimony was bullshit, the problem was that it was such obvious bullshit that it would never convince anyone in a million years. He cherrypicked numbers and left out others — in short, outright lying to support his case.

Steve Benen: …Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) pointed during the hearing that Furth’s claims about [Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development] numbers are largely the opposite of the figures from the OECD itself.

“I am concerned that your testimony to this committee has been meretricious,” Whitehouse told Furth. “I am contesting whether you have given us fair and accurate information.”

For a Senate Budget Committee hearing, that’s pretty tough language. Indeed, the senator was effectively accusing an economist from the nation’s preeminent conservative think tank of presenting deliberately misleading information on an important issue.
Which leads Paul Krugman to wonder if Heritage has finally just jumped the shark entirely:

One does wonder, by the way, whether Heritage may at this point be destroying its own usefulness. Its purpose was never to do real research; it was always a propaganda arm of the movement. But it was supposed to create a plausible illusion of intellectual rigor, good enough to take in gullible journalists.

But is there anyone not a committed right-winger who, at this point, believes anything coming out of Heritage? And in that case, what’s the Foundation for?
That’s a good question. Heritage is a bullshit factory; the propaganda shop for the far right in America. But is propaganda worth anything when it’s such obvious lies that no one could ever believe it? At this point, they’re pretty much just crazy-assed talk radio dressed up nicer. Limbuagh, Hannity, Beck, etc. don’t convince anyone, all they do is rile up the base and get them to the polls. But that base is becoming too small to make the difference and are mattering less and less every cycle. Talk radio is a steadily declining influence in American politics and Heritage is right behind it.

How about that visionary leadership from Heritage leader and former Sen. Jim DeMint, huh? Everything started to come apart over there after he signed on.

Say what you like about Jim DeMint, but he sure knows how to get a plane to the ground in a big hurry.

[photo via Wikimedia Commons]

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