April 17, 2014
HLN, formerly CNN Headline News, apparently ran out of facts or sensible commentary about the disappearance of the Malaysian Airlines plane. On March 21, It turned to a psychic, one Lisa Williams, to help locating the missing aircraft. She offered a summary of her technique: "Naturally, I don’t actually have hard, concrete evidence," she acknowledged. "I think any psychic who has hard, concrete evidence can’t do their job correctly. . . . They’ll just work on what they know, so I tend to work off what I don’t know."
That could serve as the motto of the political right, for example in its attitude toward climate change.
A somewhat similar disdain for facts is present at the Supreme Court, whose decisions in campaign-finance cases are based on not knowing something which everyone else in the country knows: the injection of vast sums of money into politics has a corrupting influence. The Court’s see-no-evil mindset isn’t the only flaw in that line of decisions. Citizens United v. FEC and McCutcheon v. FEC reflect a flawed definition of corruption, an intrusion on separation of powers, and partisanship. More on that later.
A final — no, merely another — example of defiant ignorance was provided by an angry Nevada rancher who disputes federal control of land he uses for grazing cattle. His reasoning: "I don’t recognize [the] United States Government as even existing." That’s only a somewhat more extreme statement of personal or collective secession than those put forth by hyper-libertarians and nullifiers._____________________