What was Mr. Rubio’s complaint about science teaching? That it might undermine children’s faith in what their parents told them to believe. And right there you have the modern G.O.P.’s attitude, not just toward biology, but toward everything: If evidence seems to contradict faith, suppress the evidence. ...Paul Krugman, NYT
Imagine if an American had to live like that. Worse, imagine if an entire nation -- forced somehow into a bustling, modern world -- had to go on living like that. But pothole by pothole, recession after recession, failing school by failing school, and slowing business by slowing business, drought by drought, that's how a Republican America hopes not just to survive but to be an example to the rest of the world.
Already Americans who spend significant parts of their working lives overseas know the gap that's growing between our country and developed countries. But not all Americans.
Come January, more than two-thirds of the states will be under single-party control, raising the prospect that bold partisan agendas — on both ends of the political spectrum — will flourish over the next couple of years. Twenty-four states will be controlled by Republicans, including Alaska and Wisconsin, where the party took the State Senate, and North Carolina, where the governorship changed hands. ...NYT
That's worth some serious anxiety on the part of America as a whole. If we're behind now, what happens when half of us are commited, politically, to accelerating that decline?
“The fact is, they can do whatever they want now,” Chris Larson, the Democrats’ newly chosen Senate minority leader in Wisconsin, said of the Republicans in his state. He noted, glumly, that they have been holding planning meetings behind closed doors since the election. ...NYT
That's bad from all points of view -- for America as a functioning democracy and for America's place as a competitive nation.
Some state leaders attribute the change to partisan influences at play in the once-a-decade redrawing of political districts before the election this year. Others say it reflects a weariness and dissatisfaction among voters with the discord and gridlock of split control.
Either way, the result is likely to speed along state legislative proposals from both corners, experts said, but less so from the middle.
“We are going to see government activism to the left and to the right that we haven’t seen in years,” said Lawrence Jacobs, a political scientist at the University of Minnesota. “If you wondered what Washington would look like under single-party rule, the states are a laboratory for that now.” ...NYT
What does the increasing madness look like? Well, Wonk Wire passes along an example: "'Republican lawmakers in Michigan, a state which eliminated tax credits for children last year, have proposed a tax credit for unborn fetuses of 12 weeks gestation,' the Guardian reports."