There's a video of Rick Perry being challenged about abstinence education, in which he obstinately insists "it works!" despite the evidence that it doesn't (like Texas having a huge, huge rate of unintended teen pregnancy).
Steve Benen shows the clip, and points out that this represents a fundamental issue in the modern Republican party.
In a case like education and lessons on sexual health, the left tends to look at this in terms of results: what works in preventing teen pregnancies and the spread of sexually-transmitted diseases? For the right, the question is philosophical: what’s consistent with their morality?It's quite stunning. The facts don't matter, as long as there is ideological purity.
The exchange in the clip is amusing because it makes Perry look foolish, but it actually offers a peek behind the curtain: the right believes programs work, even when they don’t work, so long as ideological goals are being met. Real-world implications are meaningless.
We see this in the challenges to marriage equality, the opponents completely ignore the data. That was made abundantly clear in the Prop8 case, where they actually had to admit as much. But in court, facts DO matter, and just because you say something doesn't make it true. (This is probably one reason they are desperate to keep the tapes of the Prop8 trial hidden, since their lies were so clearly exposed).
That otherwise intelligent Republicans (a category that I do not believe includes Rick Perry) are supporting this worldview to placate their fringe is extremely disheartening. Is there no honor left in public service?
Can the intelligent Republicans really justify supporting people who at worst, lie, and at best, are intellectually challenged, and facilitate the collateral damage they will cause, for the sole purpose of power?