Some things are beyond understanding (well, not really)
Understanding Trump books for sale at the Ultimate Thrift Shop, Georgia Avenue NW, Washington, DC.
In "Civic engagement and governance when facts don't matter in a post-truth environment," I made the point that democracy works based on a set of conditions:
-- that citizens are committed to being informed and willing to educate themselves on the issues
-- that people running for and holding office are committed to being knowledge-driven and open to different viewpoints, and committed to quality governance
-- that political parties are motivated by the greater good, albeit committed to pushing their positions and approach to the best of their ability, but not mendaciously
-- that there is a system of media (newspapers, magazines, television, radio, cable, other) that reports on the issues and campaigns and is objective
It all falls apart if many participants in the process and "system" aren't committed to "the truth" -- facts and honesty.
I didn't feel the need to buy the book.
Speaking of Newt Gingrich, whose tenure as Speaker of the House changed Congress significantly in terms of putting party before country, I wrote this last June:
Making the Congressional Budget Office out to be a political animal against Republicans is about denying factual and objective research and analysis.
The New York Times reports ("Little known agency, striving for neutrality, finds itself under withering attack") on how Republicans are attacking the CBO for telling the truth about the impact of Republican proposals for changing health care legislation, etc.
The CBO traditionally has been seen as a nonpartisan, objective, fact-driven organization. So why should Republicans not want such an organization to be seen as credible? Because they are pushing forward legislation that is mendacious and they want to be able to deny it ("CBO Has Clear Message About Losers in House Health Bill "NYT).
Remember the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment?
I finally understand, 20 years after the fact, why the Newt Gingrich led Congress abolished the OTA ("Bring Back the Office of Technology Assessment, NYT; and "The Much-Needed and Sane Congressional Office That Gingrich Killed Off and We Need Back," The Atlantic).
It's because Gingrich, despite having a PhD and being a college professor, wasn't favoring facts and knowledge, but ideology. An independent assessor of technology and science was seen as a threat, not a capacity builder.
The same is now true of the CBO. Hopefully, the same won't happen to the Congressional Research Office.