Jonathan Chait last week caught the WSJ in a serious example of ideologically-induced innumeracy (the Journal claimed that taking every dollar of rich folks' money wouldn't be enough to close the deficit, which isn't true). That was good -- but now Chait catches Mitch McConnell using it as a standard talking point.
Now, here's the thing. Chait calls his item "The Conservative Misinformation Feedback Loop in Action," which is fair enough. But the stakes here are very different if McConnell (and the WSJ) are simply producing phony talking points intended to dupe the public -- or if McConnell and other elected Republicans actually believe these talking points. If the latter, then you really have to wonder just how deep it goes. That was the real importance of that whole discussion last year about epistemic closure (and, again, I like Chait's name for the phenomenon better): that Republican elites themselves have lost touch with reality thanks to relying only on Fox News, Heritage, AEI, Rush Limbaugh, and the rest of it.
Obviously, even if that's true, it didn't cost Republicans very much if anything at the polls in 2010. But long term, it's awful dangerous to go around believing things that are not true.
At any rate: great catch!