One of the most pernicious effects of the Tea Party takeover of the Republican party has been the fact that they have turned the GOP into a bastion of anti-scientific, anti-intellectual politicians who, in the words of David Frum "have built a whole alternative knowledge system, with its own facts, its own history, its own laws of economics".
Central to the Tea Party's world view is that facts themselves should be ignored or re-written if they do not fit the quasi-religious free market ideology they adhere to. That even applies to history itself. Three enlightening videos featuring the excellent Chris Matthews provide an introduction to where this approach leads.
First, up this quite hilarious clip of Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips claiming that in America politicians are never shot... singularly failing to remember most of the 19th and 20th centuries.
Second, Tea Party favourite Michele Bachmann claiming that the Founding Fathers abolished slavery - thus re-writing US history, not least reasons for the American Civil War:
And Finally, the 'birthers'. Enough said.