Mark recognizes that when you are at war, while it is important to get facts right (and I think Mark did a darned fine job sourcing his book, giving you the chance to criticize it), it is also important to inspire the troops and to do so by distilling the realities of the fight into useful information. I frankly don’t know if every statistic in Goldwater’s Conscience of a Conservative was correct or not. Nor do I know if every statistic or number in Reagan’s A Time For Choosing speech in 1964 was correct. I DON’T CARE. I know the facts were in the ballpark, and more importantly, the principles were timeless and correct. I have read Mark’s book, and I know a little about the topics in question - and it’s a good book, with good citations and a lot of good facts.
Get it? Facts aren't really important, as long as the words stir up some righteous populist anger. But this isn't an isolated incident. The right disdains academics and intellectuals. They prefer "common-sense" solutions. Newsflash: public policy is complicated. It's often counter-intuitive. We elect our representatives to do the research, learn about the issues, and make tough choices. We don't want a policy made up entirely of talking points. But if there's a sustained attack on intellectuals and intellectualism, we end up with talking points and not policy.