These federally funded studies were not on the "cognitive skills of Tea Party members" (they are nowhere mentioned in them):
This blog post is not a federally funded study (it's neither federally funded nor a study):
These tea party/republicans are apparently not very bright (but don't draw any inferences; it's a biased sample!):
But all of this is pretty amazing. Someone should do a study of how so many genuinely reflective people (Rs, Ds, TPs, ECs, HIs, whatever) could become so confused. NSF could fund it.
So here's some proof that one really can't draw inferences about the critical reasoning abilities or moral character of libertarians/conservatives/tea-party members from those who when purporting to speak for them in the political media display astonishing ignorance and viciousness. Seriously --it's a reasoning error to generalize from the talking heads to ordinary reflective people. And it's an error that professional conflict-mongers, on both the right and left, cynically exploit. Good God, I shudder to think that people whose outlooks and perspectives are different from mine are drawing inferences about me from the sheer idiocy that pervades MSNBC!
One thing diverse citizens have in common: their trust is being abused by those whom they are counting on for information and who choose to systematically mislead them about the intentions and behavior of "the other side." Calling out those of our own who are guilty of this abuse of trust itself contributes to the end we share of assuring those who disagree with us on admittedly imporant matters that we are fully committed to engaging them with the respect they merit as free and reasoning people.