The republican assault on reality

The Republicans are up in arms over the fact that Obama is taking a ten day vacation with his family. One of my favorite quotes on the matter comes from former Presidential candidate Donald Trump, who has courageously resurfaced after making such an ass of himself earlier this summer, when he said that he believed Obama, despite the evidence to the contrary, had been born in Kenya. Trump had the following to say to Greta Van Susteren on FOX.

Well, the fact is, he takes more vacations than any human being I’ve ever seen. They used to complain about George Bush, but I understand he’s already exceeded George Bush and we’re not even through the year. So he likes vacation.

This is, of course, completely wrong. At the end of this vacation, Obama will have spent 70 days away from the White House. By the same point in his Presidency, Bush had been gone 225. And, speaking of those lengthy vacations on the family ranch in Crawford, Texas, it was there that, almost exactly ten years ago, Bush was handed that security brief entitled Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US. He, as we now know, chose not to act on the information, but to focus instead on clearing brush. Fortunately for all of our sakes, though, that attack never happened… at least under Bush’s watch. (That was sarcasm, by the way. If you follow the last link, you’ll understand.)

Naively, I though that Republicans would embrace reality again in the wake of the 2008 Tea Party tidal wave that brought the likes of Sarah Palin and Christine O’Donnell to the shores of American popular culture. I really thought that the Republicans, in shame, would seek out candidates who understood at least had a rudimentary understanding of American history, and an appreciation for science. That, however, didn’t happen. In fact, I believe, of all of those running in the GOP Presidential primary, only Mitt Romney has come out saying that he believes that global climate change exists. If I’m not mistaken, he’s also the only candidate to state that he believes in evolution. That, I think, is a terrifying fact.

Speaking of Republicans running for the Presidency, and their questionable handle on the facts, I was just reading yesterday that Texas Governor Rick Perry has come out railing against a new federal regulation put forward by the Obama administration that would force farmers to get commercial drivers licenses. The only problem is, no such regulation exists. But I guess that doesn’t matter to the Republican base.

And, as long as we’re talking about Perry, did you know that he pals around with evangelical religious leaders who, among other things, believe that the Statue of Liberty is a demonic idol? It’s true… But I don’t imagine that it will matter much for Republican voters. It’s not like he’s friends with religious leaders, like Jeremiah Wright, who believe truly outlandish things, like that African Americans have historically been fucked over by white people… Now, that would be something that should preclude someone from serving as President.

So, I guess the takeaway message here is this – never misunderestimate the Republican contempt for facts, or those “elitists” who have the audacity to share them. The prideful ignorance of the Republicans is only surpassed by their hypocrisy.

update: Maybe all is not lost. Republican Jon Huntsman just called his fellow candidates out on their disbelief in science. Here’s his tweet.

He also had the following to say on ABC’s Sunday Morning news program This Week.

…The minute that the Republican Party becomes the party – the anti-science party, we have a huge problem. We lose a whole lot of people who would otherwise allow us to win the election in 2012. When we take a position that isn’t willing to embrace evolution, when we take a position that basically runs counter to what 98 of 100 climate scientists have said, what the National Academy of Science – Sciences has said about what is causing climate change and man’s contribution to it, I think we find ourselves on the wrong side of science, and, therefore, in a losing position….

Hopefully the Republicans rally behind him and Romney, and put an end to all of this anti-intellectual foolishness once and for all.

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  1. Posted August 21, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    Michele Bachmann champions J. Steven Wilkins, a historian who argues that the Confederacy was a utopian Christian society destroyed by secular northerners and radical abolitionists. What next?

  2. Posted August 21, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Sadly, Bachmann isn’t the only Republican who thinks that blacks were better off under slavery, Doug. As for what’s next, I have no idea. I’m afraid to think about it.

  3. Posted August 21, 2011 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    There’s been a bit of what can only be called “ass-covering” by mainstream LDS leadership and apologists when it comes to the evolution/creationism debate. Mormon doctrine, while seemingly striving to maintain an ambiguous stance, clearly points at creationism. Mormon mystics and intellectuals rationalize that Adam may have been the first human of some specific order, but it’s not what they teach in their Seminaries and it’s definitely not what is portrayed in their temple ritual.
    Not sure how Romney is pulling this off.

  4. Posted August 21, 2011 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t have you pegged as a Mormon, Mr. Pedal. But it kind of makes sense. When you perform on stage, you definitely play like someone wearing magic underwear.

  5. TaterSalad
    Posted August 21, 2011 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    Huntsman and Romney will nver get the Republican nod for the Presidency. That is a promise. They are both RINO’s.

  6. Elf
    Posted August 21, 2011 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    For those who doubt evolution, here’s a nice little comic from a scientist.

    You like comics, don’t you, Tater?

  7. Glen S.
    Posted August 21, 2011 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    @ Doug Skinner

    “What next?”

    Personally, I can’t wait for the upcoming Republican Presidential debates — where I look forward to seeing the candidates take on such timely topics as: “The Earth: How can we be sure it isn’t really flat?,” and “Gravity: Immutable law of the physics, or just another liberal conspiracy?”

    Then, perhaps we’ll be treated to a “lightening round” during which the candidates will offer to be “dunked” in a local pond for two minutes each to prove he or she is not a witch …

  8. Josh
    Posted August 21, 2011 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

    one of your best and most concise takedowns of recent republican bullshit to date. nice work!

  9. Posted August 21, 2011 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    As much as I hate this trend toward stupidity, I would love to see it continue if it meant getting to witness Christine O’Donnell (a self proclaimed witch) dunked.

    And, thanks, Josh, assuming that compliment was meant for me. (I find it hard to be concise.)

  10. Posted August 21, 2011 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    It’s still astounding to me that the Republican Party let O’Donnell be potentially elected to the US Senate. I didn’t think it was real for a while.

  11. Edward
    Posted August 22, 2011 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    They would have been happy to have her, Pete. A vote’s a vote. And she would have been easily controlled by lobbyists and the powers that be within the Republican party of the Koch brothers.

  12. Posted August 22, 2011 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    Very true, Edward.

    I like to harbor the fantasy that there are well intentioned, reasonable people in the Republican Party. Unfortunately, they have taken to stifling and ostracising conservatives that might have something constructive to say.

    Truly, to me, that’s the most depressing part of the present day political climate.

  13. Thom Elliott
    Posted August 22, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    …Clearly the statue of liberty is a false idol. I don’t see what the problem is Mark, the people want a plutocratic techo-klepto-nightwatchman state run by barely literate religious zelots who will keep the sugar water, lube, and fried meat coming. Ever heard of democracy Mark? get with it, you’d better ask somebody. Aren’t we free enough to demand insane leadership? To have the people’s unintelligable barking for representation heard? Its just like the Arab spring, the people are rising up Mark, and they aren’t going to take yr pinko college word blabber mouth too kindly.

  14. Kim
    Posted August 22, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Speaking of the people from the 2008 campaign, it looks like Plumber Joe is working for the Herman Cain campaign.

    Joe Wurzelbacher seized the media spotlight in fall 2008 and never really let it go.

    Wurzelbacher was caught on video challenging Obama on the question of the redistribution of wealth at an Ohio campaign stop. The McCain campaign turned the bald Ohioan into an icon of the small businessman: “Joe the Plumber.”

    But Wurzelbacher no longer fixes pipes. He quit his job at a plumbing contractor’s business shortly after the election — he said he and his boss had a “long talk” and decided it would be “best for the company” if he moved on.

    “Unfortunately, [the media attention] became a liability — if someone disagreed with my politics, all they had to do is make one false accusation,” he said. “Not that this ever happened, but having some forethought … my boss and I had a long talk.”

    Today, he’s a full-time celebrity. Wurzelbacher has volunteered with veterans groups, worked for long-shot presidential candidate Herman Cain, and even written a book called “Fighting for the American Dream,” which according to Nielsen figures sold only about 500 copies.

    “I’m still the same guy, I don’t get caught up in the media, don’t get caught up in the celebrity status,” he said. He’s also been involved in politics on the local level — he was elected to his local Republican committee in Ohio — and is involved in community service.

    As for his activities during this presidential cycle, Wurzelbacher said he has “a great deal of respect for Herman [Cain]. “I like him a great deal, and I pray he does well.”

    Wurzelbacher received $10,000 in compensation for participating in campaign events with Cain, according to Federal Election Commission reports filed last month.

    Wurzelbacher, who weathered questions about his campaign image — he would actually have benefited from Obama’s tax program — was left with a distrust of the media.

    “Never trust the media,” he said. “The media will make its own story, and just sit there and say what they want all by themselves.”

    “There’s a lot of people out there who will use you for their own gain, so you’ve got to stand firm and know what you’re about,” he said. “Always do what’s right, never compromise your integrity.”

    Read more:

  15. Posted August 22, 2011 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    His trip to Israel was classic.

  16. Meta
    Posted August 29, 2011 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    “…the odds are that one of these years the [U.S.] will find itself ruled by a party that is aggressively anti-science, indeed anti-knowledge.” -Paul Krugman

    Jon Huntsman Jr., a former Utah governor and ambassador to China, isn’t a serious contender for the Republican presidential nomination. And that’s too bad, because Mr. Hunstman has been willing to say the unsayable about the G.O.P. — namely, that it is becoming the “anti-science party.” This is an enormously important development. And it should terrify us.

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