Sunday, August 21, 2011

"Huntsman Slams Perry on Climate and Evolution: We Are “On the Wrong Side of Science and Therefore in a Losing Position.”

Climate Progress

"Huntsman Slams Perry on Climate and Evolution: We Are "On the Wrong Side of Science and Therefore in a Losing Position."

Posted: 21 Aug 2011 08:31 AM PDT

Last week, Jon Huntsman began to call out Governor Rick "4 Pinocchios" Perry and others in his party for being anti-science.  He started with the tweet above that went viral.

On ABC's This Week, Huntsman went even further, explaining that being anti-science would harm his party — and America's future:

TAPPER: These comments from Governor Perry prompted you to Tweet, quote:  "To be clear, I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming.  Call me crazy." Were you just being cheeky or do you think there's a serious problem with what Governor Perry said?

HUNTSMAN:  I think there's a serious problem.  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.

The Republican Party has to remember that we're drawing from traditions that go back as far as Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, President Eisenhower, Nixon, Reagan and Bush.  And we've got a lot of traditions to draw upon.  But I can't remember a time in our history where we actually were willing to shun science and become a – a party that – that was antithetical to science. I'm not sure that's good for our future and it's not a winning formula.

Whether it's bad for the Republican party remains to be seen — that would require President Obama and his team (and other progressive politicians) to push back in the general election the way Huntsman has in the GOP race.

But there's no question that having one of the two major political parties in the most powerful country in the world being anti-science is a disaster for the nation and the world (see WashPost stunner: "The GOP's climate-change denial may be its most harmful delusion").  I'll be expanding on that position in the coming weeks, but what is interesting is that in the full online interview with ABC (video below), Huntsman himself starts to explain just how counterproductive and self-destructive it is for the party:

I think we ought to be straight up and rational and stick with the facts.   And when we have a body of science, listen when — you know, if you had 98 out of 100 oncologists, cancer doctors, who basically said the following course of treatment is  going to be good for prostate, breast or colon cancers, we would all salute and say finally we have a consensus among the scientific community.

We raise up our young people we tell them to get a good education and tell them to move forward and solve the great challenges of today, find a cure for cancer, make the world a better place. We then get the results are willing to jettison it and to shun it?   I just think that's the wrong direction.

I'm here to tell you that a lot of people in this country, a lot of people the Republican Party I think are willing to embrace science and willing to embrace the realities that have been present around whether to surround evolution or whether its climate change.   And I'm here to tell you that for us to be successful as a party, we must be a party that respects science, not one that runs from science.

Will other leading Republicans stand up for science?

Here's the full interview (the science part quoted above start around 5:30):

As an aside, it would be nice if Tapper, rather than quoting the statistics about how many GOP voters have unscientific views, would actually take the time to point out that Huntsman indeed has the scientific view, as expressed by our leading scientific bodies.

Also, Tapper should have asked him what the heck Huntsman proposes to do about global warming, given his recent flip-flop against cap-and-trade.  More on that soon.

"The Lesson for Today" by Robert Frost

Posted: 21 Aug 2011 06:15 AM PDT

I'm liberal. You, you aristocrat,
Won't know exactly what I mean by that.
I mean so altruistically moral
I never take my own side in a quarrel. Times columnist Maureen Dowd ends her evisceration of President Obama's fecklessness with that quote from Robert Frost's poem "The Lesson for Today."  The poem is satirical (and not as easy to find online as one might expect — try here).

Frost read the poem at Harvard's Phi Beta Kappa Society seven decades ago — June 20, 1941.  Plus ça change.

My thought for the day:  Progressives are liberals who will take their own side!

Like so many Frost poems, the poem has a great ending:

And were an epitaph to be my story
I'd have a short one ready for my own.
I would have written of me on my stone:
I had a lover's quarrel with the world.

My favorite Frost poem is an epitaph for the planet:

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

Sadly, the planet need only perish once — and fire melts ice….

Karl Rove Predicts Sarah Palin Will Run for President

Posted: 20 Aug 2011 03:34 PM PDT

Karl Rove aka Bush's Brain predicted this morning on Fox News that Sarah Palin "gets in" to the presidential race next month (h/t TP):

One can never really figure out Rove's machinations since he helped ruin the country and his own party as President Bush's consigliere. He and the Bush mob don't like Rick "Four Pinocchios" Perry — even though Rove  helped make Perry possible, as HuffPost has noted.

Certainly Obama looks beatable with his plummeting popularity and lame messaging, which is no doubt why Perry got it.  But if Palin were smart — yes, I know — why would she get in now, rather than a month ago, which might have forestalled Perry — or even earlier, to forestall  Michele Bachmann?  Her entry now means a three-way split for the tea party vote and would probably make Mitt Romney the happiest of all.

As for Palin herself, she makes Perry seem like Lincoln (see Palin blames 'Gore-gate' for "this snake oil science stuff").  During the 2008 presidential campaign, the Washington Post itself gave her its highest (which is to say lowest) rating of "Four Pinocchios" for continuing to "to peddle bogus [energy] statistics three days after the original error was pointed out by independent fact-checkers."

There aren't enough Pinocchios in a children's library for this crop of GOP presidential candidates.

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