By Jon Winsor
A theme we’ve been exploring at the Intersection is the Republican tendency to reject or disregard expertise, particularly scientific expertise, and also settled facts among experts on US history.
National Journal recently had an interesting and unsettling article on GOP freshmen in congress and their attitudes toward what experts have been telling them about the debt ceiling:
“This is probably the most whip-proof Congress we’ve seen in our lifetime,” said Mike Franc, a former aide to then-House Majority Leader Dick Armey, R-Texas, who is vice president of government studies at the conservative Heritage Foundation. “They don’t defer to credentials and expertise very easily. You have to earn it big time with them. Whipping almost by its nature requires a certain amount of trust and deference that someone really knows what they’re doing and is part of a team, and in that way you’re dealing with a different kind of Republican Party.”
…[T]roubling to anyone fearing a U.S. default is the growing chorus of Republican lawmakers and leaders who openly and defiantly question whether the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling needs to be raised at all. Read More
As the midterm election nears, Sheril has been doing some great blogging about Christine O’Donnell’s wacky views on science, religion, and the constitution.
On Friday, I’ll be mining this vein some more on Point of Inquiry. My guest: Top climate blogger Joe Romm, who will discuss the Tea Party movement’s anti-science and anti-environment tendencies, with particular respect to climate change.
Romm never pulls any punches, and for this show, um, he didn’t either.
So stand by….with the PZ Myers debate last time around–which is on track to be my most downloaded show–and now this one, I think we’re going to have a pretty popular run of programs.
WILMINGTON, Del. — Republican Senate nominee Christine O’Donnell of Delaware on Tuesday questioned whether the U.S. Constitution calls for a separation of church and state, appearing to disagree or not know that the First Amendment bars the government from establishing religion.
The exchange came in a debate before an audience of legal scholars and law students at Widener University Law School, as O’Donnell criticized Democratic nominee Chris Coons’ position that teaching creationism in public school would violate the First Amendment by promoting religious doctrine.
Coons said private and parochial schools are free to teach creationism but that “religious doctrine doesn’t belong in our public schools.”
“Where in the Constitution is the separation of church and state?” O’Donnell asked him.
When Coons responded that the First Amendment bars Congress from making laws respecting the establishment of religion, O’Donnell asked: “You’re telling me that’s in the First Amendment?”
And we’re not in Wonderland…
Elections should not be a popularity contest of reality television-like, over-the-top, nonsensical personalities. Political decisions must be based on real issues affecting our families, our lives, our collective future. Over at Southern Fried Science, David explains why scientists need to be interested and engaged in politics:
The Tea Party movement is anti-science. They believe global warming to be a hoax. They believe that evolution isn’t real. They are against stem cell research. They are against science-based regulation.
In our political system, decisions are made by those who show up. The outcome of the 2010 midterm election will affect United States science policy. Regardless of your views on government spending, people who care about science policy should reject the Tea Party.
Exactly. Now go read his terrific post and make sure you vote! Because I fear we’re falling down a dangerous rabbit hole where nothing would be what it is because everything would be what it isn’t. And contrary-wise; what it is it wouldn’t be, and what it wouldn’t be, it would. You see?