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Today's Beacon Journal has one of the most inane opinion pieces I've seen in quite some time. Entitled "The liberal's science card" and written by an obvious wingnut from the Dallas Morning News, Rod Dreher. If you haven't read it, go here.
In WingnutLand (think Disney, with more fantasy) anything that makes the Dear Leader seem, you know, out of touch with reality or worse yet, manipulative and devious for the purpose of wielding political power, must be rejected. I have often called this phenomenon a Bush cult and that pretty much still describes what's been going on.
In his reprinted article from August 12th...Dreher first attempts to discredit ex-Bush Surgeon General Richard Carmona. Why must he be discredited? Because he said this, among other administration-damaging words, while testifying in front of Congress....
"Anything that doesn't fit into the political appointees' ideological, theological or political agenda is often ignored, marginalized or simply buried"
And, of course, Carmona spoke the truth. Many ex-Bush employees have said exactly the same thing as Carmona. The Bush administration has no policy, it only does politics, and FACTS, be they about scientific topics or Iraqi intelligence, must be "fixed" to fit the politics.
That's what Carmona testified to when he told Congress he was stopped from saying certain words or phrases even though they were scientifically true and reflected what, you know, scientists had determined as opposed to politicians or, worse yet, religionists.
And Carmona also said he had to use President Bush's name at least once on every page of any of his speeches, that is, when Carmona, was allowed to speak in public at all.
But Dreher can't have any of it. To him, "That's the story, anyway" as if the obvious is somehow not factual. He attempts, in his opinion piece, to create some kind of faux equivalency equating Bush's rejection of science for political reasons with something that the Democrats are alleged to have done. Let's just take one paragraph for sake of brevity....
Raising the anti-science alarm is a tried-and-true rhetorical strategy. For one thing, it allows liberals to flatter themselves for their superior intellect. For another, positing these conflicts as a clash between the forces of reason and ignorance has been an effective public relations move since at least the Scopes monkey trial. It plays to the American weakness for scientism...that is, granting science authority it does not deserve.
According to Dreher it isn't that Bush or the GOP is anti-science, heaven forbid, it's just that the Democrats are using "public relations" and rhetoric to make it LOOK like Republicans are anti-science.
And what in the hell does the "American weakness for science" even mean? Hell yes I've got a weakness for electricity, automobiles, digital communications, flush toilets, medical miracles...all advancements given to us by SCIENCE...who doesn't? But why call that a weakness? Beats me. Somehow recognizing the great advances brought to us by science, as opposed to non-science, is somehow "granting science authority it does not deserve". If that isn't an anti-science statement, I don't know what would qualify.
See? If Bush and his anti-science constituency deny science it's all because they have that gift of gifts that exceeds all understanding.....that GOP default position taken whenever it is demonstrated they are dumber than a box of rocks....what position could that be?....."common sense". Yeah, most all educators in our colleges and universities are, you know, liberal. But those educated pro-science people just don't have any "common sense". Yeah, they're smart but they just aren't "smart"...wink, wink.
Rod Dreher, in as twisted up of a piece as I've ever seen, blames science for Hitler. He blames liberals and those darn scientists for Hitler's far-to-the-right conservative fascism and butchery. Dreher uses eugenics, the study of hereditary improvement of the human race by controlled selective breeding, as a kind of "science gone wild" excuse to criticize those from the left who would favor embryonic stem cell research. The writer blurs the lines on the science by connecting all of it to the horrendous abuse by a radical, far right, conservative German leader. He blurs the lines in an attempt to make another radical, far right, conservative Leader, look sensible. Good luck with that.
And then unbelieveably, after balling all this rhetorical and dishonest junk into a screed blaming liberals, concludes this way.....
Last time around, the conservative church folks didn't know as much as the intelligentsia who looked down on them. But they knew what really mattered.
By projection, Dreher is telling us that the anti-science White House and the anti-science Republican Party( the party of "the conservative church folks")....the party that is against stem cell research, and disagrees with scientists about global warming and the party that's for "The Bell Curve"(!) and the stifling of scientific consensus if it makes the Leader look bad....."know(s) what really matters".
Takes your breath away, huh? Yet another reason to call them wingnuts.