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How the GOP Can Win

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Several months ago, I experienced a slight sensation of nausea and recall feeling that we were set to lose this election. It was shortly after Todd Akin made his excruciatingly idiotic comments about “legitimate” rape, and a heretofore unknown capability of women to effect an autonomic abortion in such circumstances. The situation compelled me to write an article on Redstate.com, called, “Shut up Shutting up” imploring fellow conservatives to put down social issues in this cycle and focus on the main issue people cared about, the economy.

My piece and subsequent discussion on the topic was so well recieved that it quickly ended my 3 year relationship with Redstate.com – I was banned from the site for supposedly being a “comments bully.” (Those of you who know how I conduct myself in forums can arrive at your own judgments, since Redstate took the original thread down). Many of the comments in response to my article were strident, claiming that I was arrogantly telling others to put their principles aside, and worse, that I was squelching their voice on these important social issues and infringing on their free speech. The general sentiment (along with my banishment) was a refusal to take my advice, and a vow to hold Romney or any other elected official’s feet to the fire on pro-life and other social issues with zeal.

Last Wednesday morning, those strident social conservatives woke up in the same America I did, one which re-elected Barack Obama for the next four years. And Claire McKaskill. And Joe Donnelly. My guess is they won’t have much luck holding any of their feet to the fire on their dear issue.

What’s sad about the McKaskill and Donnelly wins is that in both cases, the GOP should have taken those seats. And the same could be said for the seat Sharon Angle failed to take. And the seat Christine O’Donnel failed to take. In the process, these candidates and their supposed conservative purity have sidelined our objectives and hurt the prospects of freedom for all Americans by putting more seats in Democrat hands. All these losses add up, as evidenced by the 53-45-2 Dem-GOP-Ind senate makeup as a result of the latest elections.

Bear in mind that 2012’s exit polls show that not only did single women go overwhelmingly for Obama (by a whopping 36 point margin per Fox News), but also evangelical participation in the election was down and a sizeable portion of them voted Obama in any case. Obama won in 2012 with about the same number of votes that McCain achieved in his loss to Obama in in 2008. Much has been made about courting Hispanics, but pandering is contrary to the ideals of conservatism, and I have strong doubts that such advances would be well received in any case. Sure, Marco Rubio should still be considered a front-runner for 2016, mainly because of his eloquence and ability to convey conservative arguments. And we should pursue a more amnesty-friendly agenda as well. But don’t expect either of these steps to increase Latino share any more than Condi Rice or Alan West have helped our cause with the Black vote.

Strong fiscal and governmental conservatism, the cause of ensuring our elected leaders stay within the constitutional limits set forth by our founders, is being held hostage by the culture war of social conservatism. What does the fight against Gay Marriage have to do with anything regarding limiting our government and where in the constitution is defining marriage outlined as one of the government’s functions? Why would we propose passing more laws when abortion is settled law, and our biggest criticism of Obama has been the glut of new regulations and under-the-table laws? Social conservatism is contradictory to our small government, individual liberty message. Yes, I know all about that little baby in the womb who has rights too. I get it, heck I even agree with it, having, like Paul Ryan, seen my own sonograms at 7 weeks. But all the righteousness in the world doesn’t matter when you continue to lose elections.

I live in the NYC area, and the one thing they do care about here is making money. The fiscal economic message of smaller government, less taxes (especially on the rich; those making 250K a year) and free markets should be successful here, except that people can’t get past all the God stuff. You know what they tell me when I ask why they won’t vote Republican? They don’t like that the GOP has fought for creationism to be taught in our schools, or that we’re against abortion, or that we aren’t tolerant of gays. They may not even agree with abortion or gay marriage, but the fact that we’d pass laws or constitutional amendments on such topics is viewed as a sort of fascism, so they vote for the disguised fascism of the left.

I hear it time and time and time again, the same criticisms, the same complaints. No one, except for the rare socialist wacko, ever tells me that they vote Democrat because they want big government or a move away from constitutional limits. Or higher taxes. Imagine how easy our path to the White House would be if we stood a chance of winning NY, NJ, CT or other blue states? Or if we pulled a majority share of the young vote? Imagine an election that doesn’t run through Ohio and New Hampshire!

We need to move away from cultural arguments. People don’t want to be told how to live, and the left succeeds in part because it doesn’t run on a platform of culture change (though it does so nefariously through the laws it passes). We can still have our beliefs, but in terms of the policies and agendas we put forward, we should only be about true small government conservatism. Culture typically flows from conservatism; a more responsible, individual and free people will naturally move away from the excesses of modern culture. Let’s get our government under control, and create a truly free economy; then, the social objectives will occur innately among a wiser electorate.

Bear in mind, America simply isn’t the same place it was 30 years ago when the GOP allied itself with the evangelical movement. The culture has changed, and as much as 20 percent don’t even believe in God today. We will never convince these people to live morally by passing laws against abortion any more than the left will convince us government is good by passing laws for nationalized health care. If some Americans want to pursue happiness by living an immoral life, as conservatives who believe in a constitutionally limited government, we should let them do so and let them pay the inevitable price.

It’s not just about social issues: the 2008 election proved, and the 2012 election confirmed, that the GOP is fighting this war with outdated weaponry (calm down lefties, I’m not suggesting we assassinate any liberals). John McCain tried to be classy, Mitt Romney tried to be presidential. They took the high road. They didn’t respond to each attack. They let people check the record later. Guess what?  It was Joe Biden’s shirt-off theatrics that won the day. Americans are different today, they are more rank, more foolish than they used to be. They think elections are like an American Idol episode, where Simon Cowell takes each candidate apart with raw honesty. We need to get our hands dirty when we are campaigning. Blame the other guy for giving someone’s wife cancer if that is what you need to do. It works!

We can’t play their games on their field with their ball and their refs. We need smart candidates who play by their own rules, and don’t fumble. This includes not letting the left define the issues or set the rules of the debate. Which they literally did so this election season. I mean, why did we allow allfour debates to be moderated by liberals? Why did Romney pay more deference to mainstream media than to Fox when giving interviews? Why even write an article for the NY Times op-ed page? (You know, the famous one that the editors decided to entitle, “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt”)? Realize, you don’t have to publish on the NYT editorial page, to reach that audience, they have the internet now.

We can’t let false arguments lie; we need to answer each and every lie, each and every time it is uttered. How many times did Barack Obama talk about how the GOP “wanted to take us back to the policies that got us into this mess?”  Did you ever once hear Romney talk about the Democrat supported Community Reinvestment Act? How many times did you hear the media complain that Romney/Ryan refused to release details about their tax plan? In fact, Martha Raddatz directly accused Paul Ryan of “refusing to provide details” and he didn’t deny it. People noticed and assumed she was right.

Forget classy. Forget appearing presidential. America in 2012 clearly doesn’t give a shit. Argue each point. Debate the very premise of the question. Get angry and let people know why you’re right. Interrupt the other guy. Show America that this is that important!

Lastly, as unjust and as much as it pains me to say this, we need to retire the Tea Party. No, it’s not because the Tea Party itself is bad, it’s not. The problem is, the Tea Party brand has been Palinized. “Keep your government out of my Medicare.” That’s what the rank and file understand about the Tea Party. Or they think it’s radical. Like it or not, the term Tea Party is a bad word and hurts us with so-called moderates and independents. Let’s not give the left any ammunition. Let’s end it. Start a new movement that has no name but is associated with right-wing arguments. Call it a protest. Call it “Grassroots.” The liberals are smart enough to have shelved the Occupy banner and now simply protest stuff with their usual cadre of SEIU thugs. We have to be craftier with our packaging. And please, let’s stop with the Palin and Huckabee rallies too, while we are at it. These people may be good conservatives, but they will never win a major election in today’s America and they too hurt the brand.

This isn’t a plea to become more like Democrats. This isn’t a suggestion to water down conservatism, because I don’t believe we should do that. I am suggesting that we focus our message on what’s really crucial to the survival of the republic and stop pandering to social and religious conservatives who couldn’t even be bothered to show up at the polls last week. This is a plea to work on the way conservatism is sold. Watching the electoral college map play out last Tuesday seemed familiar, and familiarly excruciating. Crucial work needs to be done if we ever expect to win another national election.

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About The Obnoxious American

  • Deano

    Okay, so Romney and Ryan were being presidential and classy in obfuscating their programs and agenda and endlessly stating blatent falsehoods & outright lies?

    That was the high road?

    Did you seriously watch ANY of this election?

  • The Obnoxious American

    Please, spell out the falsehoods.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Go to either Politifact or Factcheck.org and look under Romney, and you’ll find quite a few falsehoods…with all the proof showing why they are falsehoods.

    Oh, silly me, I forgot – fact-checking is not something that’s important to the Rabid Right….

  • The Obnoxious American

    OK, sorry but I have no time for this. Politifact as a source? Run by the liberal Tampa Bay Times, selection bias. Not to mention that most of the time they find Republican comments as mostly false, or half true when similar situations they find democrats to be mostly true or true.

    Politifact and factcheck have a long record of liberal bias. If you want to get specific, let me know and we can argue the facts. But don’t point to propaganda and tell me it’s truth.

  • The Obnoxious American
  • Costello

    How deluded is this guy? Only his party is honest and the other lies? How about Chrysler moving Jeep production to China or do the executives who said it was false have a liberal bias?

  • Doug Hunter

    The only time I spent reading fact checking was the one that assigns pinnochios according to veracity.

    I think I read about two when I realized it was bunk. To summarize and paraphrase, the first said that politician xxx said yyy and while technically true it was misleading… and continued on to award 4 pinnochios. The second said that politician xxx said yyy and while the actual information may have been way off what he meant to/should have said was zzz so only 1 pinnochio.

    It was apparent that the ratings were very subjective, more entertaining than enlightening.

  • The Obnoxious American

    Costello, The Romney ad never said that he was “moving Jeep production to China” but rather “[Obama] sold Chrysler to Italians who are going to build Jeeps in China. Mitt Romney will fight for every American job.”

    And of course, there is this link on Bloomberg.com, which served as the basis for Romney’s comments.

    The Libs turned Romney’s comments from “build Jeeps in China” to (as you repeated) “Moving jeep production to China” – who is doing the lying exactly?

  • The Obnoxious American

    Doug, agreed 100% – Glenn Kessler of WAPO is a liberal shill and his pinnochio assignments prove it.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    Politifact as a source? Run by the liberal Tampa Bay Times, selection bias.

    Aha. If you don’t like the facts, attack the source. I thought that was supposed to be a liberal tactic?

    Not to mention that most of the time they find Republican comments as mostly false, or half true when similar situations they find democrats to be mostly true or true.

    Selection bias indeed. Fortunately, Politifact keeps a tally of its rulings on the statements of individuals. Taking President Obama and Governor Romney as examples since they are currently the most senior members of their respective parties, let’s look at their scores. To date, 22% of Obama’s statements have been rated as True and 23% as Mostly True. For Romney, 15% of his statements have been rated as True and 16% as Mostly True.

    Obvious bias, right? Maybe not so much. Obnox’s specific lament is that Politifact scores Democrats’ statements as true most of the time while scoring Republicans’ statements as false or half true most of the time. Adding up, we find that 45% truthful statements by Obama is hardly “most of the time”. Romney’s statements rated as Half True or Mostly False total 44%. Again, hardly “most of the time” – and what’s more, Politifact seems to find Romney to be untruthful less often than they find Obama to be truthful.

    Added to all this, there are three important factors that might be in play as far as Romney’s numbers are concerned. The first, and most obvious, is that Romney is well known as a political chameleon who expresses whatever opinion seems to him to be the most politically advantageous at that moment in time. Even Republicans acknowledge this. The second is that it’s likely Politifact has analysed significantly more of Obama’s statements than Romney’s: hence there is a bigger margin of error for Romney.

    The final point is that Romney has spent twice as much time as Obama campaigning for the presidency against members of his own party. I think we can agree that factual standards are probably a bit looser during the primary season. No-one was going to challenge Romney if he bad-mouthed Obama during a speech to Republican caucus delegates in Iowa, for example. It would be interesting to see how the two men measure up minus the statements they made while they were primary candidates.

  • The Obnoxious American

    ” To date, 22% of Obama’s statements have been rated as True and 23% as Mostly True. For Romney, 15% of his statements have been rated as True and 16% as Mostly True.”

    And how long has Romney been president for?

    ” Adding up, we find that 45% truthful statements by Obama is hardly “most of the time”. Romney’s statements rated as Half True or Mostly False total 44%. Again, hardly “most of the time” – and what’s more, Politifact seems to find Romney to be untruthful less often than they find Obama to be truthful.”

    Again, how long has Romney been president?

    Look, I posted a link which sums up my view, one you ignored. Politifact IS biased. It’s run by a liberal org, it’s authored by liberals and many of the conclusions are laughable on their face. Here’s one example from the NR article I linked to:

    “ts recent rulings on Medicare have demonstrated the point thrice over. PolitiFact said that Romney’s comment that Obama had “robbed” Medicare of $716 billion to pay for Obamacare was “mostly false.” Among its reasons: “The money was not robbed in any literal sense of the word.” So if Romney led anyone to believe that Obama had held Medicare at gunpoint and ordered it to hand over its wallet, they can now rest easy, because PolitiFact is on the case.”

    In either case, MY article isn’t about Politifact. Have any comments about my scribe?

  • Doug Hunter

    Romney was out of bounds on the China assembly plant, the source article was wrong, they have no official plans to move US production to China. That’s a factual error he stated and the ad was misleading as well. (although I do wonder where the vehicles they sell in China now are assembled since that portion at a minimum will be moved there, that’s quibbling over small stuff)

    I wouldn’t breathe easy as a UAW worker with them opening a plant with capacity for 500,000 vehicles in China when I believe that may be in the range of total current Jeep sales. If (when) they don’t hit their aggressive growth targets and they have to cut back somewhere we’ll see what their ‘plan’ says then…. $35/hour union workers or $2/hour Chinese workers… you do the math.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    And how long has Romney been president for?

    Why is that relevant?

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    Doug is right: Romney’s Jeep ad was deliberately misleading if not factually inaccurate.

    If there’s a market for Jeeps in China then it makes sense to open a Jeep factory in China. It doesn’t follow from this that Jeep factories in the US are going to close, which is what Romney implied.

    GM (brought to you by Fiat)’s move makes perfect business sense and is common practice in the auto industry – and in fact most industries.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    In either case, MY article isn’t about Politifact. Have any comments about my scribe?

    Your comment was, though, and that’s what I was responding to.

    For one thing I hope your experience at Redstate.com taught you a lesson about the general quality of political debate in this country, and in particular about the lack of tolerance for dissent upon the Right. (Before you fly off the handle, I’m not saying that the Left has a monopoly on tolerance: I’m just commenting on what happens to good people when a you’re-either-with-us-or-against-us attitude gets entrenched.)

    For another, I think you get that the Religious Right is slowly destroying the Republican Party – most socially liberal Republicans do. Unfortunately, it’s becoming clear that there aren’t as many socially liberal Republicans as socially liberal Republicans think there are. It’s true that the kind of tripe that comes out of the mouths and blogs of the extremists isn’t going to persuade anybody of colour, or indeed anyone much at all, to support the GOP.

    But what you don’t get, as you bewail the failure of the likes of Condoleeza Rice and Allen West to attract minority voters to the cause, is that they and other Republicans like them have done little to persuade African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans that they are not merely novelties; that the GOP is for them. They could have set themselves up as pioneers. That wouldn’t have been pandering, just a demonstration that it wasn’t only the Democrats who were listening.

  • Clavos

    You guys!!! LISTEN to yourselves!!!!

    Doc just pointed out that the two current party leaders are both TELLING THE TRUTH LESS THAN HALF THE TIME!!

    And none of you even notice — you just keep on splitting hairs about who lies most.

    No wonder this country is going down the tubes…

  • http://frivolousdisorder.com/ Frivolous D

    I agree that the future of the GOP will rest heavily on abandoning their socially divisive issues. Good luck with that.

    Despite the predictions/results of 2012, the Republican party is still having a tough time acceding to reality. If you don’t like the polls, unskew them. If you don’t like the reporting, label the media as bias. If you don’t like cap & trade, pretend that global warming has nothing to do with human activity. And the list goes on & on.

    The GOP has spent 30 years fabricating their own reality and consolidating their base under the banners of cherished social issues. It will be an incredible challenge to wean the base off of their issues. Trying to do it while still nursing the bottle of mythology and disinformation will make it nearly impossible.

  • http://frivolousdisorder.com/ Frivolous D

    Also, to suggest that Romney “took the high road” is disingenuous at best. If you are going to hold out the Chrysler Jeep ad as truthful, then Obama’s cancer ad was no less truthful. After all, everything that was said in that ad was factually correct.

    Similarly, the “You didn’t build that” campaign used the line out of context which grossly misrepresented what Obama was saying. Again, a half-truth is still a lie. And lying qualifies as dirty campaigning.

    Further more, Fox is effectively an attack ad that has been running against Obama for five years now. Although this was not commissioned by Romney, it has been for the explicit benefit of the GOP challenger, whomever that may be.

    Romney is far from chaste in his campaign. Did Obama stoop to attack ads? Sure. After all, he isn’t going to bring a knife to a gun fight.

  • Deano

    It’s funny that the Republicans, who wrote the book on swift-boating, underhanded campaign tactics and negative ads (anyone remember wee Willie Horton), go hyper-ballistic when the Dems finally stop bending over and start handing back the same treatment. Suddenly they are frantically previcating and thundering about negative campaigns and how their candidate “took the high road”. I’m reminded of that scene from Casablanca:

    Rick: How can you close me up? On what grounds?
    Captain Renault: I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!
    [a croupier hands Renault a pile of money]
    Croupier: Your winnings, sir.
    Captain Renault: [sotto voce] Oh, thank you very much.

  • The Obnoxious American

    Friv D,

    Are you literally arguing that there is no media bias? CBS, NBC, ABC, NY Times, Wapo, LA Times, CNN, MSNBC, your local newspaper – not biased, is that really your contention?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    OA –

    You’ve been inside the conservative echo chamber so long that you honestly can’t conceive that things might not be the way you think they are. What’s happened is that when a news outlet says something that makes a Republican look bad, well, that news outlet must therefore be against Republicans – they’re biased!

    Look at what your Republicans (and the conservative media) did to Chris Christie – who certainly didn’t like the president and had criticized and insulted Obama several times before Hurricane Sandy. As soon as Christie said that Obama did something right, it suddenly became Republican imperative to disown Christie and throw him under the bus. Really, OA, is it right to do that to someone who simply complimented someone else just because you personally hate that particular someone else?

    So it goes with your assumptions of media bias. Here’s a better example: of 23 different major polling agencies, the results of the election showed that only four of them had been biased for Obama. The other nineteen – including ABC and the Washington Post – had been biased to the benefit of Romney. The most biased and most inaccurate was also the most famous: Gallup.

    Now when I say ‘biased’, remember that it is NOT the same as ‘partisan bias’ – the former refers to generally unintentional error, while the latter refers to generally intentional error. Here’s another reference that shows much the same inaccuracy among the polls, but he sees no partisan bias:

    For all the derision directed toward pre-election polling, the final poll estimates were not far off from the actual nationwide vote shares for the two candidates. On average, preelection polls from 28 public polling organizations projected a Democratic advantage of 1.1 percentage points on Election Day, which is only about 1 point away from the current estimate of a 2.2-point Obama margin in the national popular vote (Obama 50.3% versus Romney 48.1%).
    Following the procedures proposed by Martin, Traugott and Kennedy to assess poll accuracy, I analyze poll estimates from these 28 polling organizations. Most (22) polls overestimated Romney support, while six (6) overestimated Obama strength, but none of the 28 national preelection polls I examined had a significant partisan bias.

    And if you’ll look at the ones that were most biased for Romney’s benefit, you’ll find NBC, CBS, WaPo, and NPR.

    You might try to counter that these are polls, but they’re not related to biased reporting…but I’m about to show you how Fox News just defined biased reporting. If you had watched ABC, NBC, and CBS, you would have seen that while they aired interviews with politicians, none of their reporters gave an opinion as to who they personally thought was going to win – because that’s a quick way to get fired. But if you were watching Fox, you got to watch Karl Rove’s meltdown.

    OA, there’s liberal bias on MSNBC, and there’s conservative bias on Fox…but just because a news network says something you don’t like to hear – or doesn’t say what you want to hear – doesn’t mean they’re biased. A lot of times it just means that they don’t agree with your personal level of bias.

  • Dr Dreadful

    A lot of times it just means that they don’t agree with your personal level of bias.

    QFT.

  • http://frivolousdisorder.com/ Frivolous D

    OA – I believe quite the opposite. All media is more or less bias. However, I believe that the aggregate of the media is fundamentally unbiased: MSNBC v. Fox; NYT v. WSJ; New York Post v Boston Globe; etc.

    Demonizing the MSM as liberal and “not to be trusted” puts the GOP at a severe information disadvantage. Let’s face it, “UnSkewed Polls” arose because of a misplaced belief in liberal bias. This was self imposed disinformation. If the GOP et. al. really stick with bias-in-media narrative, then they should expect to continue wasting Republican time and money by always trying to solve the wrong problem. This can only play to the Democrats advantage.

    If interested, here is my more expansive opinion of MSM bias: The Fallacy of Liberal Media Bias.

  • The Obnoxious American

    First off, Friv D, you’re on some seriously good drugs if you think liberal media bias is a GOP fallacy. That unskewed polls might have been a bridge too far is irrelevant. There is a clear and blantant bias on the part of the media as a whole, and studies have shown around 80-90% of journalists vote Democratic, well out of bounds of the actual makeup of the populace.

    To prove this point, as well as to prove one of the premises of the article, note the following from Politico:

    “Rubio on Earth’s age: ‘I’m not a scientist'”

    Now, I’m pretty sure the media has never asked Obama this question. Or any dem for that matter. That this is even an article given the massive amount of real problems we have today shows the fishing expedition of the leftist media.

    Likewise, that the GOP happens to be entangled so deeply with social conservatism makes us an easy target for smears like this.

  • Dr Dreadful

    studies have shown around 80-90% of journalists vote Democratic, well out of bounds of the actual makeup of the populace.

    Then there’s hope for the mainstream media yet.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    OA –

    The media doesn’t have a liberal bias – FACTS have a liberal bias. That’s why only 6% of all scientists are Republican, but 55% are Democratic.

    And then we look at the views of the House Science Committee (as assigned by the Republicans who hold the House, of course) here and here. Here’s another priceless example:

    Evolution, embryology and the Big Bang theory are major underpinnings of mainstream science. And Georgia Republican Rep. Paul Broun, a physician who sits on the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, says they are “lies straight from the pit of hell.”

    The direct quote:

    “God’s word is true. I’ve come to understand that. All that stuff I was taught about evolution, embryology, Big Bang theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of hell. It’s lies to try to keep me and all the folks who are taught that from understanding that they need a savior. There’s a lot of scientific data that I found out as a scientist that actually show that this is really a young Earth. I believe that the Earth is about 9,000 years old. I believe that it was created in six days as we know them. That’s what the Bible says. And what I’ve come to learn is that it’s the manufacturer’s handbook, is what I call it. It teaches us how to run our lives individually. How to run our families, how to run our churches. But it teaches us how to run all our public policy and everything in society. And that’s the reason, as your congressman, I hold the Holy Bible as being the major directions to me of how I vote in Washington, D.C., and I’ll continue to do that.” (boldface mine)

    The article continues:

    Nor are Broun’s views radically out of whack with other Republicans on the House Science, Space and Technology Committee. Another member is Missouri Rep. Todd Akin, still dodging flak for saying victims of “legitimate rape” were unlikely to become pregnant because “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

    These are REPUBLICANS on the House Science, Space and Technology Committee…and it’s people like YOU who are sending idiots like this to decide our national science policies!

    Like I said, OA, FACTS have a liberal bias.

  • Zingzing

    “studies have shown around 80-90% of journalists vote Democratic, well out of bounds of the actual makeup of the populace.”

    I read an AMA with a former fox news writer who said that most of the newsroom there votes dem, even a few of the on-air people. Creative bunch of writers, although it is interesting how the rise of fox news coincides with the rise of the Internet and blogging etc. It’s probably pretty easy to “find inspiration.”

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    Glenn is quite right. Democrats aren’t given to making moronic public statements about how robust scientific theories are “not settled”. When a politician sits on the Senate Science Committee and claims he doesn’t know something as fundamental to science as the age of the Earth, that’s troubling.

    Of course he could just be pandering to his constituency (which just gave a Democrat all of its electoral votes), but since his erstwhile boss, the Mittster, just received an object lesson in why telling people what you think they want to hear doesn’t work, you would expect him to have picked up on that.

    To be fair, the GQ interview could have taken place before the election, and probably did. Then again, there remains the troubling possibility that Senator Rubio is just dumb.

    Anyway, Phil Plait expressed today better than I could why Rubio’s profession of ignorance matters, and more particularly why it matters in terms of economics.

  • Igor

    Liberal media bias is just a rightist propaganda slogan that they echo endlessly.

    It may be that 80% of reporters are democrats, but 95% of media owners are republicans. It is NOT reporters who set policy, it IS owners. Owners get to review and change media content before publication. Reporters do NOT get to review management decisions before they are implemented.

    Thus, it is inescapable that any bias is in favor of the right.

    QED

  • Igor

    According to Politico, Rubio said:

    “I’m not a scientist, man,” Rubio told the magazine. “I can tell you what recorded history says, I can tell you what the Bible says, but I think that’s a dispute amongst theologians and I think it has nothing to do with the gross domestic product or economic growth of the United States. I think the age of the universe has zero to do with how our economy is going to grow. I’m not a scientist. I don’t think I’m qualified to answer a question like that.

    Politico

    Rubios repeated defiance that he is ‘not a scientist’ is astonishing in 2012. He is saying that he is not only NOT a scientist but that he is anti-science and proud of it.

    In fact it is inexcusable arrogance in 2012 to proudly profess ignorance of science. Science is responsible for the comfort and ease of our modern life.

    In fact, without science there would be widespread starvation around the world (and don’t try to believe that “it can’t happen here!”, take a look at the greed-created “Dust Bowl” presented by Ken Burns on PBS this week). One hundred years ago scientists knew that the carrying capacity of earth was 1.7billion people. It was only the invention of nitrogen-bearing fertilizer by the scientist Faber, not a theologian, that enabled us to feed as many as we have without widespread border violations and wars and revolution.

    Rubio is a fool. Keep that in mind when you talk about him next.

    It was not prayers and gods that saved people, it was science.

    “I can tell you what recorded history says,…” brags Rubio. But he is lying. The history that people record is hopelessly garbled in the course of time. Anyone who has played “The Telephone Game” at a party knows how quickly human communications becomes gibberish.

    The only ‘recorded history’ that we have is the history recorded in the rocks and minerals on earth, and the signals reaching us from the far reaches of the universe. THAT IS SCIENCE!

    The only tools we have to understand ‘recorded history’ are chemistry, physics and mathematics. THAT IS SCIENCE!

    And it works. We can confirm our conclusions over and over again, even when the sources and techniques are different.

    Science works. In fact, that is the only sure test of a science theory: does it work.

    You have to question Rubios judgement and reliability if he cannot discern the difference between science and theology and decide which is going to lead to desired consequences.

    Oh, and science has everything to do with the economy.

  • Igor

    I encourage everyone to read about the Kepler mission to find planets similar to earth. Far more interesting than the endless drivel about politics and economy that constantly assault us.

    Here’s a start: Kepler home page

    Kepler news: Kepler news

  • Anarcissie

    I think the future of the Republican Party depends on its finding a niche. In the mid-20th century, it was the party of fiscal and foreign-policy conservatism, and pretty much left social engineering to the Democrats. That has all been abandoned with the Southern Strategy in favor of racism, bigotry, superstition, financial profligacy, and imperial adventures abroad — the sort of thing the Democrats used to cater to. I don’t know if these newer principles can be long sustained, however, and in any case the Democrats can easily go back to practicing them. So the question is, what role in the Republican Party going to play in the future?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    … a gradual but certain slide into welfare-state socialism (such as in Sweden, etc.) …

  • Glenn Contrarian

    I’d prefer like that of France, myself….

  • http://www.friv2friv3friv4.com/ friv 2 friv 3 friv 4

    it just means that they don’t agree with your personal level of bias.