Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Is Marco Rubio Really A Bigger Idiot Than Mark Pryor?


All day yesterday people were making fun of Marco Rubio for his idiotic comments to GQ about how old the earth is. Basically, he didn't want to get into that debate-- "I'm not a scientist"-- because Hate Talk Radio, Fox News and the Bronze Age religionist fanatics who control much of his political party will not countenance anyone veering from their fairytale about how the Earth was created in 6 days 5 thousand years ago. Personally, I was more interested in his unlikely comments about Public Enemy, Tupac and Pitbull:

But as Krugman pointed out on his Times blog a few hours later, Rubio's science and evolution denial is a serious matter... particularly for someone who's been in Iowa as much as in his home state recently.
As I like to say, the GOP doesn’t just want to roll back the New Deal; it wants to roll back the Enlightenment.

But here’s what you should realize: when Rubio says that the question of the Earth’s age “has zero to do with how our economy is going to grow,” he’s dead wrong. For one thing, science and technology education has a lot to do with our future productivity-- and how are you going to have effective science education if schools have to give equal time to the views of fundamentalist Christians?

More broadly, the attitude that discounts any amount of evidence-- and boy, do we have lots of evidence on the age of the planet!-- if it conflicts with prejudices is not an attitude consistent with effective policy. If you’re going to ignore what geologists say if you don’t like its implications, what are the chances that you’ll take sensible advice on monetary and fiscal policy? After all, we’ve just seen how Republicans deal with research reports that undermine their faith in the magic of tax cuts: they try to suppress the reports.

I’m belatedly reading Chris Mooney’s The Republican Brain; if truth be told, I was afraid that the book would be too much red meat for my own predispositions, and wanted to keep my cool. But Mooney actually makes a very good point: the personality traits we associate with modern conservatism, above all a lack of openness, make the modern GOP fundamentally hostile to the very idea of objective inquiry. If they want your opinion, they’ll tell you what it is; doubters of orthodoxy need not apply, and will in fact be persecuted.
But fret and laugh all you want about Rubio, in 2014 the most endangered Democrat up for reelection is a right-wing goofball from Arkansas with the same mentality-- but in a party where that mentality isn't de rigueur. Yes, Mark Pryor, the senator who at least admits that there's no IQ test required of Senate candidates. Watch this... it's as goofy as Rubio-- especially the very last frames when he suddenly remembers he's being filmed:

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At 11:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The video clip really says it all about Senator Pryor’s the idiot factor. But what about the tax evader factor? Why hasn’t he ever explained if he did or did not use his political muscle to let his wealthy mother-in-law walk away from paying $2Million in back taxes back in 2006? Why they set up an unfortunate bookkeeper who had nothing to do with it to take the fall? It has been alleged on the site, www.retirepryor.com., that Sen. Pryor and his wife may have been taking as much as $24,000 per month from the company that owes the IRS millions.


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