If it’s Perry: Anti-Science Label Sticks

September 6th, 2011 at 11:09 am | 26 Comments |

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If Rick Perry is the nominee, we will hear stepped-up criticism that there is a Republican “war on science,” that the GOP is anti-intellectual and antipathetic to facts and analysis. Such criticism will resonate with many voters, precisely because Perry’s nomination will be evidence that it’s true.

In August, shortly after entering the race, Perry generated controversy with comments about climate change and biological evolution. He dismissed anthropogenic global warming as an unproven assertion by scientists who have “manipulated data” to spur funding for their projects. He described evolution as a theory with “some gaps in it” and said that it’s taught alongside creationism in Texas (which if true would raise questions about the constitutionality of Texas’ science curricula).

Do such statements make Perry anti-science? National Review editor Rich Lowry argues no, on the grounds that Perry’s real problem is not with these scientific theories but rather with the political or philosophical conclusions that liberals draw from them. But Perry didn’t argue on such grounds. He did not argue that carbon regulations fail a cost-benefit analysis, or that evolution doesn’t logically entail atheism. Rather, he misrepresented where science stands, even adding a bogus fraud charge against climate researchers.

An important task for the Republican nominee will be moving the party beyond its current vulnerability to the criticism that it is anti-science. A crucial task for the next president will be working to bolster American scientific and technological capacity at a time of severe budget pressures and growing international competition. Perry has wasted no time demonstrating he is unequal to those challenges.

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26 Comments so far ↓

  • ottovbvs

    “Such criticism will resonate with many voters, precisely because Perry’s nomination will be evidence that it’s true.”

    As if there wasn’t enough evidence already. The Lowry quote is interesting. An obviously intelligent guy forced to twist in the wind and lie by his political beliefs. I know I’m offending Godwins Law but honestly it WAS people like Lowry that let totalitarians in.

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  • Rob_654

    We don’t need “science” and “education” to compete with China, India, and the rest of the world – all we need is National Prayer Days because we all know that the God will simply wave his hands and make the United States successful – just like the Perry lead prayers for rain in Texas that has resulted in a lush green state that is free from the potential of devastating wildfires (whoops)…

  • Balsack

    Please check out Rick Perry on Wikipedia. What a bunch of nonsense:

    1. Perry was a prankster in college: he once placed live chickens in the closet of an upperclassman during Christmas break and used M-80 firecrackers to prank students using the toilet.

    2. Perry once stood on his head for 10 hours just waiting for one of his Frat Brothers to tell him to Stand Down.

    One thing which cannot be denied. Perry is no schooled Brain.
    But, Perry is no IQ zero neither.

    There are plenty of people who have floated to the top, such as Perry, with their smarts.
    For example: Pol Pot floated to the top. But was Pol Pot a really smart guy?
    Some people are afraid of Perry.
    They think he is so far Right that even reasonable people cannot accept him.

    But, no matter what might happen under Perry, if he is elected, still his rule will die, eventually. And like the rule of Pol Pot, our lives will still go on.

    SPEAKING about the word, “eventually”, might I bring your attention to a Hendrix tune?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZywxsJtkw3A
    Castles Made of Sand.

    • balconesfault

      I am convinced that at some point in his life, Balsack did enough drugs to make George Bush wince.

      • Balsack

        NO drugs! Sir. Truly, no drugs!
        But plenty of crotch itch.

        In the gym.

        And no fond relationships in the gym, neither.
        Just a very straight guy.
        In every very straight way.

        But give me a Hemingway,
        or a Lemming,
        Any Old Day!

        • Rich T Bikkies

          Balsack:

          If your posts are intended as poetry, then your poetry stinks the place out.

          If your posts are intended as prose, then learn basic English grammar, punctuation and PARAGRAPHING before you post on this site – or else post your testicular spasms on Sarah Palin’s Facebook account.

        • Balsack

          Thank you, RT!

          I, in fact, have very great admiration for all those who can truly write truly. Writing is a gift which provides so much pleasure to so many in the reading. To write beautifully is a great gift. To write beautifully is not just a matter of practicing banging away on the keyboard in the hope that after 10,000 hours one might finally become a great writer.
          It is possible to become an adequate writer just by putting in the 10,000 hours. Still the difference between a technically adequate writer/hack and a gifted writer is as the corn on my stinky foot compares to the smell of jet fumes at night in an exotic land when you are young and step off a plane in a tropical land for refueling before pushing on to your final destination further south in Southeast Asia. When you are young. You never forget that smell as long as you live. The jet fuel. The humid night air after sitting in the dry cold cabin of the 707. The smell of sewage from the 1970 Hong Kong harbor flooding the Kai Tak airport runway when you emerge onto the tarmac. No one needs drugs when we can be high on this.

          I agree with you, RT. If my posts had been intended as prose, then my posts would have been posted on the New Yorker.

      • zephae

        He’s certainly a trip to read.

  • TerryF98

    “But, no matter what might happen under Perry, if he is elected, still his rule will die, eventually. And like the rule of Pol Pot, our lives will still go on.”

    If Pol Pot is the example then the lives of the many thousands of intellectuals he killed did not go on.

    • Balsack

      The truly amazing thing, I think.
      The people whose loved ones were killed by their neighbors.
      Can still forgive their transgressors, their neighbors.
      When their neighbors, their transgressors, came back to live again as their neighbors.
      This is truly amazing.

  • think4yourself

    “An important task for the Republican nominee will be moving the party beyond its current vulnerability to the criticism that it is anti-science. A crucial task for the next president will be working to bolster American scientific and technological capacity at a time of severe budget pressures and growing international competition.”

    Can you give me an example of ANY Republican nominee (or any GOP elected official period) that is pro-science? What suggestions would you have that a Republican President could do to bolster American scientific and technological capacity – especially ideas that might be different than the ones that the current US President is offering? Lastly, do you believe that any Republican nominee offering your suggestions would be nominated by the GOP base which currently believes that science has little or no place in American life?

    • Balsack

      What about the Republican F=MA party?
      Or, the Maxwell Republican Equations party?
      Or, the Republican Darwin Party?

      Sure. There are plenty of good Republican scientific method parties.
      But the rhythm method Republican birth control party is one that you should not consider, perhaps.

  • MSheridan

    Our biggest hope with Perry is that he will, like almost all the other GOP candidates or party heroes, suffer from national exposure. The extremists in the Republican Party are looking for a savior at the moment, waiting to anoint someone, anyone, who represents them. But the more that Perry or anyone else is seen to do so, the less electable they become. I don’t need to worry about Palin, or Bachmann, or Ryan, because they have made themselves impossible to elect to higher office. Given over a year of time, I don’t think I’d worry about Perry. I could be wrong, but I think that once the media has finished milking the “fresh new thing” aspect of his candidacy for all it’s worth (because an election without a horserace is boring), it will do some small part of its job and actually vet him. Whether that will happen in time to bring down the positives he’s earned for (essentially) not being Romney, I don’t know.

  • Balsack

    I do not know.
    But some seem to believe.
    There has been a growing anti science wave in the US which is influencing teaching in some schools in the US.
    Then you got to ask yourself, PUNK!
    Do you feel Lucky?
    Well, then do you Punk?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7YKbxmrFbk

    As we all know. Anti Science Waves are never a good thing. Even for us chimps.
    But.
    Is Perry a true Chimp without a love for science?

    And those Texan freaks. They have no compunction about putting to death. on the row, 100 guys when they know that maybe, statistically speaking, there might be a few percent who are totally innocent of the crimes of which they were accused.

    But who cares about DNA? When DNA costs money.

    All you college guys. I hope you would take more time to listen to that little old radio/tv show called DemocracyNow.

    Even Dirty Harry loves Amy Goodman! Just ask him. Call Dirty Harry. He will tell you that he loves Amy Goodman! We all should love Amy Goodman for her very good and dedicated work.

    Well, Do you Punk?…….

    Do you like Amy Goodman?

  • midcon

    Republicans are not anti-science in the least little bit….when science aligns with their principles, values, and policies.

    When science is in conflict, then it is subject to question, outright dismissal, or countered with faith which they believe prevails over all evidence and validated theories.

    If science validated that burning fossil fuel or melting the polar caps was beneficial for the planet, the GOP would be overloading that train long before it left the station. The crux of their view is that science exists only to validate (their) beliefs, not to create new knowledge or answer unknowns.

  • Oldskool

    If he escapes he’ll make up for it with a war on the poor. Or judges, or teachers, or libruls, or god-knows-what. War defines Gopers.

  • Graychin

    Which Republican presidential candidate is NOT the “anti-science” candidate?

    (I don’t count Mr. Huntsman, the candidate who has maxed out at 1%.)

    The problem, you see, is that with your propaganda you have created an ENTIRE POLITICAL PARTY that is anti-science.

    Well done!

  • Elvis Elvisberg

    The entire Republican Party, from top to bottom, is a force for ignorance and disinformation. It’s true for Perry, it’s true for Romney, it’s true for Bachmann, it’s true for every elected Republican official.

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  • TJ Parker

    An important task for the Republican nominee will be moving the party beyond its current vulnerability to the criticism that it is anti-science.

    What a dick.

    The GOP is vulnerable to the criticism that it is anti-science because it is anti-science.

    You seem to be asking only: “What shade of lipstick would look best on this pig?”

    Dick Perry can’t pretend to be pro-science! The dude organizes public prayers for rain! Is that any different from asking everyone to participate in a Native American rain dance?

    • busboy33

      That’s a good point. It seems like the article is saying the problem isn’t that the GOP is anti-science, just that they get caught being anti-science. The goal then isn’t to stop living in the dark ages but rather to successfully mask their insanity. Message discipline rather than idea promotion.

      • drdredel

        But this is (unfortunately) Frum’s, and this website’s larger agenda, and has been since I started reading it. It’s very rarely (if ever) the idea that these people are actually wrong and should strive to actually do things differently. It’s generally all about how the electorate will perceive their antics, and what they should do to appear more electable. The goal is always how to get elected, not how to govern when they are.

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