Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Joan McCarter at Daily Kos:

* Every Republican candidate for higher office in New Mexico is a climate change denier. That's just depressing.

* More depressing? It's catching. Every GOP Senate candidate running to replace Sen. Judd Gregg--all six of them--are also climate change deniers.

Yup -- and so are both GOP candidates running against Chuck Schumer in New York:

The two Republicans looking to unseat Senator Charles Schumer squared off Monday night in the first in a series of 2010 election debates on NY1.

Former CIA officer Gary Berntsen went head to head with businessman Jay Townsend at Union College in Schenectady....

The seemingly mutual agreements even extended to the issue of global warming.

"Those that have proposed global warming over the last few years have conducted an enormous charade," Berntsen said.

"I wish I could believe them. But I can't believe anything that they say anymore, and I'm convinced that much of what they were trying to do was a hoax," Townsend said....

They're also both in opposition to the Islamic cultural center near Ground Zero, both in favor of the use of hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") to drill for natural gas in New York State (even though proposals for fracking in the Catskills watershed threaten the drinkability of water in the Catskills and New York City), and both in favor of an Arizona-style immigration law (even though the vast majority of residents of New York City oppose such a law).

And, um, you might think these candidates would want to avoid going against the wishes and beliefs of New York City, which has 41% of the state's population, if only to try to build up their party's credibility in the state, even though the race against Schumer is a serious long shot.

But, for the most part, that's not how it works in the modern GOP. For the most part, you toe the party line.

That's why this article by Slate's John Dickerson was so absurd:

Why won't any Republicans condemn the "Obama is a Muslim' myth?

... Shouldn't there be someone taking the high road if for no other reason than it is unoccupied? Often in politics, doing the one thing no one else is doing usually gets you air time and exposure. But it's harder to tread the high road in an election year. For Republicans whose constituents dislike the president, there's no advantage in going out of your way to stick up for him....

No, that's not it. It's not about whether it's an election year. It's about the nature of the Republican Party right now. There are allegedly a few moderate Republicans in the Senate, and there are barely enough Republicans to mount a filibuster, and yet there have been vastly more filibusters in this Senate than in any previous Senate. That happens when everyone is acting in lockstep. That happens when dissent from the party line is essentially forbidden.

The fact that this sort of political correctness now extends to science is indeed depressing. But it's not surprising.

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