Juliet Lapidos of The New York Times has had enough of one Republican presidential contender:
Marco Rubio Disqualifies HimselfSo, according to Lapidos, come 2016 there's one GOP candidate who's removed himself from serious consideration by thoughtful people. One down! Glad we've established that!
If American presidents need to prove a basic ability to accept facts, then Senator Marco Rubio of Florida -- who's publicly mulling a run -- just disqualified himself from competition.
In an interview with ABC on Sunday, days after the release of an alarming White House report on the present and future effects of climate change on the United States, Mr. Rubio said:
"I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientists are portraying it."
Except that there's nothing unique about Rubio on this. As Paul Waldman noted yesterday at The Washington Post, Rubio's take on climate change roughly matches that of every other serious contender for the nomination, with the exception of Chris Christie (who's probably no longer a factor in the race).
Ted Cruz? Hardcore denier. Rick Santorum? Hardcore denier. Jeb Bush? Rubio-esque lite denier:
"I think global warming may be real," he said in a 2011 interview. "It is not unanimous among scientists that it is disproportionately manmade. What I get a little tired of on the left is this idea that somehow science has decided all this so you can't have a view."Scott Walker?
He signed a "no climate tax" pledge promising not to support any legislation that would raise taxes to combat climate change and has been a keynote speaker at the climate-denying Heartland Institute.Mike Huckabee?
... these days, he gets on the radio with Sen. Jim Inhofe and jaws about what a hoax the whole thing is.Paul Ryan?
... in 2009 he wrote an op-ed decrying efforts to reduce carbon emissions and claiming that climate scientists are using "statistical tricks to distort their findings and intentionally mislead the public on the issue of climate change."And elsewhere we learn that Rand Paul thinks the science of climate change is "not conclusive."
So why is a Times columnist writing as if Rubio is some sort of odd outlier in his party? Why isn't the story here that one entire party denies science? Why does the editorial board of The Washington Post -- the same paper that published Waldman's roundup of climate thoughts by 2016 GOP wannabes -- also writing about Rubio as if his position is surprising and an anomaly, rather than a reflection of GOP dogma?
SEN. MARCO Rubio (Fla.), whom many presume to be a contender for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, said two things Sunday about climate change. Only one could fit into a presidential campaign worth taking seriously.Rubio's opinion can't be squared with "a presidential campaign worth taking seriously"? But the GOP's 2016 presidential nominee will have an opinion on climate change that's just like that whoever that nominee is. The Post should say now that the Republican Party is on the verge of nominating someone for president who shouldn't be taken seriously. And then the Post should simply not take that candidate seriously. It should treat the candidate the way David Duke was treated when he won the Republican gubernatorial nomination in 1991.
"Our climate is always changing," he said on ABC News's "This Week." "I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientists are portraying it," he went on to say, "and I do not believe that the laws that they propose we pass will do anything about it, except it will destroy our economy." ...
It is one thing to invite a debate about the best policy to address rising global temperatures, a problem no country can tackle on its own. It is another to dismiss the evidence that "these scientists" have compiled -- "a handful of decades of research," Mr. Rubio derisively called it — to show that humans are driving much of that warming.
... On Sunday, Mr. Rubio insisted that he is ready to be president. We hope he does not count sidling up to climate change denial as a qualification. It is quite the opposite.
But that's not what's going to happen. The Republican Party is going to nominate a climate change denialist, and the Post and the Times are going to take that person seriously. That's just how it goes. The mainstream press can't bring itself to acknowledge that one of our major parties has been hijacked by bunko artists and purveyors of snake oil and superstition. The press won't say that Republicans simply shouldn't hold the highest office in the land. It'll just keep acting surprised when Republicans express opinions they've made abundantly clear that they hold.
Republican extremism is hiding in plain sight. The mainstream press just doesn't want to see it.