The 2015 Republican Clown Circus

I can’t help but thinking that the entire world, or at least the rational world of the advanced countries in Europe and Asia, are rolling their eyes at the current US Republican candidates for president. Perhaps they understand that history shows that extremist Republican candidates often rank high in early polling, while relative moderates eventually win the nomination, and as often as not, lose the general election.

As a progressive liberal, I think it’s wonderful that the current Republican race is so splintered, among so many obviously non-electable candidates (can you imagine Trump negotiating with world leaders? “You’re a loser!” Or Carson? “God has provided me with the blessings to be confidant I am right”), because that just increases the likelihood that a Democrat, mostly likely Hillary Clinton, will win the presidency in 2016. (As always, this doesn’t mean I completely approve of Hillary, or any Democratic candidate — but I’ve never voted Republican in my entire life. Republicans are always on the wrong side of science, on progress of increased civil rights, on economics that actually works and is not beholden to wealthy donors.)

And so a few of many links and comments from this past week.

Salon: Put gay people to death? Ted Cruz, Bobby Jindal and Mike Huckabee to speak at Iowa “religious liberty” conference led by noxious right-wing radio host

Amanda Marcotte:

The conference is called the National Religious Liberties Conference, and it’s based on the premise that Christians are somehow having their religious liberties stripped from them because they can’t impose their views on others.

In the topsy-turvy world of Christiandom, being unable to oppress others amounts to oppression of Christians.


Alternet: 5 worst right-wing moments of the week — Ben Carson welcomes the apocalypse

Including a delusional quote from Ted Cruz, who clearly does not actually understand science. This is what happens when your brain is on religion, or conservative ideology:

“Look at the language where they call you a ‘denier,’” he said. “Denier is not the language of science. Look, I’m the child of two scientists … The essence of the scientific method is to start with a hypothesis, then look to the evidence to disprove the hypothesis; you’re not trying to prove it, you’re trying to disprove it. Any good scientist is a skeptic; if he’s not, he or she should not be a scientist. But yet the language of the global warming alarmists, ‘denier’ is the language of religion, it’s heretic, you are a blasphemer. The response from the Sierra Club, ‘We have decreed this is the answer, you must accept it.’ And so he didn’t know his facts because he just knew his religion.”


And then Ben Carson’s plan to deal with global warming is… build an Ark.

The GOP presidential frontrunner, who unlike his peers is a man of science, never lets that extensive medical education stand in the way of the fantasy world he lives in. He has previously gone on record questioning the Big Bang, evolution and gravity, and compared women who get abortions to slave-owners. This week, he unveiled his plan to deal with the watery effect of climate change.

The good doctor tweeted:

“It is important to remember that amateurs built the Ark and it was the professionals that built the Titanic.”

Yeupp, arks. Arks are the solution to the coming flood. It’s right there in the Bible. Don’t worry. God will show you how to build them. Just as god has shown us the best tax system, tithing.


Conservatives demonize the ‘media’ as being liberal, and I think there’s a bit of truth in that, as I’ve said here before — but this is because journalists (like academics) are exposed to a variety of viewpoints, and are dedicated to truth and reality, not ideology, and so identify issues and solutions that more often than not are contrary to the ideological positions on the right. But the right, curiously, ignores the capitalist motive of the media: to make money, to serve their audience. Again from Salon, The wingnut myth that refuses to die: The one simple reason why there’s no “liberal media conspiracy”.

It should be noted that the real world tends to have a liberal bias — at least what Cruz considers a liberal bias. Take climate change, for example. The fact that the climate is warming because of human activity is a completely uncontroversial notion; it is happening, and the vast majority of scientists agree that it will be catastrophic for humanity if nothing is done very soon. That the mainstream media does not contest the issue of climate change, or claim that it is some giant left-wing conspiracy, does not prove it is liberal, but that it is operating in reality. Cruz does not operate in reality, and believes climate change (i.e. science) is a “religion.” But just because Cruz believes this, or his deranged father, Rafael, believes that evolution is a communist lie, does not mean that evolutionary biologists are communists or that climate scientists are religious fanatics — it means that Rafael Cruz and his son are delusional.

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