A Lot

11.09.12

What's Wrong With Republicans?

Reader "jdd_stl1" diagnoses what's wrong with the GOP

What is wrong with the Republicans? Where to even begin.

Should I go off on the mouthpieces like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity or Ann Coulter? Should I give my opinion on the difference between being a Republican and being a Conservative? Should I write about honesty and character? Should I try to pinpoint when the GOP became a party before nation tribe? Should I explore how the need for the GOP to broaden their demographics will probably just lead to disingenuous pandering to women and ethnic groups?

When I sat down to write this the phrase that kept coming back to me was:

"As you sow, so shall you reap."

From this election there are many glaring examples of this. I'll focus on two of them.

The first is the election of Elizabeth Warren to the Senate. It was the GOP
obstruction in the Senate that kept her from being the head of the newly formed CFPB.

When the Senate GOP blocked her from that post the Democratic Party suggested that maybe she should run for the Senate seat in Massachusetts. And we know now how that turned out.

The second example is the shock coming from a lot of the GOP pundits that Romney lost and that the independent polling data was right. How could that have happened? GOP pundits like Dick Morris, George Will and Michael Barone all had Romney winning by a landslide. Peggy Noonan had a feeling that Romney was going to win because she could feel the passion and the enthusiasm.

Well, you know what? Passion and enthusiasm are important but when it comes to polling and looking at polling data, its math and science. Yes, a party's backers' enthusiasm is a factor in how you look at that data but you still have to be open to the math and science involved.

Look at Nate Silver. Look at Sam Wang. Look at Votamatic. Look at DeSart and Holbrook. They all called the election for Obama with 303 or 322 EVs. And where are we now? Obama has 303 as we wait for Florida to sort out its mess. Those folks didn't get it right because of a feeling. They got it right because they crunched a LOT of numbers.

This gets me to what bothers me the most about the GOP right now. They have become the anti-science party.

Evolution? Climate Change? Trickle Down Economics? Age of the Earth?

These are all matters of faith for the GOP and not science.

Does the GOP understand the scientific method? Do they know the difference between a hypothesis, a theory and a fact? They are not the same and they are terms that are often misused.

Hypothesis: a proposed explanation for an observation.

Theory: a scientifically acceptable principle explaining a set of observable facts.

Fact: something that is known to be true.

In science something is not easily elevated to being a theory. It goes through rigorous examination and testing. Lets take evolution as an example.

Evolution is a theory because we have not been around long enough for the
observations to make it a fact. But the theory of evolution has been put
through much rigorous examination and testing and there are a lot of
observable facts that support the theory. As an example of the anti-science
nature of the GOP, in Louisiana the GOP supports using public funds for kids to attend schools where there are actual textbooks that use the Loch Ness monster as a counter-argument to evolution. Is this really how we want our children to be educated?

I am not saying there is no place for feelings, enthusiasm and faith.
I have all of those. But the universe we live in is very complex and
math and science are able to help us understand how a lot of it works.
Let's not go back to the dark ages.

This column's author, "jdd_stl1," is a former poster from FrumForum and can also be found now at talkradiosucks.com